AFCL v. PUC & others

August 5th, 2020

On June 10, 2020, Association of Freeborn County Landowners filed a Complaint against the Public Utilities Commission and four wind projects: Freeborn Wind, Plum Creek Wind, Buffalo Ridge Wind and Three Waters Wind:

AFCL brought this suit under MERA, the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act, which gives anyone standing to sue, and sue we did, seeking:

  • A declaratory order that the state’s permitting of Large Wind Energy Conversion Projects is not in compliance with the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act;
  • A declaratory order that the Public Utilities Commission has not complied, and must comply, with the mandate of Minn. Stat. §216F.05 to develop rules for environmental review of wind projects;
  • An order that the Public Utilities Commission promulgate rules for wind siting and environmental review;
  • A remand for additional proceedings as required by law and the Commission’s rules. 
  • AFCL also seeks a temporary injunction pending these directives and actions by the Commission.  Minn. Stat. §116B.10.

All the Defendants have brought Motions to Dismiss, and today I received reams of paper with their arguments:

Filings from the PUC:

Filings from NSP & Plum Creek:

Filings from Buffalo Ridge Wind and Three Waters Wind:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Onward toward the Motion Hearing on September 2, 2020! Lots of reading and writing to do in response to these, and lots of writing to do for our Motion for Temporary Injunction!

OLA Report on PUC

July 27th, 2020

Hot off the press from the Office of the Legislative Auditor, its report:

In short:

And it’s in the STrib:

Minnesota’s state watchdog agency dings utilities commission on dealings with public

A Most Bizarre PUC Meeting!

July 17th, 2020

Freeborn Wind was on the Commission’s agenda yesterday:

Note the narrow issue, “What actions should the Commission take regarding the April 21, 2020 Request to Amend the Site Permit with a Special Condition?

Suffice it to say, the meeting went off the rails… You have to listen to this to believe it (this old fart managed to youtube it!). Commissioner John Tuma’s going rogue moment is forever preserved:

The day before, less than 24 hours before the meeting, Commissioner Tuma filed this, and note, it was eFiled, but it was not served, was NOT on the agenda, was not related to the agenda item for this docket, and was only received by subscription, no 10 day notice, and no notice to Oakland and London townships, and parties had NO opportunity to participate in this “discussion” of Tuma’s “Motion” to pre-empt local control (earth to Mars, Minn. Stat. 216E.08, Subd. 2 anyone?):

So, on that note…

… and from Oakland and London townships:

And my comments to “Host” as this was going on, and again, we were shut out:

Listen to the snippet of the meeting, above, OMFD!


Attention all you nuclear nerds. Hot off the press, article by Aaron M. Datesman, in Nature, Scientific Reports, and a concept, shot noise, which “should motivate a comprehensive re-evaluation of the conventional understanding of the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station, especially regarding its impact upon the population of the surrounding area.”

Check it out:

This article is open access, spread it around, with credit to orignal author, the source, and link to Creative Commons license.

They’re starting construction, too early, not following procedures, and yes, starting to move ground around, and, well, not doing a great job of it. That’s a matter for another day.

Association of Freeborn County Landowners has filed its Motion for Reconsideration, and Xcel Energy has filed their response:

Someday soon the Public Utilities Commission will give Notice and have a meeting about this… if not, in 60 days, our Reconsideration will be deemed denied, and it’s off to the Appellate Court once again!