And last night in Rochester, more of the MPCA “Clean Power Plan” listening sessions.  This one was less well attended that Monday’s in Minneapolis, but packed into a much smaller, almost claustrophobic sized room.  Many concerns were raised, in large part because the “Clean Power Plan” remains a mystery — there is no MPCA plan for us to check out and comment on, and the federal Supreme Court put the EPA’s plan on hold.


The MPCA has been meeting with “stakeholders” which is primarily utilities, with a few energy wonks also attending — see this link, and scroll down for meetings and materials:

Clean Power Plan – Rulemaking (and meetings)

A turnout of this size, both last night and the night before, means that yes, people are interested and concerned, and I hope everyone stays in the loop and participates.

coalcreekdistant_smThat’s the Coal Creek plant, a photo I took on a tour.  If you’re an electric co-op member in Minnesota (elsewhere too?), they offer tours regularly, and it’s something you should do!  Check your co-op’s newsletter for info.

State Register Notice:

MPCA_StateRegister_Pages from 40_05

Just released FEDERAL Clean Power Plan:

Clean Power Plan Final Rule (PDF)(1560 pp, 3.3 MB, About PDF) – August 2015

Look at how the “adjusted” Minnesota’s baseline levels due to Sherco 3 being out for nearly 2 years:

The EPA examined units nationwide with 2012 outages to determine where an individual unit-level outage might yield a significant difference in state goal computation. When applying this test to all of the units informing the computation of the BSER, emission performance rates, and statewide goals, the EPA determined that the only unit with a 2012 outage that 1) decreased its output relative to preceding and subsequent years by 75 percent or more (signifying an outage), and 2) could potentially impact the state’s goal as it constituted more than 10 percent of the state’s generation was the Sherburne County Unit 3 in Minnesota.  The EPA therefore adjusted this state’s baseline coal steam generation upwards to reflect a more representative year for the state in which this 900 MW unit operates.

Clean Power Plan Final Rule (PDF p. 796 of 1560).

And from the state, which acknowledges imminent release of FEDERAL Clean Power Plan Final Rule , also released today, just in from the MPCA (direct quote):

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued a request for comments on possible rule amendments to bring Minnesota into compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan. You can read the full request in the August 3, 2015, edition of the State Register, available at

The amendments we are considering will help Minnesota meet standards established by the Clean Power Plan, which sets state-specific carbon dioxide emission targets and requires each state to submit a plan detailing its strategy for meeting the targets. As of State Register press time, we have not yet started drafting a plan because the EPA has not yet published the standards that Minnesota’s plan will need to meet, so the MPCA requests public input to help guide our considerations of methods for meeting the EPA’s targets, as well as any other objectives that the state’s plan might include.

Stakeholder meeting agendas, notes, and other related documents are posted on the website for this rulemaking at

To access information about a particular Minnesota rulemaking, visit the Public Rulemaking Docket.


271,000 in the dark and growing

Snowball fights planned

dsc00332        dsc00331

Kady is from Georgia originally, though she spent almost a year on Long Island.  She does NOT like snow.  Today, Alan opened the door, and unlike Krie, she always calmly stands in the doorway and surveys her world, then CALMLY and SLOWLY walks down the stairs (what a dog!!).  Today, as she surveyed the world, she looked up with a big “WTF” look!

She went down the shoveled path and with some encouragement went into the snow, over her belly.  Some of the yard is almost bare, but some has pretty deep drifts, like 4′, and in the back corner up against the back door, all the windows have a curtain of snow, and the drift is 5-6 feet high.  Official tallies are 21″ in Newark (DE),  20″ in Wilmington, 18″ in Bear, New Castle Airport 18″, Dover 15″ — snowfall totals predicted is now up to 24.5″ for NEW CASTLE COUNTY< @&” for Kent Count and 27″ for Sussex… though it doesn’t seem like much deeper than a foot overall here.  It was very warm when it started so probably much of it melted.  The numbers for accumulated snow are much lower in the south end of the peninsula, and it was over 30 when this all started.


This will shut down Delaware for a month!  Time to underground those distribution lines, eh?  Here, I’ve

Snow piles up; trees down, power out

Power’s out just about everywhere:

CLICK HERE for Delaware Electric Cooperative map

CLICK HERE for Delmarva Power outage map

TIME TO UNDERGROUND THE DISTRIBUTION LINES!  Click on the Delmarva Power or DEC link, go to map and put cursor n location to see number of customers out of service.  What I don’t get is the areas where there are so many more customers out of service than they have customers.

The view out the office window about 9 a.m.:


And now look at it… a couple hours later ~ 1 p.m.m it’s coming down, heavy thick blobs of snow, and it’s coming down FAST, none of this “winter wonderland” routine, it’s intense:


State of Delaware
Executive Department


WHEREAS, a severe winter storm with significant snowfall accumulations expected in all three counties of the State of Delaware, and blizzard conditions expected in Kent and Sussex counties has begun; and

WHEREAS, the predicted weather will likely create dangerous and life-threatening conditions and result in additional public safety responses from treacherous road conditions in all or parts of each county; and

WHEREAS, the weather conditions have the potential to cause additional safety issues to our citizens as well as damage and destruction to property; and

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a State of Emergency for the entire State of Delaware. This State of Emergency is effective at February 5, 2010 at 8 p.m. E.S.T. and continuing until terminated as provided under state law. The nature of the emergency is heavy snowfall, potentially high winds, whiteout conditions and minor to moderate coastal flooding. Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I specifically direct and authorize:

1.All departments and agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in response and recovery activities, as directed by and in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, necessary in those areas affected by the storm.

2. As of 10 p.m. February 5, 2010 and until further notice, no motor vehicles are to be operated on any road in the state of Delaware, unless such vehicles are being operated by authorized personnel responding to the State of Emergency or other emergency situations. Essential personnel who are traveling to assigned work locations for critical facilities operating on a 24/7 basis are exempt from this order and must carry credentials identifying them as employees of such facility. Private sector businesses are strongly urged to consider the safety of their employees and the restriction of travel during the storm when deciding whether to remain operating.

3. In order to enforce paragraph 2 of this Order, state and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in the State of Delaware at the expense of the vehicle owner.

4. The Delaware National Guard shall take precautionary or responsive actions directed by the Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, upon request by local authorities.

5. Government entities subject to bidding requirements are exempted from those bidding requirements for the purpose of purchasing materials necessary for responding to this snow and wind emergency.

6. I authorize the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware State Police, in consultation with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, to order such bridge and road closures as necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.

7. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency shall activate the State Emergency Operations Plan and cooperate with federal entities in making applications, if necessary, for relief and assistance for those towns and communities adversely affected by snow, winds and coastal flooding, pursuant to the State Emergency Operations Plan of the State of Delaware and any potentially applicable federal disaster or emergency relief laws, including, but not limited to, the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The director of DEMA, or his designee, shall be the Governor’s Authorized Representative with respect to interaction with FEMA.

8. I reserve the right to take or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.

APPROVED this 5th day of February, 2010, at 4:45 p.m.
Jack A. Markell