At long last, Neighbors Against the Burner made a presentation to the “Rock-Tenn Advisory Group.” The “Rock-Tenn Advisory Group” is District Energy’s vehicle to gain public acceptance for a garbage burner at the Rock-Tenn facility in St. Paul, by 280 and Cretin-VanDalia, and I put it in “quotes” because it’s as much an “Advisory” Committee as the NSP one put together over a decade ago to “decide where to put nuclear waste” in Goodhue County — predetermined result — but like that “Advisory” committee, it may not work out just quite like the want! They’ve been trying to stifle public input, and that’s not working…

Here’s the Neighbors’ presentation:

Health Effects of Burners – Oct 21, 2007

Get your calendars out:

Dr. Paul Connett

November 14, 2007 @ 7:00 p.m.

Davis Lecture Hall, Lower Level

Macalester in St. Paul

From the Neighbors Against the Burner site:
Internationally-acknowledged authority on the health dangers of incineration, Dr. Paul Connett, will be appearing on the Macalester College campus on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 7:00 pm. This NAB public meeting will be an opportunity to learn more about the hazards of building an RDF (refuse-derived-fuel) incinerator to generate energy for the Rock-Tenn paper recycling plant at Hwy. 94 & Cretin. The meeting will be held in the Davis Lecture Hall, Macalester College Campus Center, Lower Level at 1600 Grand Ave. (SW corner of Grand & Snelling Avenues, St. Paul). Bring your friends and neighbors; this will be a forum you won’t want to miss!

IGCC crashing and burning

October 13th, 2007

It’s  such a beautiful fall day today, not a cloud in the sky, geese gathering ovrhead, the trees aren’t realy turning yet here in Delaware like they are in Minnesota.  And it’s a beautiful day for an IGCC wake — it’s been a rough time for coal gasification. Awwwwww… Plans for plants are going down in flames everywhere you look, financiers are saying what the DOE admitted long ago, “IGCC IS TOO RISKY FOR PRIVATE INVSTMENT.”

Mesaba’s DOE Notice of Intent

And the industry is getting it, lots of financial newsletters and blurbs in WSJ, etc., talking about the high risk of IGCC and that investers just aren’t. So here an update on that

TECO, Nuon cancellations underscore IGCC’s woes

Oh, happy day!!! Yet another stake in IGCC’s slimy heart… how many lives could it possibly have?

Here’s a story from Maine:

Lobstermen: ‘Say no to coal’


Local fishermen rally on the Sheepscot River to protest proposed 700-megawatt coal and biomass energy plant at the former Maine Yankee site in Wiscasset.

WISCASSET — Joe Robinson gazed across the Wiscasset harbor at the arc of about 30 lobster boats — a veritable parade of boats — and shook his head in awe.

“You know how hard it is to get two fishermen to agree on anything?” he shouted over the throbbing engine as the boat rocked on the increasing swells.

What the lobster boats from the North End Lobster Co-op on Westport Island did agree on, what got them to join Joe’s parade, was the Twin Rivers Energy Center proposed for the former Maine Yankee site down the Back River in Wiscasset. More specifically, the lobstermen are concerned with the possibility of a barge full of tons of coal coming daily up the Sheepscot River.

The proposed energy center would convert coal and biomass into relatively clean-burning gas, which would then be used to produce 700 megawatts of electricity and 9,000 barrels of cleaner diesel fuel per day. Lobstermen and other fishermen are concerned about the transport of coal up the local waterways and the effect of that traffic on their livelihood.

Their concern, and the concern of other opponents, is growing as the date for a Nov. 6 referendum draws closer. The referendum, if passed, would allow changes in the town’s zoning ordinances that limit the height of buildings. If the referendum passes, the permitting process for the energy center can proceed. If it passes, the local fishermen are worried.

“The wake on those barges, five feet or more and 10 feet on the rebound, that would ruin our traps, our docks, it would ruin us,” Robinson said.

Robinson’s idea was to create a show of solidarity among local lobstermen and their supporters. On the water were lobster boats from as far away as Southport. On land, gathered on the Wiscasset Harbor dock, were about 100 supporters with signs expressing their support (“Say No to Coal,” and “Support Our Lobstermen”).

As Robinson’s boat passed the group on land, a cacophonous roar arose from the supporters, punctuated with cries of “Say no to coal.”

