Fair use – from Enbridge’s Line 3 website

Looks like a lot of folks are angry with Judge O’Reilly’s Enbridge Line 3 decision.

Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation

Oh well… she had to make some decision and I think she did an excellent job of weighing all the factors, getting into the details in a very difficult case, and come up with a Recommendation that pisses everyone off!  That’s something that takes a LOT of work and is very hard to do!

Here’s a post on it with an insightful/inciteful framing of the decision and what it means:

Pipeline “poison approvals”: a new trend?

In the press, people are getting wound up.  From MPR:

Dayton: No ‘viable way’ to build new Line 3 pipeline on current route

From the MPR piece: The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has denounced the judge’s recommendation, calling it “a clear attack on sovereignty and Tribal communities.”

My take is that O’Reilly laid out the Leech Lake Band’s sovereignty and power and the lay of the land as it exists now — the easements are there now, allowing Enbridge to use the land until 2029.  This recommendation sets the stage for the easement renegotiation in 2029, where the Band has power to say “NO!” and Enbridge is very afraid of that, facing either outright refusal or greatly increased easement payment as the obvious outcome.  This Recommendation, and use of the existing easement gives Leech Lake greater leverage going forward, and might even move those easement negotiations up in time.  If that renegotation is a decade in the future, Enbridge will also by then be operating in a very different world than exists right now, with decreased oil use and demand.  O’Reilly also noted that if a new corridor were used with this, given state non-proliferation, Enbridge would logically seek to use that corridor for all its pipelines going forward.

Along this line (but note that LaDuke, Honor the Earth, is the one quoted, and there are no quotes from Leech Lake or Fond du Lac tribal officials, who should be the ones weighing in here):

Minnesota Pipeline Ruling Could strengthen Tribes’ Legal Case Against Enbridge Line 3

And more, this with quotes from tribal officials:

Major pushback against Line 3 recommendation

In a statement Tuesday, April 24, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe described the recommendation as “anti-sovereignty” and said that it “puts undue burden on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to hold the risk of the pipeline replacement and to revoke the permit.”

“The judge has made this horrific recommendation without even holding a single ALJ hearing on the Leech Lake Reservation and gave a recommendation on a route that has not had the same level of environmental review,” wrote Ben Benoit, the band’s environmental director.

Once more with feeling — If you have comments, objections, there’s been a notice issued regarding submission of “Exceptions” which are due May 9, 2018:

20184-142282-01_Exceptions Notice

Line 3 proposed and alternate routes

The Administrative Law Judge’s Recommendation is out:

Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation

Enbridge should be glad they got this Recommendation.  There’s something for everyone in this decision, and there’s something for everyone to object to — which tells me it’s a job well done.  It’s a fascinating read, exposing the misrepresentations of Enbridge about quite a few material issues, particularly about Enbridge circumventing FERC requirement of removing the pipeline, the paucity of the “jobs jobs jobs” claim, and the need to renegotiate easements with tribes, which factors into Enbridge’s “inexplicable” easement acquisition for up to 4 pipelines as it finagled for this Line 3.  READ THE Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation!  Judge O’Reilly did a great work in digging through the literally tons of materials in this docket.  The misrepresentations and omissions are so blatant that there’s a firm basis for requiring disclosure and correction of their application, and were I the ALJ, outright denial of their application!  They’ve been caught.  It’s all well documented in the Recommendation.

Something near and dear to me about this — note the “SA-04” alternative route — it goes right through two of the Freeborn County townships dealing with the Freeborn wind project. Notice?  See p. 47-48.

Guess the Certificate of Need “Notice Plan” and notice requirements are worthless…

Apparently the karst is more important than notice:

And the DNR supported this option?!?!

However, SA-04 was deemed not a viable alternative:

If you have comments, objections, there’s been a notice issued regarding submission of “Exceptions” which are due May 9, 2018:

20184-142282-01_Exceptions Notice

Here’s how this is interpreted by the press:

‘There’s a ton riding on this’: Enbridge pipeline project dealt blow in Minnesota

Judge: Enbridge Line 3 project should follow existing route

Ruling: Minnesota regulators should approve new Line 3 pipeline — if it follows current pipeline’s route

 

Pipeline shut down in PA

March 8th, 2018

Look at those nice calm colors that make this look so innocuous… GUESS AGAIN!

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has ordered the Mariner East Pipeline Project shut down.

PUC orders Sunoco pipeline shutdown after sinkholes expose bare pipe near Exton

Here’s the project site:

Pipeline Information Center

And PA site:

Mariner East II – PA DEP – PA.gov

And a photo of the sinkhole site, right in the middle of a neighborhood:

 

And another:

PA Environmental Daily Blog – fair use

And it’s “Energy Transfer Partners” on this one:

Mariner East 1 natural gast pipeline was temporarily idled due to sinkholes near work on Mariner East 2 – Pittsburgh Business Times

 

Critical Infrastructure Month?

November 3rd, 2017

Did you know that November 2017 is Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month?

Proclamation – Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month_2017-24278

I find it unnerving when tRump says things like:

Our critical infrastructure also faces threats from capacity-induced strain, terrorist attacks, accidents, pandemics, space weather, and cyberattacks. To confront these diverse challenges systematically, we must take steps to enhance our Nation’s economic, intellectual, and technological leadership. My Administration will help our businesses invest in needed capital and research and development by reducing burdensome regulations and enacting comprehensive tax reform.

These aren’t exactly issues, it’s worked up hype.  The language about “capacity-induced strain, terrorist attacks, accidents, pandemics, space weather, and cyberattacks” is a problem because there is not “capacity-induced strain,” and in fact, Xcel Energy whines that the grid is only 55% utilized, a point raised in its e21_Initiative_Phase_I_Report:

(N) Identify and develop opportunities to reduce customer costs by improving overall grid efficiency.  In Minnesota, the total electric system utilization is approximately 55 percent (average demand divided by peak demand), thus providing an opportunity to reduce system costs by better utilizing existing system assets (e.g., generation, wires, etc.). (e21_Initiative_Phase_I_Report, p. 11).

There’s been one “terrorist attack” on infrastructure, the California substation:

Sniper attack on California power grid may have been ‘an insider’

Also note the phrase “capacity-induced strain,” which is all about market, but then again, we know that the market is the driver for this massive transmission buildout:

ICF – MISO Transmission Benefits Analysis

Who benefits? Utilities benefit big time.  Those producing the glut of electricity that will be shipped from any Point A to any Point B; those building the transmission to ship it; and those providing transmission service.  Who pays? Ratepayers and landowners and taxpayers (taxpayers? Yes, check the latest House bill for utility deductions for interest expenses and faster depreciation of expenses.  And it came out in the last rate case that Xcel Energy hasn’t paid much in the way of taxes since 2008.Campbell p 22

What will happen to this latest energy bill? We shall see…

Listening to him speak is painful.  This idiot is talking about “Clean Coal.”   Claims that the Paris Accord stops development of “Clean Coal.”  DOH, IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!

He’s again blathering about 3-4% growth.  Delusional.

The Paris Accord hamstrings America?  The Paris Accord limits the American economy?

His points in the speech are insane.  A load of covfefe!

Here are tRumpe’s talking points handed out prior to today’s announcement:

Paris Accord_Talkers