Xcel Energy has released its 2016 SEC 10-K, and here is the number I care most about, the peak demand, incorporated into the chart above:

“Peak Demand” is the number they use to attempt to justify “need” for all sorts of abhorrent and expensive infrastructure, particularly infrastructure of the transmission variety.  Here are the specifics in megawatts (MW):

As Xcel Energy’s Ben Fowkes says, this is the “new normal.”  From the Seeking Alpha transcript of the XEL Earnings Call, January 31, 2013. 

So I think the economies are in decent shape across all our jurisdictions. Doesn’t necessarily mean it translates to high sales growth. And that’s consistent with our forecast. I mean, we’re not anticipating that we’re going to see a tremendous rebound in sales, even as the economies start to improve. I mean, I think, that’s our new normal, frankly.

Hence, they’re looking for other ways to make money, which they found in transmission, specifically CapX 2020 transmission, which was justified with this chart from MN Dept. of Commerce’s Steve Rakow, in his bar napkin depiction of the ups and down of peak demand:

Compare this drunken-dream drawing with the actual peak demand above — doesn’t look at all similar, does it.  Nevertheless, we’ve been stuck with over $2 billion in transmission infrastructure build-out which we’re just starting to pay for, and just starting to see show up in rate cases.  People are just now starting to get a feel for the economic impact, as if the environmental and quality-of-life impact isn’t bad enough…

Meanwhile, after going through years and years over CapX 2020, followed by the MISO MVP 17 project portfolio, now under construction, MISO wants to spring another bunch of projects on us. Their “Transmission Overlay.”  Yeah, right…

Here’s the list, in a spreadsheet:

20170131 EPUG Preliminary Overlay Ideas List

This is the MN, WI, SD, ND and some IA wish list weeded out from that spreadsheet (click for a larger version):

They want to add all of this, nevermind that Xcel is whining in its e21_Initiative that only 55% of the grid is not utilized:

(N) Identify and develop opportunities to reduce customer costs by improving overall grid efficiency.  In Minnesota, the total electric system utilization is approximately 55 percent (average demand divided by peak demand), thus providing an opportunity to reduce system costs by better utilizing existing system assets (e.g., generation, wires, etc.). (e21_Initiative_Phase_I_Report, p. 11).

And they want to build more?  MORE?!?!

And they want to ram it through even though it’s not needed, just like CapX 2020 transmission?  As if Obama’s RRTT wasn’t enough, pushing CapX 2020 Hampton-La Crosse transmission line:

Obama “fast tracks” CapX Hampton-LaCrosse?!?!?!

… check out tRump’s Executive Order 13766:

Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects

GRRRRRRRRRRRR!  As if there’s not enough work to do these days… but you know, the work never ends for us “paid protesters.”  And a woman’s work is never done either.

Internment of Japanese Americans was all too real, and it’s a shameful part of American history that we all should know more about.  Yeah, I’ve been posting a lot about this, the intentional and orchestrated buildup of hate and racism leading to Executive Order 9066.  I knew about it before I went, but actually being there, it hit home in a profound way that isn’t captured by words, particularly when we’re seeing a similar intentional and orchestrated buildup of hate and racism today.

Manzanar National Historical Site

This is the original large hall build by prisoners.  It became the focal point of the camp, a gathering spot, even a theater and dance hall — attempts to have some semblance of “normal” life, though captive.

How to research family specifics?  Here’s a page from the National Park Service on how to research families held in internment camps across the US:

Manzanar-Researching National Archives

The arguments for internment were not rational, and evidence presented to Pres. Roosevelt in reports he requested to assess threat to US of Japanese Americans found uniformly that there was no threat.  Those reports of “no threat” were turned around with this statement below, turned around, much like today where the recent terroristic events were NOT from the 7 countries of tRump’s Muslim Ban:

Really… “The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.”  WHAT?!?!?!

On a large wall, from the high ceiling to the floor, there’s a long, long list of families interred, a graphic image of the broad impact, looking up to the top is dizzying:

And notebooks listing the families, information about them, and where they went when they left:

There’s a oral history project ongoing, and the National Park Service is collecting this history through interviews, sharing documents, family items, to convey the experience of internment and preserve it to help us learn about our country.  Here’s a booklet with information on participating in this project:

Manzanar-Oral History & ID Booklet

It took over 40 years for the U.S. to admit this grievous wrong, apologize and offer modest reparations.  An NPR report:

From Wrong To Right: A U.S. Apology For Japanese Internment

Now, rather than do this all over again, rather than be wrong, wrong, wrong, let’s just get it right from the start and rescind the Muslim ban (Executive Order 13769).

Contact each member of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to pass House Resolution 111!  What?!?!  Why?!?!?! Because this is really important!!!

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee takes up House Resolution 111, which requests from the Office of the Attorney General any and all documents related to tRump’s “financial practices” — the requests are specified in great detail, check it out:

House Resolution 111

Tell each member of the Judiciary Committee to vote YES on House Resolution 111.  Call the Republicans at top of list:

House Judiciary_ALL Phone Numbers – Making it easy!!

Their contact page may restrict it to constituents, but remember that when they’re on a committee, they’re representing US, not just their constituents.  Maybe it will take phone calls, well worth your effort.

The Resolution is a step to hold tRump accountable, to disclose information about any criminal or counterintelligence investiation, any investment by foreign governments in tRump, tRump’s interests in businesses, profits from foreign governments use of his hotels or business holdings, Foreign Emoluments Clause, and about conflicts of interest.

