It’s out, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s Order both rejecting Association of Freeborn County Landowners’ Petition for Environmental Assessment Worksheet and approving the Xcel Energy site permit amendment.

The Commission meeting amending Xcel Energy’s permit as requested was back on December 19, 2019, and the Commission’s deliberation and “decision” rejecting the AFCL Petition for an EAW was February 6, 2020:

VIEW WEBCAST HERE!

Per the EQB rules (Minn. R. 4410.1100, Subp. 6), the Commission was supposed to issue an Order and Record of Decision WAY BACK, but didn’t. We appealed their “decision.”

AFCL appeals PUC denial of EAW Petition

This new order (20203-161639-01_Order-Site Permit Amendment and Denial of AFCL Petition for EAW) has many statements, some pretty wild ones, but I don’t see what ought to be there.

It’s time to get out the magnifying glass for a careful read. AFCL, this means all of us!!!

Last month, both Invenergy and NextEra had issued Notice of Force Majure:

Solar Force Majure in WI – Coronavirus February 26th, 2020

Then NextEra cancelled its notice, and apparently plans to move forward with the Two Creeks project.

Here’s a recent industry blurb about the impacts, mentioning Badger Hollow solar and the rush to get projects in the ground before the tax credit and subsidies deadline, and trying to get perks in the COVID relief bill:

U.S. wind, solar industries plead for “tweaks” to coronavirus stimulus to keep projects alive

From the article:

Developer Invenergy LLC also issued a force majeure notice on its 300 megawatt (MW) Badger Hollow solar project in Wisconsin, according to a regulatory filing, citing the potential impact of factory shutdowns and travel restrictions on its suppliers and contractors. A spokeswoman for Invenergy declined to comment.

This is so disturbing to me, I wrote about it before I became speechless — in the Red Wing Republican Eagle:

Letter: Willful disregard and willful ignorance in Pierce County

I’m fuming. I just read with shock and disbelief that there’s a second case of COVID-19 in Pierce County. The cause of my shock and disbelief stems from the article which said that, “band and choir students were in New Orleans March 9-14, which also was spring break. The person attended the senior high school choir trip, according to the message.”

A school trip March 9-14? COVID was in the news in January and February. There were very public self-isolation and social distancing recommendations, including warnings not to travel, the first week of March. Yet the Ellsworth trip went forward the second week of March?

This display of willful ignorance and willful disregard for people’s health, perhaps their lives, is hard to accept. School administrators, trip organizers and the school board are responsible for the health and safety of those in their care. Parents are responsible for their children. The “children” are senior high students, some maybe “adults,” but in any case, old enough to be thinking for themselves. The responsibility for this ill-advised trip is a shared responsibility.

Thinking “it can’t happen here” or “it won’t happen to me”? There is no rational basis for such ideas, and science says otherwise, it can and will happen. Look around. It is happening, it is happening to people you ostensibly care about, and it is happening to the community around you.To go forward on a school trip when there’s a burgeoning pandemic with isolation, distancing, and no-travel recommendations, it is just so irresponsible. It goes beyond poor judgment – it is willful disregard and willful ignorance – selfish “me first” disregard and ignorance that puts people in harm’s way.

Get to work to fix this mess. What are you doing to help your friends and neighbors who are now or who will become sick, for those who are quarantined and unable to care for themselves? It’s time for continuing education in science, situational ethics, critical thinking, and public health for the district officials, staff, and students alike, with a healthy dose of public service.

Carol A. Overland

Red Wing

From the WTF!? department

March 26th, 2020

Too little, too late. Too much time wasted lying, denying, and profiteering.

DO YOU HAVE A HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE?

JUST DO IT, NOW. CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ABOUT THEIR FORMS, THEIR PROCESS, AND GET YOUR HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE ON FILE WITH THEM.

Here in SE Minnesota, it’s Mayo Clinic. Here is their “Living wills and advance directive” page.

Here, as an example, is link to Mayo’s advance directive form , complete with directions, things to think about. Here’s the pdf:

And anyone alive right now is thinking about COVID. It’s the right time to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row, and that means, for example, aforementioned Health Care Directive.

I’ve been sick now for nearly 3 weeks. I’ve had serious long-term sinus issues before, most notably during the Goodhue Wind hearing, March 15-17, 2011. It was so bad that I couldn’t talk, could only squawk, and it was excruciating for everyone there. I wasn’t in pain, just a bit lethargic and a fuzzy brain, but utterly neutralized with no ability to speak! Not a good place to be for an attorney in a hearing! At that time I had no access to health care, only the Red Wing Care Clinic on Tuesdays. That sucked so bad, particularly having to get to the Care Clinic on that one specific day (I left the hearing early to get there, and of course nobody bothered to tell me they decided to start early the following day, GRRRRR). Getting access to regular health care was life changing, no doubt about it.

Flash forward to this year. We were on vacation mid-February to the end of February. Sunday, March 8th, I developed the symptoms of sinus, NO fever, but productive cough, flowing sinuses and nose, and general malaise. Same thing Alan had developed March 3, and he got over before I got sick. By the following Friday, I figured I’d need Z-pak again, so went in, knowing CORVID was around. I got checked out, and was treated for my sinus crap, but was told that because we were coughing and had traveled to Portland and lower Washington, we should be checked out for COVID. OK, whatever, we got checked out, and cleared, not justifying COVID testing (which Mayo had just ramped up that Monday, 3/16).

FOR THE RECORD: If I have CORVID, can’t breathe, and arrest, I’m DNR, DNI, DNT, it’s over, let me go. NO VENTILATOR!!!

NOW is an important time to do your Health Care Directive, f/k/a Living Will, to talk it over with family and friends, and figure out what you want. Most health care providers have their own forms, process, but whatever it is, be sure to do it. Then make sure a copy is on file with provider, with your point people, and a copy on the fridge so emergency responders can find it, one in your bag/glove compartment too. Make sure your point people can handle making the decisions YOU want made, and can advocate fiercely for you (i.e., my mother’s health care provider did not want to follow her wishes to stay out of the hospital, and even Dr. Order of “do not hospitalize” as she was on hospice, it was a fight that shouldn’t have happened).

Just do it! Contact your health care provider today and make sure you have a current Health Care Directive. Your state may also have a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney that gives power of decisions to your point person and beefs up your Health Care Directive. As attorney, I’ve done hundreds of Wills, DHCPoAs and directed folks to their health care providers, this is so important to do, and yes, especially now. JUST DO IT!