Oronoco Township responds to Xcel’s slap down

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on October 26, 2011 @ 9:23 am

bitchfight3

It continues… First was Oronoco Township’s Reply Brief:

Oronoco Township “Reply” Brief

Then Xcel Energy’s response to that in a letter to Judge Sheehy:

Xcel Letter re: Oronoco Reply Brief

And now, drumroll here:

Oronoco Township letter to Judge Sheehy

The whole thing is bizarre.

chimp_scratching_head

  • They’re arguing that the numbers of houses, parcels, affected whatevers that they came up with in their reply breif, without citation to anything in the record, well, they’re saying that “if we were standing before Your Honor with the sheet maps in the FEIS and arguing this case, we could point out the same information that was in our final argument.”  Ummmmmm, they WERE standing before her.  EH??
  • They didn’t have a handle on the costs and didn’t know where to find it.
  • They’d originally claimed a fall-down distance of 340 feet!  And when challenged on that, their response is:

Our error was not realizing the poles can be as tall as 185 feet, so we actually understated the fall distance, which is really 370 feet, or 30 feet more than we argued.

WTF?  Fall down distance of 370 feet? Fall down distance is distance from the centerline, H-E-L-L-O!

Buy the Farm cases on St. Cloud to Monticello line

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud,St.Cloud-Monticello — posted by admin on @ 9:04 am

Remember not too long ago that landowners challenged the utilities’ attempt to limit their compensation if they chose the Buy the Farm option?  Buy the Farm is Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd. 4:

Subd. 4. Contiguous land.

When private real property that is an agricultural or nonagricultural homestead, nonhomestead agricultural land, rental residential property, and both commercial and noncommercial seasonal residential recreational property, as those terms are defined in section 273.13 is proposed to be acquired for the construction of a site or route for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more by eminent domain proceedings, the fee owner, or when applicable, the fee owner with the written consent of the contract for deed vendee, or the contract for deed vendee with the written consent of the fee owner, shall have the option to require the utility to condemn a fee interest in any amount of contiguous, commercially viable land which the owner or vendee wholly owns or has contracted to own in undivided fee and elects in writing to transfer to the utility within 60 days after receipt of the notice of the objects of the petition filed pursuant to section 117.055. Commercial viability shall be determined without regard to the presence of the utility route or site. The owner or, when applicable, the contract vendee shall have only one such option and may not expand or otherwise modify an election without the consent of the utility. The required acquisition of land pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered an acquisition for a public purpose and for use in the utility’s business, for purposes of chapter 117 and section 500.24, respectively; provided that a utility shall divest itself completely of all such lands used for farming or capable of being used for farming not later than the time it can receive the market value paid at the time of acquisition of lands less any diminution in value by reason of the presence of the utility route or site. Upon the owner’s election made under this subdivision, the easement interest over and adjacent to the lands designated by the owner to be acquired in fee, sought in the condemnation petition for a right-of-way for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more shall automatically be converted into a fee taking.

AND LANDOWNERS WON!!!!  The court’s opinion is at this link:

Buy the Farm – a landowner win in District Court!

So now that Xcel’s been slapped down by the court, the landowners are challenging the offers and Commissioners have been appointed by the Court to determine compensation (that’s how eminent domain works under Minn. Stat. ch. 117).

From the St. Cloud Times:

CapX hearings over land payment begin in Stearns

11:17 PM, Oct. 24, 2011

Written by David Unze

The first contested hearings on compensation for property owners whose land was taken for the CapX 2020 high-voltage transmission lines begin today in Stearns County.

Cases will go before a panel of commissioners who will decide what the landowners should get, and two of them will use for the first time a Minnesota statute that was created after the bitter power-line disputes of the 1970s.

The “Buy the Farm” statute was created in response to the controversy that resulted when farmers were served with condemnation notices in preparation for a power line that was to be built through Central Minnesota.

That high-voltage power line was the most controversial energy project in state history and was built despite political, legal and physical challenges from nearby farmers.

The Buy the Farm statute allows certain landowners to force a power company to purchase the landowner’s entire home or farm rather than buy an easement over the property.

Because the law is specific to high-voltage, power-line land takings, and because there haven’t been any such takings since the law was enacted, this is the first chance for a landowner to use the statute, said James E. Dorsey, the attorney who represents Xcel Energy, one of the energy companies behind the CapX project.

There are about 34 contested cases in Wright and Stearns counties from the condemnation cases involving the Monticello-to-St. Cloud segment of the CapX line.

A handful of those involve the Buy the Farm statute.

There are more condemnation cases expected to be filed soon involving the segment that runs from St. Cloud to Alexandria.

