PPSA Annual Hearing NOW

November 20th, 2020

RIGHT NOW! It’s the PPSA Annual Hearing… sigh… here we go again.

Go to webex, Event # 146 311 2620. The powerpoint slides will be here (and will also be filed on eDockets).

To be able to comment, you have to get on the phone 866-609-6127, Conference ID: 4449079, and to comment, you need to press #1 and get in queue.

Here is the Commerce info about this year’s projects:

And for the record, folks, note that wind is not exempt from many of the parts of the PPSA:

Transition? Contact GSA!

November 17th, 2020

Emily Murphy’s email and the Government Service Administration (GSA) contact page are working again, so you can contact her!

GSA Contact Form

Or if that’s not working (and just now it looks like it’s down again, as down as the White House comment line, it’s been chugging along for 15 minutes now):

emily.murphy@gsa.gov

Why? Because she’s the one who has to sign the “transition papers” for Biden’s administration so the transition team can start work. She’s supposed to be an independent signer but instead she’s furthering the denial of the Mango-in-Chief.

Trump appointee refuses to sign document allowing Biden transition to officially get to work: report

I first tried the GSA site, and her email when the GSA site didn’t work, back on November 9, and the email bounced, “too much traffic” it said… so I tried again on the 12th, both the “Contact” form, which did come up, and a direct email. Got this form response — so it did get through:

She’s getting the message, well, a message:

The Trump Appointee Blocking Biden’s Transition Is Reportedly Trying to Line Up a New Job for 2021

… but if she did her job, that might help her get another!

Here’s how transitions work:

Presidential Transition Act Summary

What’s the Center for Presidential Transition… hmmmmm… damned if they don’t have that front and center on their home page!

Here’s a study from 2018 that I found in connection with a recent article about the controversy over the Colstrip coal plant and whether it will be rehabbed, whether it will continue to provide Idaho with some power after withdrawal from Washington state.

Idaho regulators have Colstrip concerns

Here’s the study:

Carbon Capture was to be considered in the plan for Colstrip rehab, but here’s the conclusion:

45Q CO2 tax credits? Get out the waders. From our “good friends” at Great Plains Institute, its Primer: Section 45Q Tax Credit for Carbon Capture Projects.

To implement the reformed 45Q, the US Treasury requested public comments in IRS Notice 2019-32 on several key issues. The IRS issued guidance on beginning and continuous construction requirements along with a revenue procedure for business partnerships that include investors claiming the tax credit. The IRS released proposed regulations to address additional implementation issues, including requirements for demonstrating secure geological storage, credit recapture, credit transferability and contractural assurance, and requirements for lifecycle analysis of emissions reductions for projects that beneficially use CO2 or CO to convert manufacture fuels, chemicals, or other useful products like cement.

https://www.betterenergy.org/blog/primer-section-45q-tax-credit-for-carbon-capture-projects/

Yes, Great Plains Institute has a big money-suck program AGAIN, pushing “carbon capture and storage/sequestration.”

Money suck? Yes, look at this from 2017 IRS 990, most recent I could find, but for sure there is more since:

Current Legalectric post, and going back… been there, done that, must we?

More Carbon Capture PR BS

February 21st, 2020

CO2 pipelines? It’s a red herring!

March 22nd, 2017

Do really need to go through this again? Apparently, because as Bill Grant, formerly Deputy Director of Commerce on the Energy side, and before that Izaak Walton League forever, said circa 2005 and coal gasification and CCS, “we need to find a way forward for coal.” We’ve been there, done that, and carbon capture is a pipedream:

And even though we knew it then, the science and economics were in the record, regulators and applications paid little attention until plant after plant was blocked, denied, and withdrawn. Then again, they got a LOT of money to promote coal gasification and carbon capture, but those of us without funding, without resources, kept at it, and prevailed.

IEDC gets carried away

February 15th, 2007

And here are the presentations from that fiasco, the shameful promotion of CCS contrary to science and economics:

Presentations at IEDC

February 16th, 2007

CO2 sequestration is so… like… not happening!

January 26th, 2007

Great Plains Institute – is Joyce getting their $$ worth?

