Amazing, truly amazing…
Today at the PUC agenda meeting to address the route permit for the CapX 2020 Fargo to St. Cloud transmission line, and the Commission did grant the permit, accepting for the most part the ALJ’s Recommendation, including “Route G” on the Sauk Centre to St. Cloud part, with some suggested changes from MOES:
Briefing Papers – Recommendation
We’ll see just exactly which of MOES alterations they took up when the written order comes out in a couple of weeks (? before the state shutdown?)
During the public comment period after oral arguments, former Rep. Bill Luther strolls in and requests that the line be moved a few sections to the west, or if not, then to the east around the scenic easement on the other side of the highway, to get around his family’s farm. Really! Where’s he been all this time?
Bill Luther? Yes, that Bill Luther. And after his behavior today, I’m sure glad he isn’t my Rep. here in the 2nd District! (not that I’m any fan of John Kline, nope, no way, no how)
It appears he’s working at Teleplus Consulting, and here’s how they “bill” him on their site:
Bill Luther – Regulatory Specialist. Prior to joining Teleplus in March 2003, Bill served four terms in the United States Congress representing Minnesota. Bill served on the House Sub-Committee on Telecommunications, and is an expert in regulatory affairs. Bill is also an accomplished attorney.
He pointed to this map, pointed out the “Luther Century Farm” on the NE corner of Section18 and the green triangle directly above it in Section 7, and said, “you should put it east of the highway there, between the scenic easement and wildlife area,” and getting a less than enthusiastic response, “well, you could just move it over a couple sections to the west, and go down the railroad track” and … let me see if I understand this correctly, on the day of deliberation, you want the route changed? I wanted to jump up and scream, “WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?” Get real… he’s in a better position than most to deal with something like this, and it was always planned to go down Interstate 94 in that area, so he first got notice… when… in July 2007? He got other notices when??? As Cupit would say Overland would say, “Give me a break!”
Commissioner O’Brien jumped in (on his behalf?), asking MOES’ David Birkholz to answer his question, “Should we address this now or later.” Birkholz rightly noted that the options he raised were not considered in the process, there was no notice to landowners, so it’s appropriate to grant the permit as it is. Luther seemed to just stand there frozen in time, expecting them instead to say, “Oh, well, in that case, we’re oh-so-sorry, nevermind, it’s all a misunderstanding, don’t you worry, we’ll take it off YOUR land, and we’ll stick it over THERE instead!” Ja… sure… whatever…
He ended with a bit of a threat, that he wanted to “bring this to your attention now, rather than later.” Earth to Bill Luther, this IS later. Once more with feeling, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THE LAST FOUR YEARS?” Sure, we can address this later, the appellate court would get a chuckle out of this one! The sad part is there’s probably some lawyer ready to take a lot of his money and pursue that one one!