I was a big Posner fan in law school, mostly because he was so much fun to pick on, I so hate the “Chicago school.”  But here’s another Posner, doing good!  It’s a hilarious opinion, all the better because it so clearly tells FERC and PJM what to do with their rate shifting cost apportionment.  GO POSNER!


Here’s the decision:

Illinois Commerce Commission, et al. v. FERC


Two issues in this case:

1) PJM/FERC pricing based on marginal cost v. pricing including sunk costs.  That one went for PJM/FERC, and American Electric and others lost in just a few paragraphs.

2) Where the action is — Ohio and Illinois Commissions objected to the 500+kV cost allocation on a pro rata basis, that “their rats should be raised by a uniform amount sufficient to defray the facilities’ costs.”

What’s particularly interesting to me is that this is all about “Project Mountaineer,” which PJM doesn’t even want to acknowledge exists!  the Susquehanna-Roseland line that I’m working against is the NE part of line 1, and the MAPP line through now “just” a part of Delaware is the NE part of the southern line, line 4.  Here’s the magnitude of Project Mountaineer – the Susquehanna-Roseland line is QUAD 500kV plus double circuiting the existing 230kV line, that’s one big project:


FYI, in the Cudahy dissent, he did some digging, and there is a Project Mountaineer tootnote quoting PJM stating that Project Mountaineer “would bring about substantial congestion relief and reliability improvements increasing Midwest-to-east transfers by 5,000 MW.”  See Ventyx, Major Transmission Constraints in PJM (2007).

A quick sidebar… FYI, from Delaware Electric Cooperative 2009 Energy Plan – “CONFIDENTIAL”, arguing for the MAPP transmission project…


… and they report that transmission congestion is down 75% to 275 hours ANNUALLY!  Really… so for that 275 hours we should build the $1.2 MAPP project?  HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE?


OK, back to Posners 7th Circuit decision.  It was PJM’s idea, approved by FERC, to hit up all the utilities, and Illinois, a BIG example of the problem, would have had to pay out some $480 million while not receiving one dime of benefit.  PJM used the theory that, well, PJM used to do it this way all the time before in massive infrastructure buildouts, but as Posner reminded them, that was then and this is now, PJM is a lot different now, Illinois wasn’t even part of the picture.

Posner was pissed off that there was no data at all to support their desired allocation, no data, no specifics about difficulties in assessing benefits, no lawsuits about inequities, no particulars, “[n]ot even the roughest estimate of likely benefits to the objecting utilities… oh yes, he let them have it… for page after page… and notes that FERC “brief devotes only five pages to the 500kV pricing issue.”  FERC seems to presume a similar brainwashing in the courts that they and utilities presume of Commissions and legislatures, one that I see to often, that frantic claim of URGENT need, ‘WE’RE GOING TO FREEZE IN THE DARK IN AN INCUBATOR WITHOUT A JOB” theory, presented despite documented long term decrease in demand across the country.  Once more with feeling, HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE?

Oh, these guys irritate me.  Anyway, check out this decision and consider the impact on all the 500kV and above projects applied for or waiting in the wings.

It’s time for another Horse’s Ass Award!

Horse's Ass Award

Last night was the Delaware Electric Cooperative Annual meeting.  It was well attended to say the least.  last year, according to their Annual Report, there were 900 some people who came, this  year, I’d have to guess it was a lot more!


We got there around 4:30 or so, with flyers to hand out … drat, we forgot the “Green Delaware” banner at home.  The issue of the day is the new coal plant, the BIG new coal plant, that Delaware Electric Cooperative has proposed it join in with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative to build.  EEEEEEEUW, bad idea!  Anyway, we spent some time at the door deciding what to do, Alan went in and said hello to Bill Andrew, President and CEO.


