DOH!  It’s worth it just for this sentence:

Markets do not automatically provide competitive and efficient outcomes.

Here it is, with the full all-in-one option or separate sections:

3Q PJM State of the Market Report Page

Here’s the full version: 2013 3Q PJM State of the Market Report

And the short version, oh, how I love it when this happens:

The market design should permit market prices to reflect underlying supply and demand fundamentals. Significant factors that result in capacity market prices failing to reflect fundamentals should be addressed, including better LDA definitions, the effectiveness of the transmission interconnection queueprocess, the 2.5 percent reduction in demand that suppresses market prices, the continued inclusion of inferior demand side products that also suppress market prices and the role of imports.

Got that: … the 2.5 percent reduction in demand that suppresses market prices…

– 2.5%

Gee, sounds like we ought to pay to build some more power plants and transmission lines…

Krie, my second dog from the Humane Society of Goodhue County says:

A-ROOOOOOOOO! Today is Give to the Max day, and the Humane Society of Goodhue County is participating. Join this effort and multiply your dollars! Help dogs like me find our forever homes, and pay for our stays while we’re waiting for you! Help finance spays and neuters, and vet attention for our incoming animals!

Today’s the day!




Today we had a very well attended public hearing on the Hollydale Transmission Project.  This is important because it’s a project proposed, end to end, to ram through a residential area, precisely where transmission doesn’t belong.  Worse, this is a Certificate of Need proceeding, and there is no need, only desire.  What do I mean by that?  In transmission, there’s this legally congnizable thing called “need” where the utility has to demonstrate a specific need for the project, say 500 MW of transfer capacity, or a 500 MW line to handle an outage on Line X, or to interconnect 500 MW of big honkin’ coal plant generation.  This project, on the other hand, has demonstrated need only for some measure of distribution expansion, and that’s it.  N-O-T-H-I-N-G about ransmission, they just say they “need” it, and folks, that ain’t good enough.  There are many ways to handle the claimed “need” for distribution, both demand side and supply side:

Need Overview_November 5 2013

Commerce wanted an extension of time to file testimony (why?), and wanted to have “discussions.”  OK, fine… the evidentiary hearing scheduled for November 12-15 was postponed, with scheduling to be worked out.  Then we met on Wednesday.  Oh my… Commerce had said they wanted discussions, and that they wanted to see if there were settlement options, alternatives.  Nope, none of that, there were not discussions, no settlement options discussed, in fact, Commerce didn’t discuss as much as cross examine us, looking for “differences of opinion.”  Never talked of settlement options, though we did show them that there are areas of agreement that they’d not expected.  It was also distressing the way that Commerce’s Santo Cruz (how long has he been there?  Not long!) was framing the discussion, there’s green showing, and I don’t mean in a conservationist sense:


Why was Cruz, someone with what, maybe a week with Commerce, chosen to lead the discussion?  He’d clearly not looked at how PUC dockets that go to a statutory interpretation proceeding work, or more accurately, don’t work!  When Commerce calls a meeting because they have issues with “interpretation” (so it was said), why instead of discussing “issues,” would he cross-examine us instead?  The point?

Why was Bill Grant there?  To execute on the Gov’s orders?  Which are???  He has no experience with transmission other than to cave to utility dreams and accept money for Wind on the Wires, coordinate lobbying efforts for transmission Remember Grant’s transmission Settlement Agreement PUC Docket -2-2152 and his cohort saying about the 2005 Chapter 97 – Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell, “it’s a deal, it’s a package deal, and it’s a good deal.”  I wasn’t there at the House caucus meeting but I got two separate reports… and anyone supporting something like that bill has no business being in the position he is in at Commerce, over both “need” and “routing” of transmission.  There’s no excuse, Dayton might as well directly appoint a key Xcel Energy lobbyist.

Oh well. Sen. Bonoff was at that meeting to “clarify” intent, which is pretty clear, the language is not complicated:


(a) A high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 100 kilovolts or more proposed to be located within a city in the metropolitan area as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, for which a route permit application was filed between June 2011 and August 2011, and a certificate of need application was filed between June
2012 and August 2012, to rebuild approximately eight miles of 69 kilovolt transmission with a high-voltage transmission line to meet local area distribution needs, must be approved in a certificate of need proceeding conducted under Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.243. The certificate of need may be approved only if the commission finds by clear and convincing evidence that there is no feasible and available distribution level alternative
to the transmission line. In making its findings the commission shall consider the factors provided in applicable law and rules including, without limitation, cost-effectiveness, energy conservation, and the protection or enhancement of environmental quality.

(b) Further proceedings regarding the routing of a high-voltage transmission line
described in this section shall be suspended until the Public Utilities Commission has
made a determination that the transmission line is needed.

EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment and
applies to route permits and certificate of need applications pending on or after that date.
Presented to the governor May 9, 2013
Signed by the governor May 13, 2013, 2:57 p.m.

At Thursday’s public hearing, both Sen. Bonoff and Rep. Anderson, the Plymouth area legislators, made it very clear the intent of the law…

And just before the hearing, while in transit, Commerce sent the following missive, in pertinent part:

The Department at this point has decided that it will not seek certification of remaining statutory questions, but recommends that a trial date and accompanying testimony schedule be established. Setting a January trial date, as proposed this morning by Ms. Maccabee, makes sense although the Department would request that the date be moved to the week of January 20th or the week of January 27th, in that the CenterPoint general rate case will take place on January 14-17, 2014. In this manner, the uncertainty that remains will be fleshed out in the record, to provide more information for decision-makers to determine how best to address the issues in this proceeding.


The evidentiary hearing on Hollydale is postponed, and now has been rescheduled for the week of January 6, 2014. Here we go!


Another Summer!!!

November 3rd, 2013

She’s at Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue… SUMMER!



Summer Care

Fill out an Adoption Application

Sponsor: Click here to sponsor

Sex: Female
Breed: GSD
Age: 8 years
Color: Black & Tan
Current Size: 78 lbs.
Potential/Ideal Size: 70 lbs.
House Broken: Yes
Obedience Trained: Some
Living With: Foster
History: Sureender

Good With Kids: Yes
Good with Cats: Yes
Other Dogs OK: Yes

sponsorshipSponsored By: Thomas Moore – Oxford, PA (11/20/13)
sponsorship Sponsored By: Amy Bourasseau – Ellicott City, MD (11/30/13)


Camera Click here for more pictures

DESCRIPTION: Sadly Summer’s former family decided they no longer had time for her.  This is truly sad as Summer gave them many years of happiness, love and devotion, but now that she is a senior they dump her.  Pets are not disposable and should not be treated as such, they should be treated as family members and provided for, for their life time. Summer is a sweet girl, that still has a lot of life in her and tons of love to give to the right family.  If you are looking for a girl that is over the puppy antics, enjoys going for leisurely walks and just being by your side, please ask to meet Summer.



Years ago, five years ago now, Rep. Bill Hilty, chair of the House Energy Committee, and practitioner of the “Hilty Jilty” when he didn’t want me to testify, started out the legislative session not with testimony of agency heads about their view of what was needed, but with a presentation, a several meetings long LONG presentation, that things were different, and we needed to be clear about the distinction between “growth” and “prosperity.” Hilty also promoted a series of meetings across the state about “Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty.”  It was a great concept, really looking at what we mean with all this talk of “expansion.”  This was back in 2008… during the crash.  He was on top of this, but it never went further than those meetings.

Yeah, that’s a good idea to be addressing these issues… whatever happened?  How were we distracted?

The concept isn’t as dead as the discussion, and today, a Commentary in the STrib:

Head in sand, you can’t tell that the air is foul

… with a focus of “Grow-or-die is the only way forward.”  They’re trying to prop up the notion that up, up, up is where we have to go.  It’s so contrary to obvious experience.  Have we learned nothing?

I’ve been reading this book that looks at the origin of that “grow or die” concept, how growth became accepted as necessary, with little concern or awareness of the impacts of that growth.  Here I thought back in 2008 that Rep. Hilty was going to bring some sanity to the legislature and shift the focus to “prosperity” and not “growth,” recognizing the difference, but nooooooooo… it didn’t take hold.  Now here we are, the crash wasn’t a little temporary blip, it’s the “new normal,” and we’re spinning our wheels.  Thus this little treasure found in someone’s free pile at a garage sale is just what the doctor ordered!

The Great Delusion:  A Mad Inventor, Death in the Tropics, and the Utopian Origins of Economic Growth, by Steven Stoll.


It’s a cute little book, and takes a bit too long going in circles telling the story, but it’s a good read, a reassuring read, tracing the notion of “economic growth” as a necessity, and the belief that the world is ours to take and strip of its resources forever, all the way back to Hegel and focusing on the utopian John Adolphus Etzler, whose “fantasy has become our reality and that we continue to live by some of the same economic assumptions that he embraced,” … “that the transfer of matter from the earth’s environments into the economy is not bounded by any limitation of those environments and that energy for powering our cars and iPods will always exist,” conflating growth with progress, doing what Hilty attempted back in 2008, to get us off the “growth” kick into something more sustainable.


The obsolete world view, per Stoll:

From that time forward, economic growth became conflated with American influence abroad and the capacity of politicians to maintain affluence at home…

The result was an oddly plausible utopia: cheap energy and a land regime that traced indelible patterns across the continent by removing American Indians and eradicating wildlife, leading to a soaring human population that would soon live by consuming manufactured products, all financed by joint-stock companies and protected by a government that encouraged growth.

… (and citing and quoting Thomas Ewbank):

“Who can inform us where the terminus is to be?” he asked.  “No one; for there is nothing in ourselves, nor in the earth’s resources, to point out there the last step is to land us … It is a rational belief that there are no limits to [man’s] advancement, as there appear to be one to the agents of it nor to his power over them.”  Coal got him even more excited: “A first element of progress for all time, it is preposterous to suppose the supplies of coal can ever be exhausted or even become scarce.”  Preposterous, he said, because it formed continually in “the depths of our oceans,” faster than people can burn it. … “The proposition is, that unlimited amounts of force are to be drawn out of inert matter.”

Oh my… Yup, that pretty much sums up this mess we’re in.  We cannot go on…  What are we going to do about it?  In a very concrete example, I’m thinking about Xcel Energy’s forecasts on which the CapX 2020 transmission buildout is based, 2.49% annually, and it’s nothing close, far enough off that those forecasters should be fired, at best.  The 2013 demand for Xcel Energy is now forecast at about -1.2%.  That’s a 3.62% decrease from the earlier forecast.  Jobs, jobs, jobs, grow, grow, grow, we cannot keep doing this forever, we cannot keep up this “Great Delusion,” and folks, worse, we’re clearly NOT doing it.

Let’s start focusing on prosperity.  Because if we can’t get a handle on that, and refocus our efforts, we’re going to keep headed south.  We’ve had how many years of a rude awakening?