Contested hearings on compensation go to a three-person panel appointed by a district court judge. Those panel members meet with the property owners, view the parcels of land and set a value based on the market.

The utility and the landowner have the right to appeal the commissioners’ decision back to the district court judge.

If no resolution is reached, the case could go to trial.

Jeff Broberg is at it again!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on October 22, 2011 @ 8:31 am

manurespreader3

Jeff Broberg, of McGhie & Betts, is at it again, trying so hard to out do his past antics!

Thanks to Darrel Gerber and Sally Jo Sorensen for this – it is SO Broberg, who said, speaking at a meeting in Winona County:

Broberg’s time at the podium eventually caused contention, and after he was challenged to stick to the recommended two-minute time limit, he responded:

“As the applicant’s representative, I have a higher level of rights on these issues,” Broberg said.

The crowd booed.

Sounds about right, classic Broberg and perfect response.
broberg2006
From the Winona Daily News:

Jeff Broberg spoke on behalf of landowner David Nisbit, one of three residents who owns land where mines have been proposed. Broberg, who represented Rochester-based development company McGhie & Betts, spoke for about 40 minutes about both the site he represents, as well as the increasing demand for mining the region’s silica sand favored in hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) operations, where pressurized sand, water and chemicals are shot into the earth to release natural gas and oil deposits.

“We mine sand safely now all throughout southeastern Minnesota in a variety of purposes, and there should be no fear of the consequences of this,” said Broberg, a former county planning commission member.

“I think that this is not a big deal, and clearly inappropriate and untimely and prejudicial to consider forgetting about this application for a year.”

Just how many silica sand mines are operating in Winona County?  Probably it’s like Goodhue County, ZERO.
More from the Winona Daily News about that meeting: Winona Planning Commission Meeting Draws Full House
Remember Krass and Broberg’s “Exhibit 89” for Oronoco Township:

Oronoco Twp’s Exhibit 89

Then he tries to say “OH, NOOOOO, that wasn’t really a route we proposed, we didn’t mean that…”

CapX Hampton-LaCrosse line in the news

And worse, he then says to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, published Saturday Sept. 24:
Still, Broberg expresses guarded optimism for Oronoco Township’s chances for success — chances bolstered, he says by a bogus route alternative he introduced as a gambit at the most recent project hearing, held before an administrative law judge.

“We didn’t do that for a minute thinking that was a viable option — we knew it wasn’t,” he said. “We needed to have decision-makers really focus on Oronoco Township and really spend more time looking at the maps, so we were confident that the judge understood what our issues were.  There wasn’t another subject we spent 45 minutes on in that meeting.”
There he goes again… how dare he.  Judging by the language, tone and style of the Oronoco “Reply” Brief, I’m thinking he wrote a lot of it, and it was so bad, really, Xcel wrote a letter to the judge in awe of its bullshit, read it here:
Oronoco’s Mother of All Reply Briefs
Xcel’s Letter re: Oronoco’s Reply Brief
… and once more with feeling, as I asked Broberg at the Rochester forum regarding the Exhibit 89 fracas, “and you didn’t get FIRED?”
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Xcel slaps up Oronoco Township!

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on October 17, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

bitchfight

It doesn’t get much better than this — Xcel Energy filed a letter and let Oronoco Township have it about the “Reply” Brief that it submitted.  THIS LETTER IS A MUST READ!

Xcel Letter re: Oronoco Township “Reply” Brief

What’s to complain about?  Well, read the “Reply” Brief – it’s hard to believe that Rod Krass wrote it, I’ve seen his work on the pipeline appeal, very well done, and this isn’t — I’d guess it was someone else:

Oronoco Township “Reply” Brief

Xcel Energy reinforced what we’d said about their Initial Brief, that they make wild-ass bizarre statements with no citations, that they’re misusing info in the record, and it sure looks like they’re making up stuff.  They really had it coming, the “Reply” was SO out there, “outside” as Ed Berger would say.  A Motion to Strike would be about right, it’s that bad!

My question is whether a “me-too” letter would be helpful or whether Xcel said all that needs to be said.  No rush…

CapX 2020 steamrolling Virgil Fuchs?

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud — posted by admin on @ 3:45 pm

steamroller

Virgil Fuchs has been around this powerline concept a time or too.  But it now seems that one of the Permit Amendments that Xcel is requesting for the CapX 2020 Fargo-St. Cloud route would run right over Virgil Fuchs’ land (to see Xcel’s permit amendment requests, go to www.puc.state.mn.us, then click “Search eDockets” and search for 09-1056).  Announced at this late date, AFTER the permit was granted.  Can you believe??!?!?!