Alan made sure to give him a flyer.  After a bit of conversation about the coal plant, Andrew got huffy when Alan reminded him of the air emissions details from that coal plant’s permit application.  Alan’s good at raising those sort of details that project promoters would rather not acknowledge.  Specifics, from the Green Delaware Alert:

Emissions of climate-changing carbon dioxide would be 14.6 million tons per year.  Emissions of health damaging air pollutants are estimated in the permit applications to be about 42 million pounds per year = 114,000 pounds per day = 4700 pounds per hour.  Most of these would be belched from 615 foot smokestacks, enabling them to travel long distances.  The pollutants include 20 million pounds annually of carbon monoxide, 7.4 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, 5.4 million pounds of particulate matter–dust, 566,000 pounds of sulfuric acid, 920 pounds of  lead, 118 pounds of mercury, among others. All these are regulated because they are proven to cause illness, death, reduced intelligence in children, birth defects, and other major problems.

Anyway, we were at the door, pictured below, handing out flyers.  I would always identify myself, saying, “HI!  I’m Carol with Green Delaware, and here’s some information about the coal plant that the coop wants to build” or some such.  The green papered handout that I put together had a Green Delaware name and logo and contact info, the white handout was from Wise Energy for Virginia, based on David Schlissel’s testimony.

Green Delaware – Alert 666

Synapse Report – Fact Sheet – Hampton Road/Cypress Creek


Here’s the door we were at, handing out flyers, and we ran out all too soon.  A short guy was playing doorman, he had come out after Alan had gone in to see Bill Andrew and was in the DEC red shirt, with a name tag (hereinafter “Short Guy in Red”).  Alan had asked him earlier if he wanted a copy of the handouts and he said he did not.    After we’d been there a while, they’d sent out fully uniformed state police, one standing right at the center in front of the door at the top of the steps, there was a guy in a dark suit with a gold shield on his jacket talking with the cops and a “secret service” looking security guy with the earplug headset, moving around fast and looking very “important.”  I needed to find the bathroom, and as I went towards the door, Short Guy in Red shut it in my face, and I said I was looking for the bathroom and he opened it, not very willingly.  I asked where the bathroom was and then went directly there, getting one photo of the group,  above, and then met Alan in the main hallway.  As I had walked over to the middle of the hall, back towards the entrance, I heard a cop say, “Oh, there she is” right behind me as I passed.  Hmmmmmmm… We went toward the front, Alan went to the check in to ask for one of the handout bags with lit in it, and Short Guy in Red jumped in and reached out and slapped his hand on the stuff and said that Alan couldn’t have it.  We went round a little bit, and Alan apologized to the woman at the booth, saying that he hadn’t intended to put her in a difficult spot.  The Short Guy in Red told us to leave, that this was for members only, I noted we were not being disruptive, we weren’t infiltrating the hall and weren’t even in line for free dinner, so what was so objectionable, and what was so threatening about our being there, and we had a few more back and forths, I told him I was thinking about whether he had the right to eject us.  He said he didn’t want pictures taken (damn, I should have gotten a photo of him refusing to let Alan have the info).  I gave him my card, said he could read about it tomorrow (today) and pointed out my site.   And we left.

Drum roll please…

It’s time for another Horse’s Ass Award!

Horse's Ass Award

This one goes to:


Mr. Mark A. Nielson
V.P. Staff Services
Delaware Electric Cooperative
P.O. Box 600
Greenwood, DE 19950


If Delaware Electric Coop is so worried, it seems to me that they need MORE scrutiny.

If Delaware Electric Cooperative doesn’t want its members to know about the coal plant it’s planning to build, they need MORE scrutiny.


(gotta get some mileage out of it, what with the same theme today on NoCapX and Legalectric)

PEPCO’s 2nd Quarter 2009 8-K popped into the inbox today (if you register at the SEC site, they’ll show up the minute they’re filed), and here’s a couple choice graphics:


(click on graph to get a larger one)

This is PJM, no PEPCO specific info anywhere.  Note the scale here, it starts at 29,000, and note that the downward trend for PJM starts the same time as Xcel’s — in 2007.  This is not a little blip of last fall’s economic implosion, it’s a longer-term symptom of our economic disaster that is capitalism.

