NO NEW COAL PLANTS at the MREA Energy Fair!

Here’s the booth, complete with requisite gas mask.  This is just after a brief storm as the Fair was closing last night.  Hot day from the start,  I must confess that mid-day we took a “time out” and splashed around in the motel pool.  What decadence…mrea-helencaldicott.JPG
Helen Caldicott was Friday’s speaker, and as Alan said, “She was her usual self… saying what she thinks.”  She was plugging her book, Nuclear Power is Not the Answer.  She also announced a new report called “Roadmap for a Carbon Free and Nuclear Free Future” that’s supposed to be on her site,  I wanted to know what she was proposing, and nope, it’s not at, and I’ve asked where it is.  grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  So I don’t have any review to offer on that… grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

OH-OH… It’s raining and the roof of the display tent is bound to have collapsed, it was wrecked in a rain a while back and pieces are missing, and I don’t even want to know…

CapX 2020 in the Beagle

June 14th, 2007


It’s about time, some serious attention paid to this huge group of 345kV transmission lines criss-crossing the state.   Red Wing and Prairie Island are the most affected of all Minnesota communities, because we have three lines in the CapX plan, one coming in from the southwest, one going south into Wisconsin, and another coming down from the Chisago substation.  IS ANYONELISTENING????

Power line plan may be live wire

Mike Longaecker
The Republican Eagle – 06/14/2007

Xcel Energy officials are gearing up to make a case that Minnesota’s electricity needs require a massive expansion of transmission lines.

Depending on the outcome, the 150-mile-long project could mean new power lines being draped over Red Wing.

The project would extend new high-voltage transmission lines from the Twin Cities to Rochester.

Xcel officials anticipate the line would head south through Hampton on its way to Rochester, though they won’t rule out a second option that would run lines east to the Prairie Island nuclear plant.

Utility officials will present their case — possibly by July — to the state’s Public Utilities Commission.

Notices to be sent

Before that hearing begins, Red Wing residents will be among the approximately 17,000 area landowners who receive notice of the project, an Xcel official said.

“We’re at the beginning of what will be a long and expensive and very open public process,” said Laura McCarten, co-executive director for what’s called the CapX 2020 initiative.

Preliminary cost estimates for the CapX 2020 project are at about $1.3 billion, she said. Xcel predicts that would mean about $1.50 more a month for the average customer.

McCarten said Department of Commerce figures show electricity use in Minnesota has doubled since 1980 but transmission infrastructure hasn’t kept pace.

Is it needed?

Opponents of the project reject Xcel’s claim that the state’s electricity needs will soon outstrip the ability to deliver them. The PUC will be tasked with sorting that out, but one Red Wing resident has her doubts that the need even exists.

Carol Overland, an advocacy attorney on utility, regulatory and land-use issues, said Xcel overestimates the need, citing a North American Electric Reliability Council study showing demand in the immediate area growing by .6 percent.

She suspects the project — to be linked with other transmission lines — is instead using Minnesota land as a conduit to provide more power to the East Coast.

“Is that something that should be built on the backs of Minnesota ratepayers and landowners?” Overland said.

She also noted that a Minnesota Supreme Court decision limits transmission projects to existing corridors. That would likely mean the project following the alternate route to Prairie Island, she said.

Also watching the CapX 2020 project closely is the Prairie Island Indian Community. Attorneys for the tribe filed a letter with the PUC, stating that the project could have “a significant potential impact, whether direct or indirect.”

In the March 2007 letter, tribal officials said they would reserve judgment on the project, but pledged to be heavily involved in a process McCarten said could take more than a year.

Statewide transmission efforts received a major boost from the Legislature during the 2005 session.

Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, said he sees a need for the new power lines, especially considering the new wind generation sources that were mandated through a renewable energy standard signed into law this year.

“If we’re going to be a leader in this state in renewable energy,” Murphy, an Xcel employee said, “you’ve got to move it from where you generate to where you need it.” 

[FAIR USE, stolen from the Hartford Courant. Photo caption: IN FRONT of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority trash-to-energy plant in Hartford on Monday, Paul Nonnenmacher, CRRA’s director of public affairs, listens as Peter W. Egan, environmental affairs and development director, answers a question by protester Alan Muller, center. (RICHARD MESSINA)]

This Sunday through Wednesday, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) is having a conference in Hartford, and as part of the festivities, well, see above! Apparently the toadies/stooges from the Connecticut Resources Recovery Agency were not happy, “two incredibly tight-assed guys who were vibrating with anxiety.” That is apprent in this photo — they would have been better off staying inside instead of coming outside to play. They were not in the mood to deal with any PDO (Public Display of Opposition).  And yes, obviously someone else wrote that sign…

Look who’s ranting in today’s Hartford Courant:

Groups Vow To Fight Incinerator Expansion

June 12, 2007

By JOEL LANG, Courant Staff Writer

About 30 protesters gathered outside the gates of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Agency’s trash-to-energy plant in Hartford’s South Meadows Monday evening to warn that they’re ready to fight any attempt to increase the plant’s capacity.