And that was about it: a show of cooperation, a banding together over a common concern. Robinson headed back across the water to the North End Co-op, where a press conference was scheduled. The idea for the protest and rally and press conference came from the lobstermen, according to Steve Hichner of the Conservation Law Foundation, which had helped spread word of the event to the media.

“We got the call from the co-op, asking if we’d help publicize it and we did,” he said. “But the idea was theirs.”

At the dock, a small crowd of journalists gathered, along with two state representatives, Rep. Leila Percy, D-Phippsburg, and Rep. Bruce MacDonald, D-Boothbay.

“The coal gasification plant is a bad idea,” said MacDonald. “It’s the wrong technology. We need to figure out a way to use coal that won’t produce so much carbon dioxide, especially since Maine is committed to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide it produces.”

Dana Faulkingham, president of the co-op, said he and his colleagues are trying to save a river and “millions of dollars” industry.

“Having those barges come up here will ruin our livelihood,” he said. “We want to be able to fish these waters with our kids and grandkids. We’ve seen what those barges can do.”

Faulkingham and Stott Carleton, vice president of the co-op, said that years ago the former Mason Station coal-fired electric generating plant, whose brick edifice loomed across the water, received coal barges.

“They would give us a call a few days in advance so we could move our traps,” Carleton said. “But those barges arrived twice a year. With this plant we might have coal barges every day.”

In a statement released the same day, Scott Houldin, principal and project manager of the Twin River Energy Center, said the developers would continue to provide residents with information in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 referendum.

“I welcome the opportunity to meet with area fishermen to discuss the project and I’m confident we can work together throughout the permitting process to create appropriate and satisfactory safeguards,” Houldin said.

Proponents of the energy plant say when completed it will create 200 full-time jobs, generate more than $65 million to the local economy, and reduce local property taxes by 80 percent.


I just stumbled on to this as I was looking on the Courts site for the court rules:

State of Minnesota v. Larry Edwin Craig

This has the primary documents in the state’s file.  For inquiring minds…

Yes, the plot is thickening. filed a Complaint of Ex Parte contact over Excelsior Energy’s last minute email to hundreds of people imploring them to send emails to the PUC Commissioners. Ex Parte Complaint

Of particular concern was this letter from Deputy Commissioner Ed Garvey:

 Ed Garvey Promo Letter

And at the time, submitted this objection and tried to have it tossed out: Motion to Strike

The ALJ, Eric Lipman, started an investigation, and the PUC produced these documents:

Documents from PUC with ALJ’s 9-14 missive

Well, if you pay attention to the letter at the start of the above packet, you’ll see that Dr. Haar had said they were digging through files, and sure enough, there was more:

Documents unearthed 9-30-07

It seems Senator Tomassoni is “considering” an affidavit — HE HASN’T MADE A STATEMENT UNDER OATH ABOUT THIS.  Now let’s see, if Rep. Mike Beard frankly admits under oath that he was contacted by Julie Jorgensen herself, isn’t it likely that Tomassoni was too?  I sure want a statement under oath.

Soooooo, to get that, to push for that, I’ve sent in requests for subpoenas to get those statements from both Sen. Tomassoni and Deputy Commissioner Ed Garvey about ex parte contact and their missives.   Meanwhile, the ALJ decision on our ex parte Complaint is due today, or probably tomorrow given the “holiday.”  We’ll see how this goes… keep an eye out

So first there was this “Agreement” between BSII partners and the Minnesota Department of Commerce:

BS II Agreement – sans appendices

And then GRE and SMMPA pull out of the deal (smart move, eh?)

So now it’s on the PUC’s agenda for Thursday, October 11, and the PUC’s question is “[w]hat procedural actions should the Commission take at this time, given the apparent change in participation by two of the Applicants?” Hmmmm… “apparent” change, what more do they need to make that real? Anyway, here’s the Staff Briefing Papers on this:

Briefing Papers for Oct 11 PUC meeting

Though staff states that options 1 and 4 in the Briefing Papers are not what they’d recommend, here’s what I’d recommend: BE DONE WITH IT! Yes, Option 4:

4. Dismissing the application without prejudice, requiring the Applicants to file a new
application if they wish to proceed with a revised project.