March 28th, 2016
Here’s their press release:
And here is the full “Record of Decision” of DOE:
There’s a lot to read here, and I’m just starting. The primary question I have is what exactly it means that the DOE will “participate” and what that decision confers on the project proponents. Much of that is in the “Participation Agreement” of which there were drafts, this is the “Executed Version” that has conditions that CLEP must meet. Section 1222 is a financing provision, and having worked on a couple of projects that are USDA RUS funded, how do they get from financial wheeler-dealering to the idea that DOE participation could circumvent state jurisdiction and powers?
The entire Arkansas delegation has come out strongly against it, slamming the DOE decision. Now how about they introduce a bill to repeal Section 1222? That ought to take care of it!
March 24th, 2016
We’ve got major problems regarding wind generation: Wind advocates got their legislation through a decade ago (216F ) to allow wind siting with exemption from environmental review, with the false presumption that there are no impacts. Wind project promoters have often presented misleading and false information regarding their company, financing, projects, and impacts, and the industry will do ANYTHING to get wind projects sited. It does not help that one of the primary lobbyists responsible for passage of Minn. Stat. 216F is Bill Grant, now Deputy Commissioner at Commerce in charge of all things “energy,” including siting of wind projects under 216F:
There needs to be legal and administrative recognition and definition of the impacts of wind turbines. If Minnesota wants to increase wind generation, there must be respectful siting of wind. Although solar is ramping up, wind generation is not going to disappear, so project proponents and regulators had best pay attention and address public interest, safety, and protection considerations. It is the Public Utilities Commission’s job to regulate. Get to work! Do your job!
HF 3480 has been introduced to address long problematic wind noise issues, to mandate a rulemaking at MPCA to establish wind noise standards, and to mandate revision of wind setbacks in light of the new MPCA noise standards.
Here’s HF3480.0. Check it out!
Here are my comments on it, very quick review:
Section 1 of the bill is too subjective, with no standards (the basic problem with 216F!) for amendment of an existing project permit. The Commission needs the MPCA noise rules as a basis for a decision.
The one thing that just MUST be changed is the reference at 2.19 to “good cause.” This notion of “good cause” was a big problem in the Goodhue Wind docket, where a hearing was held on whether there was “good cause,” and, well, it was a mess because it’s so arbitrary.
Also, legislatively mandated rulemaking hasn’t worked well. Take a look at the mess with the mandated silica sand mining rulemaking!
Winding up? It’s still languishing…
We need to learn from that mess…
Anyway, HF 3480 has been referred to the House Environment and Natural Resources committee. It’s time to address wind noise problems and require environmental review for wind projects. Contact committee members with your thoughts about this bill.
March 23rd, 2016
AP Photo – Seth Periman
There’s a good editorial in the STrib today about Donald Drumpf’s abject incompetence and nailing journalists for not reporting it, not holding him accountable, not exposing it, and the bottom line:
But the media in general haven’t really made enough of it. Journalists are quick to accuse him of bullying and bigotry (and rightly so), but he’s rarely called grossly incompetent for his basic factual understanding of the world, or even called out on his inability to speak coherently.
Here’s the full OpEd:
This headline puts it well, and “incoherent gibberish” is exactly the sort of thing we often heard from Sarah Palin. It is just bunches of words, often code words a la Wallace’s hate speech, puked out and strung together, and it does not make any sense. Read it. Worse, read it out loud!
What does it mean when there’s such strong support for someone who cannot even speak sufficiently well to communicate a coherent thought? What does this say about his thought process if this is what comes out? And what does it say about media, where reporters do not raise their eyebrows, screw up their snouts, and say, “WHAT?” “What did you say?” “What do you mean?” “What you said makes no sense, what are you trying to say?” “What on earth are you talking about?”
Here’s the transcript of his meeting with the Washington Post editorial board, something that I want to preserve in case they disappear it, it’s that _________ (scary? mind boggling? bizarre? inexplicable?).
I’m confident that he will not be elected President, one way or another, but that he is regarded as a contender, and that he is commanding so much of our country’s collective time, OH MY DOG!
March 19th, 2016
Today, Alan was scratching Little Sadie’s neck, and found a lump. We corralled her, dumped her over, and did an inspection, and it was a slightly engorged tick. Got all of it out rather easily.
But isn’t this a bit early? YES!! Another climate change impact. Turns out the tick season here usually starts in May. Not long ago, it was June 13:
All of you with dogs, time to start fighting those ticks, starting with a head to tail inspection, right NOW!