This has been called the first step towards impeachment.  I regard it as the first, and very necessary, step toward accountability.  Turn up the heat.  Call today, tonight, just do it!


Yes, it’s true, a Complaint has been filed with the D.C. Office on Disciplinary Council, Board on Professional Responsibility against tRump’s Kellyanne Conway:

Misconduct Complaint_Kellyanne Conway

It’s about time…

DAILY TO DO: Quick, send emails to withdraw/vote no on HF 1666 and SF 1310

The Minnesota legislature is trying to repeal the legislative mandate to the MPCA for rulemaking on silica sand particulate emissions!  Why is this a priority?  How is it in the public interest?  This effort to quash rulemaking is rather odd because the silica sand boom has gone bust, Bakken BOOM! has gone bust, the market has decided and there are few (no?) plans for new silica sand mines in Minnesota.  Now is the best time to enact protective legislation, while there’s no pressure for new mining permits.

The legislature passed the following rulemaking mandate in CHAPTER 14–S.F.No. 1086 way back in 2013 (keep in mind this is 2017, FOUR YEARS LATER and it is STILL not done!) with the exemption from Minnesota Statutes section 14.125 “no time constraint” added by moi:

    Sec. 105. RULES; SILICA SAND.
(a) The commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency shall adopt rules pertaining
to the control of particulate emissions from silica sand projects. The rulemaking is exempt from Minnesota Statutes, section 14.125 [no time deadline].
(b) The commissioner of natural resources shall adopt rules pertaining to the
reclamation of silica sand mines. The rulemaking is exempt from Minnesota Statutes, section 14.125 [no time constraint].
(c) By January 1, 2014, the Department of Health shall adopt an air quality
health-based value for silica sand.
(d) The Environmental Quality Board shall amend its rules for environmental
review, adopted under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 116D, for silica sand mining and processing to take into account the increased activity in the state and concerns over the size of specific operations. The Environmental Quality Board shall consider whether the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.991, should remain part of the environmental review requirements for silica sand and whether the requirements should be different for different geographic areas of the state. The rulemaking is exempt from Minnesota Statutes, section 14.125 [no time constraint].
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

There are identical bills afoot, HF 1666 and SF 1310 to eliminate the LEGISLATIVE MANDATE of rules regarding silica sand particulate emissions:

WHAT?  Who’s behind this?  Mining industry?  Given Sen. Tomassoni is one sponsor, perhaps, and given former Sen. Saxhaug’s nastiness about the enabling legislation, even more likely.  MPCA?  Given their foot dragging and resistance to citizen involvement, perhaps.  Back when this rulemaking was just getting going, the MPCA was against having a Citizens Advisory group is authorized by Minn. Stat. 14.10:


Subd. 2.Advisory committees.

Each agency may also appoint committees to comment, before publication of a notice of intent to adopt or a notice of hearing, on the subject matter of a possible rulemaking under active consideration within the agency.

And the MPCA’s objection:

MPCA staff’s report to the EQB stated inexplicably and incredibly that they were “confused,” claiming ignorance of how rulemaking works and the impact of comments at this stage – from their memo to the EQB:

i. Staff requests Board direction on a question that arose at the August 2nd public meetings.

Members of the public expressed interest in a citizen committee to participate in the rulemaking. It is not clear how a citizen committee would affect the rulemaking process laid out in Minn. Statutes Ch. 14. A multi-step public review and comment process is already required in that statute and we just completed the preliminary step. Rulemaking is essentially creating law: Minnesota Rules have the force and effect of law. Rulemaking is a lengthy process, averaging about two years.

So now we have this bill, headed to the House and Senate Environment Committees, contact info below.


Contact the House authors and ask that they withdraw HF 1666 (be sure to put bill number in subject line):

Contact the House Committee members and ask that they vote no on HF 1666 (be sure to put bill number in subject line):

Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Membership 2017 – 2018

rep.dan.fabian@house.mn, rep.josh.heintzeman@house.mn, rep.rick.hansen@house.mn, rep.jeff.backer@house.mn, rep.jamie.becker-finn@house.mn, rep.matt.bliss@house.mn, rep.karen.clark@house.mn, rep.tony.cornish@house.mn, rep.rob.ecklund@house.mn, rep.peter.fischer@house.mn, rep.steve.green@house.mn, rep.joe.hoppe@house.mn, rep.frank.hornstein@house.mn, rep.brian.johnson@house.mn, rep.clark.johnson@house.mn, rep.sandy.layman@house.mn, rep.dale.lueck@house.mn , rep.jason.metsa@house.mn, rep.jim.newberger@house.mn, rep.mike.sundin@house.mn, rep.chris.swedzinski@house.mn, rep.paul.torkelson@house.mn, rep.mark.uglem@house.mn , rep.jean.wagenius@house.mn


Contact Senate authors and ask that they withdraw SF 1310 (be sure to put bill number in subject line):


Contact Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and ask that they vote no on SF 1310 (be sure to put bill number in subject line):

sen.carrie.ruud@senate.mn; sen.bill.weber@senate.mn; sen.david.senjem@senate.mn

Link for forms for all those who won’t use Senate email HERE!

Take a few minutes, do some cut and pasting, and tell them HF 1666 & SF 1310 are not in the public interest.  We need MPCA rulemaking to be completed to protect the public from particulate emissions of silica sand mining, transport and transload.