And here’s the PEPCO dollar specifics:


Is that hilarious or what…


That’s Ken, hanging out at Lock & Dam #3, and if you look way in the background, over her butt, there’s the Prairie Island plant… this was back when her snout was still black




Comments on the adequacy of the Final EIS will be accepted until Friday, August, 21, 2009.  Comments should be sent by e-mail or U.S. mail to:

Bill Storm, Project Manager
Minnesota Dept. of Commerce
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101-2198



This just in from Kristen Eide-Tollefson, a succinct & concise update on where this docket is at and a “TO DO” list to weigh in on this mess.  I’ve not kept up, though I was invited in to the first Prehearing Conference, I was so frustrated by the two Citizen Advisory Task Force meetings, plus CapX 2020 ramped up, so I crossed that right off my list.  But living with this nuclear reactor (and I get one in Port Penn too, Salem & Hope Creek are right across the river), well, it just won’t go away, SOOOOOOO, here’s what’s up from Kristen:


Here is a link to the official notice for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Prairie Island.

If you did not get a hardcopy you can:

1. view it on line at the link – FEIS HERE

2. view it at the libraries identified in the link
3. call or e-mail Bill Storm to have a copy sent or picked up. 651-296-9535,

Good news!

We have an unexpected opportunity to comment on the Final EIS. This was not expected.  But public hearings revealed that the communities felt that the EIS did not adequately reflect the impacts, issues, and concerns that they hoped would be developed in the EIS.  So there will be a comment period!

Comments are due August 21st. They should be sent to

More good news!
1. OES staff has put all non-edit changes in BOLD in the document. This radically reduces the time needed to ‘scan’ for changes that you wish to comment on.

2. A new section has been added — section 3 — which specifically addresses PUBLIC COMMENTS that were received on the draft EIS and in public hearings. This is a major requirement of the final EIS, that it adequately respond to and address public comments.

Comments are due August 21st. You may send any kind of comment about the “adequacy of the EIS”.

Below find 4 key purposes of Environmental Review with some questions that might help you frame or target your comments.

1. Identifying, evaluating potential impacts: Will the EIS be adequate — as a resource and analysis — for decision makers to make these major decisions about:

a. Part 1 – Certificate of need for UPRATE (running the plant with hotter fuel to increase capacity) ,

b. Part 2- Expanding dry cask storage (and extending operations, or relicensing – which is not possible without agreement from MN to store waste on site indefinately)

Does it provide sufficient information and analysis to allow decisionmakers to calculate and balance the cost and benefits of the proposed project, or project alternatives?

2. Response to public comments: Did the OES staff respond adequately to YOUR comments/ public comments/ community concerns — Review part 3 of the Final EIS.

3.  Social/Economic impacts:  Does the Final EIS adequately describe and evaluate social and economic issues and impacts to the communities?   Does it provide sufficient information and analysis to allow decisionmakers to calculate and balance the cost and benefits of the proposed project, or project alternatives?

4. Comparing alternatives: Does the Final EIS adequately describe, evaluate and compare:

a. The impacts of the proposed projects to both natural and socio-economic resources and ecosystems
b. Alternatives to the proposed project
c. (For the legally minded) Compatiblility with state policy and legal precedent

5. Mitigation: Part of an environmental impact statement is to consider what steps could be taken to “mitigate” the natural and socio-economic system impacts of a proposed project — and safeguard important resources. Does the EIS adequately consider  “mitigations”. Does it reflect public/community concerns and suggestions for safeguarding resources and reducing impacts identified in the task force, public hearing and comment processes.

Any Questions about process or content?

Bill Storm wrote Part 1 of the EIS on the uprate
Ray Kirsch is our Public Advisor for OES — He wrote the part of the EIS on dry cask storage. 651-296-7588
Mike Kaluzniak is the PUC staff public advisor. “Mike Kaluzniak” <>,
Deborah Pile  is the staff manager 651-297-2375 at OES
Bob Cupit is PUC staff manager  651-201-2255


Comments on the adequacy of the Final EIS will be accepted until Friday, August, 21, 2009. Comments should be sent by e-mail or U.S. mail to:

Bill Storm, Project Manager
Minnesota Dept. of Commerce
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101-2198

Oh happy day…

Here’s the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project appeal, hot off the “press” from a little birdie:

Excelsior Energy’s appeal of UC’s Mesaba Project decisions

I’d love to weigh in, but the freight’s a little steep for recreational pleadings…

Thanks, little birdie!