January 18th, 2007

Association of Freeborn County Landowners had filed a Complaint against Public Utilities Commissioner John Tuma and Chair Katie Sieben:

AFCL files Complaint against Tuma & Sieben

They filed their response and shipped it off to Office of Administrative Hearings for an investigation (note statute says “hearing” … oh well…):

AFCL Complaint forwarded to OAH for hearing

Here’s the result, hot off the press:

There’s no requirement of public participation? Minn. Stat. 216E.08, Subd. 2. And parties? No mention. What’s the point of being a party? And following that Office of Legislative Auditor report, guess it doesn’t matter, no one is paying attention.:

Public Utilities Commission’s Public Participation Processes – OLA-Report

Notice of a new topic on the agenda isn’t required? Yeah, I guess the notice statutes don’t matter.

Talking to a participant is not ex party contact? The County is indeed a participant…

Next step is that it goes to the Commission to rubber stamp it.

Who cares? Listen to this:

STrib article: Trump administration allows deferral of Social Security tax

It’s real – the U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued guidance allowing employers to not withhold the 6.2% for Social Security AND employer share will not be paid in either.

Within this notice above, IN A FOOTNOTE (!), is a heads up that employers also do not have to pony up their share:

The deposit obligation for employee social security tax does not arise until the tax is withheld. Accordingly, by postponing the time for withholding the employee social security tax, the deposit obligation is delayed by operation of the regulations. Thus, this notice does not separately postpone the deposit obligation.

So not only is this not deducted from an employee’s paycheck, but the employer does not pay in either. If every employer did this, that would mean that the employer and employee funding for Social Security would drop to zero and end!

It would? Check this “analysis of the implications of hypothetical legislation that would change the tax rate paid by employers, employees, and self-employed individuals to zero percent for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll taxes and Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) taxes that fund Social Security’s Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund.”

Where does Social Security stand, what’s the income, outgo, Trust Fund balance? From the Wiki on Social Security:

Note income and outgo are evenly tied now. There’s a lot of $$$ that the government owes the Trust Fund, and it can’t make interest on what isn’t there (not that interest rates now mean anything). What’s expected to happen? Unless something changes, it goes into the negative circa 2034:

Where does Social Security get its revenue from? According to the Social Security Administration:

In 2019, $944.5 billion (89 percent) of total Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance income came from payroll taxes. The remainder was provided by interest earnings $80.8 billion (7.6 percent) and revenue from taxation of OASDI benefits $36.5 billion (3.4 percent).

Removing $944.5 billion PLUS (presuming it’s ever increasing) from the Social Security income stream, EIGHTY-NINE PERCENT, would have a tremendous impact on both revenue and the interest earnings.

From Reuters:

Trump’s coronavirus payroll tax cut would punch hole in Social Security, Medicare budgets

An Obama administration 2011 payroll tax cut to counteract the Great Recession, for example, returned $109 billion to households by cutting 2 percentage points from the amount that employees pay the federal government. In that case, the Treasury put a similar amount into the Social Security fund to make up the loss.

Trump’s proposal, to eliminate both the workers’ and employers’ payments, is of a different scale. Unless it is also somehow replaced, it could exacerbate funding shortfalls that the two popular programs already face in coming years, as the U.S. population ages and demand for healthcare increases.

AND what they’re not saying in BIG BOLD FONT is that this money has to be recouped in 2021. This “tax cut” really isn’t, and employees and employers would have to take a significant hit in 2021, paying their current 6.2% plus another sum to make up for the cut. How do they propose to do that? Not said… and if tRump had his way, he’d cut the payroll tax altogether.

As one who is 65 next year, and as one who is self-employed paying in the full 12.4% share for Social Security, putting the Social Security system at risk like this is not acceptable. Just NO! I’ll keep up with my pay-ins to Social Security, no balloon payment for me, but as one who will have to keep working forever before starting to collect Social Security, I’m royally pissed at these efforts to undermine Social Security. What they should be doing is putting back the money that has been borrowed, increase the income ceiling for Social Security deductions, and eliminate Social Security payments to those who have no need of it (that’s the “entitlement” that should be cut, the 1%, the 5%, the 10%, why on earth would they need Social Security payments?)

Destabilizing Social Security? This is something you’d think working stiffs and those collecting Social Security and Social Security Disability would care about.

When I’m 65?