Dr. Mark Mitchell, president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice and a longtime CRRA adversary, said the protesters were concerned the CRRA might close a smaller regional incinerator in Wallingford and bring even more trash to the Hartford plant, already the fifth-largest in the country.

Peter Egan, CRRA director of environmental affairs and development, confirmed an engineering feasibility study had been done about whether boilers could be added to the plant, but insisted it is hypothetical.

No decision has been made about what will be done with the 150,000 or so tons of trash now burned annually in Wallingford, he said. And any proposal to expand the Hartford incinerator, which receives about 2,850 tons a day from 70 towns, would be discussed with the city and Mitchell’s group.

Mitchell’s group had billed the demonstration as a “non-protest protest” against CRRA’s “non-proposal” plan to expand the Hartford incinerator.

“They’re not proposing and we’re not protesting,” said June O’Neil, chairwoman of Mitchell’s board. “But if they do go ahead, this is what our protest would look like. This is like a dress rehearsal,” she said.

It began almost ritualistically with Mitchell leading chants of “One, two, three, four – We don’t want your trash no more” and “Zero waste is possible, incineration is criminal.”

The Rev. Dr. Alvan N. Johnson, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Bloomfield, read a verse from the Book of Ezekiel, about shepherds who keep the best pastures for themselves and still trample the pastures of others, that he said was a biblical example of environmental injustice.

Like others, Johnson cited the high asthma rate among Hartford children, which has been linked to higher levels of air pollution. “Lungs are supposed to expand, not trash plants,” he said.

Also participating in the protest were out-of-state members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. Its U.S. coordinator, David Ciplet, said the group would make Hartford a test case if the CRRA tried to expand the incinerator.

After the chants and speeches, some demonstrators angrily challenged Egan and CRRA public affairs director Paul Nonnenmacher at the plant’s gate to defend the trash-to-energy plant’s compliance with pollution regulations.

They said the plant was well within standards set by the state Department of Environmental Protection and challenged their questioners to show scientific evidence the plant contributed to Hartford’s asthma rate.

Hey, folks, it’s time for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s Energy Fair.  NO NEW COAL PLANTS will be there!  There’s something for everyone, hundreds of workshops, exhibitors, and check out:


Helen Caldicott at 1 p.m. on Friday. Thanks to Terry Kissner and Nancy Casper, I had the pleasure of joining her for a white tablecloth lunch at Carleton prior to Convo. That was, oh, probably a decade ago now, back when NSP was wanting to put nuclear waste in Florence Township. She’s still at it — well worth the trip to Custer.

NO NEW COAL PLANTS will have a booth, X-92 over by the workshop tents, and we’ve got participation from all over. The point? Simple — an unequivacated NO to each and every new coal plant proposed. No New Coal Plants is under Mike Ewall’s Energy Justice umbrella.



I’m representing and Citizens Against the Mesaba Project in their opposition to Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project in MN; also Alan Muller, Green Delaware, which promoted the wind option and opposed the NRG IGCC plant that Delaware’s PSC rejected last month; and contributing are John Blair and Valley Watch, Intervenor against the Duke IGCC plant; Mary Jo Stueve, Clean Water Action, and individual Intervenor in South Dakota Big Stone II (affectionately known as BSII); Nancy LaPlaca of Denver put together the IGCC Fact Sheet now ready for its debut! And thanks to Matt Leonard, Rainforest Action Network, for “Moving Closer to a Moratorium on Coal. I’m still waiting for submissions from Florida (get to it Bob!), Ohio (Elisa, this means you!), Colorado (Nancy, you’re not done yet!).

The Fair is open:

Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s in Custer, Wisconsin, smack dab in the middle of Wisconsin.



Here’s me years ago totally soaked and cold and crabby, seriously needing really warm coffee… there was 9 inches of rain in two days that weekend, gale force winds, and oh did it suck… it sucked so bad it was hysterically hilarious, crews of people pushing cars out of the “parking lot” that was knee deep in mud, dump truck after dump truck of gravel trying to make it workable… what to do but laugh… and no way can it rain that much again…

Weather forecast here!



Last night was a LONG night with the Waseca County Planning Commission. But the good news is that the Conditional Use Permit application for a tank driving course and shooting range for guns ranging to machine guns was denied UNANIMOUSLY! I’ll post the documents here soon.

Staff Report for June 7, 2007 Meeting

GRRRRRRRR, there’s not a lot on the county site and I’m just not in the mood for uploading, let me sleep on it…