Mike Bull, now back to Dept. of Commerce as Assistant Commissioner for Renewable Energy and Advanced Technologies (so he says), formerly of House Research and attorney for House Regulated Industries Committee for eons, formerly of Commerce (formerly of EQB too? I’m forgetting, the door was spinning so fast for a while there), and until the sesion ended, in … gulp… Gov. Pawlenty’s office… sigh… and the guy behind all the good ethanol policy, and Northfield resident, had this to say about my comments on SF1368 and its passage:

Carol — the Attorney General supported passage of the 2005 Omnibus Energy bill in all respects. The only issue the AG had with the bill dealt with the formation of transco’s. Ron Giteck of the AG’s office worked with the utilities and developed the language that was included in the final bill, which the AG then supported. The transco language doesn’t give away any state authority — under current law, the PUC arguably has all the authority it needs to approve a transco petition, but has no statutory guidance as to what to look for in a transco. The 2005 legislation establishes the public interest criteria and considerations by which the PUC should review a petition for formation of a transco.

Here’s a photo from the 2002 Bly campaign:
Hatch’s campaign manager was a K-9 officer who got along famously with my Shep.


Mikey, you know as well as I do that the PUC’s never seen a utility proposal it didn’t like! I notice your qualified language! (“arguably”) Yes, you’re right, at the end of the day, the A.G.’s office “supported the transmission bill.” That support was a compromise begun in late April, after MUCH testimony from the A.G.’s office against the bill. I’m betting this was a decision on expenditure of political capital, looking forward to another run for Pawlenty’s job (YOUR boss), based in part on “the Dept.” (Gov’s?) adoption of the WOW TRANSLink deal/transmission agenda in it’s bill, based in part on movement forward of this awful bill due to lack of funded resistance, based in part on the enviro sell-out and promotion of this bill, and after the A.G.’s unwillingness to invest in active vociferous opposition at the House stage and waiting too long and doing too little, too late in the Senate, dumping it in Sen. Ellen Anderson’s lap — that’s grossly unfair. Yup, the party line is that “the A.G.’s office supported the transmission bill.” The press wasn’t at Hatch’s Belle Plaine 25B appearance in April so his comments aren’t on the record, nor are the various conversations I was privy to about this transmission bill mess. The official party line makes me sick — this was an issue where there should have been no compromise. This is the 2005 issue that required a backbone and cajones of steel. Oh well… Where’s the leadership? We’re not going to see the impacts of this bill for a while, but when we do, we’re going to have a hard time undoing it — if we can. Mike Hatch could have stopped this bill and didn’t. I can remember when Mike Hatch thought Xcel’s CEO should go… when he wanted to protect Minnesota ratepayers from NRG… when he opposed TRANSLink… sigh…

One Response to “Comment from Mike Bull on Transmission Omnibus Bill From Hell”

  1. Mike Bull Says:

    Well, not EQB, but here’s the list for those keeping score at home…in addition to House Research, I’ve worked for: Senate Counsel and Research; the Public Utilities Commission; the Office of Attorney General (I imagine I’m one of a very few people that have worked for both Mike Hatch and Governor Pawlenty in advisory roles); the Department of Commerce; Governor Pawlenty; now back at the Department of Commerce as Assistant Commissioner for Renewable Energy and Advanced Technologies.

    I know you know I know (heh) where you’re coming from on all of this, but I disagree with a number of leaps you go through to get to where this was a bad bill. I think it’s a good bill, and would have thought that regardless of who my boss is or was. The question will be whether the new language will be misused or not. Obviously, that’s always the issue with new legislation, every session.

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