James McIntyre was shot outside an open house for a dam project, “Site C” for the dam.  You know, those open houses they hold to tell the public what they’re going to do before they do it… There was an investigation of the shooting by Canada’s “Independent Investigations Office,” and I’d had an alert and checked now and then, particularly a year after the shooting, but didn’t find the articles on the IIO’s November release of information until yesterday!  Here’s the report from the IIO:

07-16-2015-Dawson-Creek-Firearm-Death-2015-000104

Here are some press write ups:

Police ‘begged’ Site C activist to put down knife before shooting him, witness says

IIO clears RCMP in shooting of James McIntyre

RCMP officers cleared in shooting death of Site C protester in Dawson Creek

Look at the way the press framed this article:

RCMP officer cleared in shooting death of B.C. activist that sparked Anonymous revenge campaign

This shooting of McIntyre hit home for me because of my routine of going to the open houses and hanging out at the door, and I know so well how angry people get when there’s infrastructure proposed in their community, on their land.  They published my LTE about this in the Alaska Highway News:

UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEAVES DEEP IMPACTS

Your coverage of the RCMP shooting of James McIntyre has been thorough in this general dearth of information.

I’ve spent the last 20 years advocating against utility infrastructure in the U.S., and the killing of McIntyre by RCMP is horrifying.  

A big part of my schtick is to stand at the door (not inside where I’d be “interfering”) and enthusiastically greet everyone, hand them a flyer about how to participate, and direct them to the meeting.  Had I been at that open house, I’d be the one they found at the door.  Had they told me to leave, I’d have argued and resisted, as always, ramping up if they pushed.

In my experience, utilities have now and then requested police presence, and when I see it, I let the organizers know it’s offensive and off putting, chilling public participation.  People have a right to speak out against a project, and they have a right to be angry!  I talk to the officers too, find out if I can who wanted them there, and let them know it’s inhibiting and threatening to the public.  I figure they just add me to their list of people to watch.  But this atmosphere of blind fear is not acceptable.  Don’t Canadians have a right to free speech?  Civil disobedience is an appropriate response.  Civil disobedience is NOT a death sentence with law enforcement as judge, jury and executioner.

People are being steam-rolled by utility infrastructure projects such as dams, transmission lines, and pipelines, and no one wants to hear about it.  They want opposition to just go away.  People are losing their land, communities are deeply affected, and those affected are not compensated sufficiently to make it acceptable — and money is not the answer to everything!  

Is the Site C project worth the impacts?  Is generating electricity and profiting from it sufficient reason to inflict these impacts, including this death?  Maybe BC Hydro should think again.

—Carol A. Overland, Utility Regulatory Attorney, Minnesota

Here are my older posts about the shooting, including a video of the shooting by someone in the hotel who was looking out the window:

RCMP shoots hydro dam protester? Nope, misidentified!

James McIntyre ID’d as man shot by RCMP

It’s been a year since McIntyre was shot in BC

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rulemaking for Minn. R. Ch. 7849, Certificate of Need, and 7850, Routing and Siting, is slowly moving forward. Here are the final drafts up for review before they go to the Commission for a rubber stamp and release for general comment:

20173-129606-02_Draft 7849

20173-129606-03_Draft 7850

Final initial comments on drafts were due on Monday and here they are, in alphabetical order:

20175-131641-01_Commerce DER

20175-131640-01_Commerce EERA

20175-131687-01_Goodhue Wind Truth – Marie McNamara

20175-131650-01-1_Great River Energy

20175-131683_ITC Comments and Attachments

20175-131698-01_Just Change

20175-131686-01_NoCapX – U-CAN – NRG & GWT

20175-131675-01_Wisconsin Power & Light

20175-131688-01_Xcel Energy

Reply comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on May 31, 2017.  eFiling is preferred!  If you need to register to eFile, GO HERE!  It’s easy, quick, and makes filing a breeze.  Get to work — there’s a lot here to comment on!

Comments on the Minn. R. Ch. 7849 and 7850 rulemaking are due next Monday!  Are you making any progress? Info on who, what, where, why, when of filing comments is here:

20173-130158-01_Notice of Comment Period

What to comment on? Here are the latest draft rules:

February 2017 Draft 7849 February 2017 Draft 7850

Get to it!  

Tonka has arrived!

