Campaigning as “America First” in 2022 — do people understand what this means? I hope it’s “just” voter ignorance, but it’s how Altendorf proudly, intentionally, labeled herself. That alone should be reason to eject them from office. Check out the high mileage look of these two:

Both are 2020 election deniers, and together they are sponsoring their (ALEC) Education Freedom Act, identical to one passed on Arizona. Thankfully it won’t go far in Minnesota’s DFL controlled legislature.

What Drazkowski had to say about Altendorf in his endorsement of her for state House 20A:

“LEADING” conservatives with Recall City Hall effort, squawking at school board meetings about “critical race theory” and mask mandates.

And bragging about being an “America First” candidate… good grief… And she was elected.

Back to America First, there’s this, Conservative U.S. House Republicans to form ‘America First’ caucus and the platform:

And a look at what “America First” means:

From 2019, ‘America First’ is only making the world worse. Here’s a better approach. that then before the 2020 election noted the increase of nationalists, demagogues and autocratic powers:

Yet that president is going to face an increasingly dangerous world that looks more like the 1930s than the end of history—with populists, nationalists and demagogues on the rise; autocratic powers growing in strength and increasingly aggressive; Europe mired in division and self-doubt; and democracy under siege and vulnerable to foreign manipulation. Then there are the new challenges of our own century—from cyberwarfare to mass migration to a warming planet—that no one nation can meet alone and no wall can contain.

Doubling down on “America First,” with its mix of nationalism, unilateralism and xenophobia, would only exacerbate these problems. But so would embracing the alternative offered by thinkers across the ideological spectrum who, concerned that our reach exceeds our means, advise us to pull back without considering the likely consequences, as we did in the 1930s.

Yes, time to trot out my “RENOUNCE NATIONALISM sign again.

Oh we got trouble… right here in Goodhue County… And that starts with G and that rhymes with P and that stands for… or is it G and that rhymes with D… it’s BOTH!

p.s. If you want to learn more about “America First” in Minnesota get up to Little Falls, and do some reading in the library at the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum.

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

9:30 a.m. Wednesday November 9, 2022

3rd Floor Large Meeting Room

Public Utilities Commission

121 – 7th Place East, St. Paul

It was 20 years ago today…

October 22nd, 2022

EXCELSIOR ENERGY’S MESABA PROJECT

PARTIAL DOCUMENT REPOSITORY

Well, a bit more than 20 years ago… January 15, 2002, just after the start of the legislative session, I was at an energy committee meeting, Senate? House? I think Senate was first, then heard again at House, and the following year they got their legislation through as a part of the 2003 Prairie Island bill.

Anyway, there was a presentation back in 2002 about the greatest thing since sliced bread (NOT!), a coal gasification project proposed for “somewhere” on the Range. Here’s what they presented:

Note the parts about “brownfield” and “existing infrastructure.” LIES, it’s that simple. Here’s what their site looked like, this was at the DOE and locals site visit in 2005:

Marching through the woods, a tour of the brownfield site with infrastructure
Another site tour, Itasca County officials on site!
And another time, in November, 2006, the project developer was trespassing on land owned by one of our members during hunting season. There was no access to the proposed project site!

Starting in 2005, I was representing “mncoalgasplant,” landowners and residents near the proposed project, joined in tandem by Citizens Against the Mesaba Project (CAMP) (site circa 2013 with live links, thanks waybackmachine!). We had such active folks, every hearing was PACKED, and eventually the project faded, never formally declared dead, but piece by piece, it went away.

HOWEVER, Excelsior Energy did manage to get an save passed by the legislature for a natural gas plant:

Week before last, I picked up files from a cohort who shall remain unnamed, and am scanning in boxes of files, to post here, and recycle hard copies for biomass (UGH, but that’s what Red Wing does. Thanks, Xcel Energy!). I’ll be posting them, some interesting stuff if you’re into energy and political and capital intrigue, some purely inside baseball that no one will care about.

MONEY TRACKING – Spreadsheets and invoices to IRRB for reimbursement

Various Contractor Invoices (some redacted)

What a pain in the patoot that was — TWO ENTIRE WASTEBASKET OF SCANNING!

Just got notice of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission‘s Power Plant Siting Act annual hearing:

This happens every year, and it’s important to spread the word around. One change that is very good is that the Commission is doing a good job of serving notice of the hearing — there are ~ 128 pages of recipients of this notice! GOOD! Love the interwebs, makes it so easy to let people know what’s happening.

The “Power Plant” aspect is very broad, this includes not just “power plants,” but transmission lines, wind projects, and solar too. This is the opportunity to tell the Public Utilities Commission, and the state generally, what works and what doesn’t work about the procedures for siting electric utility infrastructure, ideally based on your experience.

One positive aspect of COVID is that hearings are now held in “hybrid” format, both in person and online via Webex:

It is best if using Webex (http://mn.gov/puc/about-us/calendar/ and click on “November 9, 2022” to get to “webcast”) to have video on your computer and to use the phone for audio, whether listening or making comments — that’s the best way to avoid feedback (using headphones helps too). The webcast link usually goes live 10 minutes or so before the hearing starts.

What to comment about? If you’ve had experience with a Public Utilities Commission siting docket, if there were issues that made it difficult to participate, things needing clarification, rules and/or procedures that need changing, this is a way to bring it to the Commission’s attention. Over the 27 years that I’ve been dealing with utility siting issues, oh, the horror stories I can and do tell. The system needs work, and siting infrastructure is a constantly evolving process, sometimes very good changes are made, and sometimes, no matter how much we petition (formally and informally), challenge, cajole, demand, they just won’t take responsibility, won’t do their jobs, and won’t even promulgate necessary rules.

A main point of holding this hearing, as above, is hearing from “the public.”

In addition to the public participation issues exposed in this report (about which not much, not enough, has been done), a few things that I’ll be bringing up, orally or in writing:

  • The Office of Legislative Auditor investigated the Public Utilities Commission‘s practices, and this report had recommendations, most of which have not been addressed:

OLA-Report_PUC Public Participation 2020

  • The Public Utilities Commission has not, in the decades I’ve been participating in the PPSA Annual Hearing, EVER brought up the PPSA for discussion and ACTION on issues raised.
  • Notice has not been provided to landowners on transmission line routes where “alternate” routes are proposed, and sometimes landowners have not discovered their land may be affected until the public hearing, very late in the process.
  • Power Plant Siting Act rule revisions, due after the 2005 Power Plant Siting Act legislative changes, have not been promulgated, despite a years long process, NINE YEARS, many committee meetings, and a lot of work by a lot of people. The Public Utilities Commission just dropped it… no action… sigh… Minn. R. ch 7849 & 7850 Rulemaking? DEAD!
  • Despite 2 rulemaking petitions to the Public Utilities Commission, there are no wind siting rules! The Commission refuses to promulgate wind siting rules, instead using Small Wind Standards:

There’s no end to the issues to raise.

In addition to the public hearing, comments may be submitted in writing:

Get to it! Register your experience with the Public Utilities Commission, and let them know what needs work.

Today, Comments were due (1:30 p.m., whew, just under the wire):

This is regarding the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s Application Filing Requirements. To look at the docket, go HERE – DOCKET SEARCH and search for 5-AFR-100.

It looks like other than DATCP (DATCP Comments) and ATC (American Transmission Company Comments on Proposed Application Filing Requirements for Transmission Line Projects), I’m the only one filing comments.

HOW CAN THIS BE?

Oh, but wait, look at this on the notice:

Here’s the full notice: