Lawsuit filed in Federal Court — here’s the Complaint:


Contact the DNC at 202-863-8000 or email info@democrats.org

Message: “Release the Bernie Sanders Campaign data and stop punishing the messenger. Give Sanders the voter file.  NOW!”


Tuesday night in Onalaska

December 17th, 2015


Tuesday night, the Onalaska Plan Commission took up the revised Comprehensive Plan.

Onalaska Comprehensive Plan Final Draft – 12-07-2015

Here’s where you can check out the new Comprehensive Plan (search for “transmission” and you’ll find not much):

City of Onalaska 2015 Comprehensive Plan Page

The current Zoning map (click for larger version):



Do you see any transmission lines on that map?  Any pipelines on that map?  The City doesn’t have a map of transmission lines, or pipelines, yet it’s a prominent feature of Onalaska, just drive up Hwy 35 or Hwy 53 and you’ll see what I mean.  The City Land Use & Development Director said in the meeting that they don’t have one, it would be very difficult to put together and that this info can be regarded as “proprietary.”  Not quite, it could be “CEII” information, but when you see it driving down the road, when you look at google and there it is, there’s no reason the City can’t draw a line on the map!

There’s a lot of transmission through Onalaska, lining both sides of the highways, in the middle of the city bottlenecked in-between the river and the bluffs (like Red Wing), and it runs right through the heart of the city.  Here’s ATC’s “map” of transmission:


Here’s WI-PSC’s map:


PSC Xmsn Map As you can see, it’s not rocket science to put a map together of transmission through Onalaska and its potential expansion areas.


Dairyland is wanting to tear down its old line on the west side of Highways 53 and 35 and virtually double the height of the towers and the capacity.  That’s not updating or maintenance, that’s “tear down the old line and build a new one” construction.

NOW is the time, because there’s not yet a Dairyland application, and because Xcel’s line on the east side of Highways 35 and 53 is also old, they’re going to want to “upgrade” soon too.  The routing of transmission through Onalaska in light of Wisconsin’s adoption of its Electrical Code which prohibits construction under a line, means that new construction should be carefully reviewed.  And right now, rebuilding, tearing down and new construction of something much bigger, shouldn’t be allowed over and next to homes and businesses.  What to do?  It’s a narrow area with a lot of transmission!  But this is what “planning” is all about.  Looking into the future and figuring out what they want the City to look like, how they can address the extreme impacts of transmission, and if they can minimize or mitigate these impacts.  Here’s an example of it running through people’s back yards, stars indicate pole placement in people’s back yards, and the white/red lines are access roads through people’s back yards!

10th AveN

On behalf of No CapX 2020, I sent the Planning Commission and City Council these comments:

NoCapX2020 Comment_OnalaskaCompPlan

At Tuesday’s meeting, there were few commenters, and they quickly wrestled with the issues raised, and sent it back to the Committee for consideration of transmission issues and impacts.


Background check?

December 17th, 2015


So I just got a call today from the DHS Background Studies Unit.  Time to get very public about this!


She had no information on what it was about, just that there was a “ticket” written up from a call received, the voice mail messages aren’t saved, so no way to go back and figure it out.  It was a voice mail message left with them at 10:58 a.m. on December 15, 2015.  It’s true I did make a call at 10:58 a.m. on December 15, 2015, to Alan!  No wrong numbers, no “right” numbers, it sure wasn’t a call I made.  But she said that in that call, I had either requested a background check, or someone had requested a background check on me.


It was a long time ago that an NSP employee filed a false complaint against me, and though the investigation, the FIRST interview, resulted in the conclusion that the complaint was unsubstantiated, it was open for three years.  It was also a long time ago when I tried to get a transmission map entered into the record of a major transmission proceeding and objections implied CEII violations.  oh, pluh-leeeeeze… I’ve been a licensed attorney for 20 years!?!  I even have a TWIC card, with birth certificate, passport, background and underwear check — isn’t that enough?


Something tells me someone’s playing games!


What’s going on?  Well, it’s more complicated than just a regular ol’ rate case, which is complicated enough.  There are two directly relevant dockets, the “Rate Design” docket 15-662, and the “Rate Cast” docket 15-826.  Check the video links below, it’s worth watching while waiting for the rice to boil…

Right after their previous rate case was significantly reduced by the Minnesota Public Service Commission, and right after their “e21 lite” agenda was rammed through the legislature, Xcel Energy has filed a request for a massive transmission driven rate increase.


As a material term of the merger, Xcel agreed that there would be no rate cases filed, no rate increases, for 5 years (in addition to this agreement: Merger Stipulation Dec 15 1999).  Since that time, there’s been almost annual rate cases filed, and here’s how those turned out, in strictly financial terms:


Xcel’s problem with how the electric market is working?


So what did they do?  First, they got all the “usual suspects” together to push for reworking of the rates, their “e21” agenda:

Just filed Petition for Intervention in Xcel’s e21 Docket

e21 Planning Meeting announced

e21 met resistance, and in the 2015 legislative session, they did pass some of it:

Minn. Stat. 216B.16, Subd. 9

On top of that, Xcel pushed at the legislature and established another rate class for the biggest of the big customers with newly lowered rates, lower than the already lower big customer rates:

Minn. Stat. 216B.1696

And yet they encourage these large consumers in classes with MUCH lower rates, to consume, consume, consume, at our expense!?!??!!

Back to the rate case.  Here’s what the AG’s Office has to say (and remember, the AG’s RUD is there to represent the residential and small business ratepayers):



Yes, “woefully inaccurate.  That’s how it went in the CapX 2020 Certificate of Need, predicated on a 2.49% annual increase “forcasted” by Xcel, yet accepted by the Administrative Law Judge, well, at a slightly lower but still “woefully inaccurate” projection, and now that ALJ is the chair of the Public Utilities Commission.  Will their forecasts be given sufficient skeptical scrutiny?

And another filing, as Xcel in its reply comment tried to sneak in an unsupported definition of “Test Year” that should not fly:


Here’s the PUC Staff Briefing Papers for last Thursday’s meeting:

Staff Briefing Papers_1_201512-116122-01

Staff Briefing PapersAddeudum_1_201512-116402-01

Staff Briefing Papers Addendum_2_ PI Decision Options_201512-116402-02

Staff Briefing Papers_Tuma Option_201512-116402-03

Here’s the webcast:  Video

Docket 15-662 — Rate Design — video at 00:15:00 – 02:20:00

Docket 15-826 — Rate Case — starts at 02:20:00

… and note the agenda:


In 15-662, Rate Design, Xcel’s e21 Initiative was present and visible there:


The discussion (see Video) regarding the stakeholders’ meetings and comments had too much of an emphasis on reaching consensus, too much because this limited number and perspective of parties in the discussion is not representative of the public and any consensus reached would not likely be in the public interest.

Now, on to the rate case part of the Commission meeting Video (starting at 02:20:00).

Note there wasn’t much in the way of initial Comments reflected in the Staff Briefing Papers!

Relevant DocumentsCommissioner Tuma is taking language directly from e21 and related testimony and incorporating into the Commission’s motion!!!


Red Wing has a Human Rights Commission, which was tasked by the City Council to take a look at the rescinded Resolution 6873:

9B_-_Attachment_Sept 28 2015

It was originally passed that the meeting prior with almost zero discussion, and the introduction by Police Chief Pohlman included a gratuitous and off point reference to #blacklivesmatter (which has zero to do with “attacks on police” and everything to do with violations of civil rights through police assault and murder and the resulting investigations and charges) (except for a procedural sidebar about Resolution v. Proclamation!):

Listen to the Council’s discussion of 9/28/2015 HERE — video at 1:05 – 1:11

It was pulled back into the City Council and was unanimously rescinded and sent to the Human Rights Commission (HRC):

Oct 12, 2015 Agenda Video

MP4 Video

… and now back to the Human Rights Commission.  They had nothing to comment on, except the rescinded Resolution 6873 which was handed out and on display overhead, but they also didn’t seem to hear comments on Resolution 6873.  ???  They heard from 5 of us, and then formed a Committee and are taking input through tomorrow.  HERE’S THEIR CONTACT INFO

I sent them this report, an initiative of the Maplewood Police Chief, this from their Human Rights Commission, something the Police Chief could have done unilaterally, but wanted input, something Red Wing’s Human Rights Commission could do:

Maplewood Police Prohibited from Asking Immigration Status

Here’s what I sent them today:

To the Human Rights Commission:

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

It’s unfortunate that Councilor Bayley and Chief Pohlman’s resolution, which was drafted prior to the second City Council meeting rescinding Resolution 6873, was not available for review and comment.  Despite a request, and response that it would be circulated, I can’t find it anywhere on the HRC page or in my inbox.  Any resolution under consideration should be part of the public agenda packet for review prior to the meeting.  Otherwise, it’s hard to offer on point comments.

Drafting of any resolution should be done in concert with the City Attorney, that’s what they’re there for.

I urge you to take a look at a recent initiative in the City of Maplewood, spearheaded by their Chief of Police:

Maplewood Police Prohibited from Asking Immigration StatusI’ve also attached the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing for your review.  Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

I think the priority at this point is to assure that Resolution 6873 not go further, and that some Resolution not be drafted and forwarded by the Human Rights Commission just to “do something.”  The purpose of that last resolution was to push for federal legislation regarding “Hate Crime” designation, joining the National Federation of Police’s lobbying campaign, and that’s not the job of the City of Red Wing. 

Increase of protective gear, training of our police force, and policy directives are examples of things under Red Wing’s jurisdiction that are the appropriate subject of a Resolution and could be considered.

I hope that the Human Rights Commission will consider whether there is a need for a Resolution.  As I understand it, there is not a history of attacks on police in Red Wing, and I believe Red Wing has worked hard toward equitable and responsible policing.  In continuing of this City’s trends, and as a part of your deliberation and consideration, please review of the City of Maplewood’s efforts, and the President’s Task Force Report, which could provide some insight and direction toward options for action.

Thank you for your consideration.

Carol A. Overland
Red Wing