April 21st, 2017

Tonka has arrived from GSRAW in Wisconsin, who gave us Summer”

Ode to Summer…

Tonka is quickly adjusting to her home and her new roommates.  She did well on the trip, and today, greeted me by running up to me smiling.  Here ears are up, her chin is up, and she’s a happy grrrrrl.

She’ll do fine!  She even met Nigel, nose to nose (note the powerline in the background):

… and they’re fine, although she’s a little unnerved by the chickens!

Wyoming is fossil fuel country, coal plants everywhere, here a mine mouth plant on west side of Kemmerer:

And gas… EVERYWHERE, there were wells all the way up 30 and 89 up until the mountain pass, where the rain turned to snow, UGH!  This is what Wyoming looks like just north of Little America:

Remember that 2005 National Geographic article about the gas wells in Wyoming? Here’s my post with links to that article and videos — in particular, check out the “Bad Water” section, the woman holding a glass of “water” from her well reminds me of Nancy Prehn and her water when they’re pumping at the gas underground storage near Waseca:

Drilling in the West – in National Geographic this month

Up here towards Jackson Hole there are no gas wells, I don’t know if that’s because there’s no gas, that it’s not BLM land up for “lease” (at way too reduced rates), or because if the impact of $$$ in this area.

Heading back soon… and yeaaaah to GSRAW  for making this adoption happen!

 

The Great Plains Institute has long been a problem, and it remains a problem, evidenced in today’s missive trying to bootstrap onto tRump’s “infrastructure” agenda, by releasing a “White Paper” “calling on President Trump and Congress to make CO2 pipelines a priority component of a broader national infrastructure agenda and recommending that the federal government support the development of CO2 pipeline networks.”  Oh, great… brilliant idea, just brilliant.

Great Plains Institute a problem?  Yes.  They were paid handsomely to promote coal gasification, projects including but not limited to Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project, the boondoggle of boondoggles.  For example:

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

January 18th, 2007

Carbon capture and storage/sequestration was seen by many circa 2005 as a “way forward for coal.”  So the Walton’s Bill Grant said.  No.  It wasn’t.

CO2 sequestration is so… like… not happening!

It wasn’t a “way forward for coal” then, and it isn’t now.

The market has spoken on coal, and it’s clear that coal is on the way out as coal companies go bankrupt, as coal generated electricity languishes on the energy market, and as the inefficient and costly older coal plants have closed, with newer larger plants waiting in queue to be shuttered.

And CO2 capture and storage/sequestration is a farce.  Why? Well, we learned a lot about CO2 capture in our fight against Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project.  That’s where the Public Utilities Commission determined that it was just to expensive and risky to approve a Power Purchase Agreement — go HERE and search for PUC Docket 05-1933. Here’s a rough visual of CO2 capture and storage/use:

From Global CCS Institute HERE

So what’s the problem?

  • First, capture is costly and difficult, particularly capturing any significant portion of CO2 generated.
  • The higher percentage captured, the higher the cost of that capture, and high percentage capture has not been achieved.
  • The cost of capture is not only the cost to physically do it, the hardware, technology, and engineering, but there is a high cost in efficiency of the CO2 producer, a parasitic cost, meaning that if you’re capturing that CO2, you’re paying a high price in efficiency of an already inefficient process (burning is always inefficient).
  • And another parasitic cost, these pipelines require pumping stations to pressurize andpump it into the pipeline, a pumping station every 75 miles or so to keep that pressure up, and a pumping station at the destination, and those pumping stations require 4-10 MW of power, depending.
  • Environmentally, the impacts of digging up land for hundreds of miles is immense.
  • These are private projects and for a private project, a private purpose, eminent domain isn’t available for the taking of people’s land.

Yet this CO2 capture and storage/sequestration farce continues, evidenced in the most recent Great Plains Institute missive I found in the inbox, here the missive’s link to CO2 capture and storage for oil extraction, “Enhanced Oil Recovery”.

Here’s their “White Paper” with what they’ll be lobbying for:

21st Century Energy Infrastructure: Policy Recommendations for Development of American CO2 Pipeline Networks

Short version:  The federal government should make this CO2 pipeline and infrastructure build out happen across the country, a la the Interstate highway system.

In light of tRump’s Executive Order 13766, Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects, that’s a scary notion.

Check out this site from Global CCS Institute, and note, they talk of benefits, but look for talk of costs.  Hmm…

A “way forward for coal?”  CO2 capture?  Over my dead polar bear.