The Office of Attorney General’s Residential Utility Division (OAG-RUD) has told the gas utilities in search of recovery for its EXTREME supply expenses during the natural gas price spike in February where to go… or more correctly, where NOT to go — that this should NOT come out of ratepayer pockets — that it’s the on the shareholders. YES! Love it when this happens.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has an “investigation” into the massive gas price spike in February, and how the huge price spike and increased costs should be handled (Many other states’ Commissions have opened an investigation too). Thus far, it’s appeared that the Commission’s intent is to pass it on to the ratepayers and spread it out so it’s not so painful. But not so fast folks! It’s so heartwarming to read a pleading, particularly one filed by Office of Attorney General – Residential Utilities Division, where they say “NO!”

Read it HERE:

There are three ongoing dockets at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission looking at the “gas crisis” from February.

Now pay attention, because this HUGE gas spike was only 2-3 days:

Some background Legalectric posts:

Texas — it’s a gas — natural gas… DOH! February 17th, 2021

It’s still a GAS! February 28th, 2021

The PUC is looking at a few questions, but what troubling is that the Commission seems to presume that the utilities will recoup from ratepayers! This presumption was evident in previous Commission meetings, and was disturbing, to put it mildly!

There are three dockets trudging along on the same path, and to look at all the filings go to eDockets and look up the dockets:

  • 21-135
  • 21-138
  • 21-235

In May, the Commission issued another Notice of Comment Period and noted these issues, followed by a laundry list of topics for comments:

The AG’s Office minced no words and told them “NO!” For example:

Once more with feeling — ENJOY!

OAG_20217-175863-02

I’m particularly interested in storage, because a client lives above Minnesota’s only gas storage dome, an at least 10 square mile just north of Waseca, with 7 billion c.f. of natural gas stored below. A gas intermediate (not peaking) plant was proposed there, first a very small one, then one 10 times that in MW, and thankfully neither was built.

Knowing about that storage (and too many Minnesotans do not), storage was the focus of my comment in this docket last February:

OAG-RUD did address the failure of the gas utilities to utilize storage:

Bottom line to the OAG-RUD?

Oh my, take a little time off, and look what happens!

Cardinal-Hickory Creek: Secret messages with former regulator prompt utilities to seek new permit for power line

Here are the Petitions from ITC and ATC filed Monday, June 28, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. and 10:09 a.m.:

And it’s instantly on the agenda for TOMORROW’S Commission meeting (meeting starts at 10:30 a.m.).

Listen to Live Broadcast HERE!

The “notice” was provided on Tuesday. June 29, 2021 at 3:15 p.m., not even 36 hours before the meeting (note there’s a “CS memorandum of 6/29” where Commission staff offers background and suggestions that we don’t get to see):

OBJECTION!!! Ja, you betcha, from Jewell Jinkins Intervenors and others:

What are we asking for? It’s pretty simple:

DALC and WWF filing just came in and they have a very different take:

And ATC and ITC’s scheme is getting some coverage:

Controversial transmission line through Iowa/Wisconsin suffers setback

Owners Of Controversial Power Line Project Ask To Refile Application After Messages With Regulator Surface

Here it is, read it and SNORT!

From a post about 2,100 MW of new transmission:

Developers of 2,100 MW MISO-PJM transmission line choose engineering firm

Let’s think about this a bit. This is a MISO to PJM transmission project. Transmission serves what’s on the line. In MISO, (see above) it’s coal, followed by natural gas, both fossil fuel, and those two followed by nuclear, the most toxic, dangerous, and expensive generation.

Amid all the bluster about climate change, coal generation has ramped up over the last year. Factor to consider — in May of 2020, not much was happening anywhere, so increased generation from then seems likely, to be fair, we need comparison to 2019, BUT, clearly the coal plants are NOT being shut down. And with our transmission build-out over the last 20 years, they can ship and sell it anywhere. What is it going to take to get this fossil generation shut down?

And look at PJM’s mix:

And again, much of the coal in PJM was smaller plants, except for that monster in West Virginia, smaller plants that were too expensive to run, not at all marketable, so they were shut down. MISO is another story, with large coal plants, transmission to get it from any Point A to Point B, and probably the last coal plant to be built, Warren Buffet’s 700MW MEC coal plant, served by the transmission build-out through southern Minnesota and across Iowa.

Why would we need more transmission? WE don’t. THEY DO, it’s a major part of their new business plan. As Lisa Agrimonti so aptly stated in a recent Grid North Partners Conference, it used to be about NERC reliability criteria, “a pretty simple story,” but now, “we need this transmission line to deliver energy more broadly” and it’s a more complicated need story.

Yeah, that’s what they’re wanting to do, for sure!

With the change from reliability to the general “we want it” corporate greed = need, how can a project be challenged?

After wading through the bullshit last night, it feels a lot better this morning in Red Wing. Watch the video, particularly Agenda Items 7, 10C, and 10D:

Red Wing City Council Meeting – June 14, 2021

In order of appearance:

  • Agenda Item 7 – Terri Cook appointed to Charter Commission, no discussion, no muss, no fuss.
  • Agenda Item 10C – Recall – Brown and Buss – once again, no malfeasance or non-feasance. DOH!
  • Agenda Item 10D – Shared space – Mayor Wilson does not have exclusive rights to the shared space at City Hall.

There was a call to SHOW UP and support the Council, that’s the folks in white shirts, who far outnumbered the “RECALL” folks, about the same percentages as in the Presidential votes in our fair city. Overflow crowd.

In the Republican bEagle:

4 things to know about the Red Wing City Council meeting

In the Rochester Post Bulletin:

Recall committee loses another round at Red Wing city council meeting