Comment on “Adjustment 13” – Paula Maccabee for Virgil Fuchs

I filed a late Comment – yes, sleeping at the switch, after filing the Hampton-LaX Reply Brief and the Goodhue Memorandum, I’ve been trying to get this house ready, and there’s just too much going on.  Anyway, I heard Virgil speak so many  times, and it was in the last round, the Public Hearings, where he was cut off, and he was cut off because he was commenting and either ALJ Heydinger asked him or Xcel whether it would affect him directly and it wasn’t going to, so he was cut short.  Brent remembers this too.  Hmmmmmmm… So I filed this quick:

NoCapX 2020 and U-CAN Comment re: Adjustment 13

Virgil Fuchs was an integral part of the opposition to the CU line way back when.  He’s been present from the very beginning, during the Certificate of Need meetings, and since then, on pre-application routing meetings, EIS scoping and DEIS Comment meetings, and Public Hearings, and at the Public Hearing he was cut short, ostensibly because he wasn’t going to be affected directly by any of the proposed options.  And now they want a change, to go right over his land!

On November 18, 2010, in Alexandria, he testified before ALJ Steve Mihalchick, who was filling in for ALJ Heydinger, and Mihalchick had this to say:

We should honor the work that your group and others did 30 years ago. One consideration is to use existing RoW, so that is a consideration now. Do we have to consider today’s impacts, where they were 30 years ago?  I’m trying to figure out how to handle it. There’s many many factors that have to be considered, all those things have to be considered.

However, on December 2, 2010, in St. Joseph for the last public hearing, his treatment at the hands and gavel of ALJ Beverly Heydinger was not nearly so respectful.  She interrupted him at least three times, first to find out where the land was that would affect him, the second time to tell him, “You’re losing your audience,” which did not seem to be the case to me, people in the crowd nodding in agreement, and then a third time… sigh… maybe more.

HEY VIRGIL, CHECK OUT THE PUBLIC HEARING TRANSCRIPTS AT THE LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY!!!  IT’S ALL THERE!!!

You can get a flavor of what Virgil Fuchs is about here, from GoogleBooks:

Virgil Fuchs Profile – from Powerline: The First Battle of America’s Energy War, Wellstone & Casper

Mike and Paul must be rolling over at this development, lots of seismic activity happening.  Going across Virgil’s land, a second time, after telling him that they would not???  I wonder whose brilliant idea this was?

2 TV news reports on Obama and CapX 2020

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on October 7, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

Wake up, folks!!!  Great job by cohorts Suzanne Rolfing of NRG and Joe Morse of CETF.

Maybe this will help to get the word out:

KAAL TV(Austin, MN) – featuring Suzanne Rohlfing of North Route Group (NRG)

WKBT TV (LaCrosse, WI) – featuring Joe Morse of Citizens Energy Task Force (CETF)




Obama’s Transmission BS in the News

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,News coverage — posted by admin on October 5, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

manurespreader

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for states’ authority over need for and routing of transmission?

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for federal agencies charges with NEPA environmental review of these transmission projects?

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for public participation and due process?

Does Obama have a clue how many Minnesota landowners/voters are affected by CapX 2020 transmission?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$

These are TWO of my transmission projects he’s targeting, TWO, the CapX 2020 Hampton-LaCrosse transmission line and the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line.  Here’s the Dept. of Interior Press Release:

Obama Administration Anounces Job-Creation Grid Modernization Pilot Projects

Susquehanna-Roseland in the news:

Stop The Lines Press Release www.stopthelines.com

Star Ledger – Obama administration will push Susquehanna-Roseland power-line, could be first project to be fast tracked

Federal Government Recognizes Need for Swift Action for Permits on Susquehanna-Roseland Power Line – PPL Press Release!

Daily Record – Obama backs power line upgrade that passes through Morris County

I guess we know why he was in Cannon Falls… at least part of it… I hate to think what else might have been on the agenda.

Here’s what’s flying out in the press about Obama’s Transmission Toadyism and CapX 2020, many are pretty much just a cut and paste of the White House press release:

Rochester Post Bulletin:  Obama Administration to fast track CapX 2020, other power-line projects

Minnesota Public Radio:  Obama seeks fast track for powerlines in Minn., elsewhere

Here’s one with some substance:

Feds step up power line projects in 12 states, including one in Wisconsin

The Obama administration moved Wednesday to speed up permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines in 12 states, including one between Minnesota and Wisconsin, saying the projects would create thousands of jobs and help modernize the nation’s power grid.

The projects are intended to serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and improved cooperation among federal, state and tribal governments. The projects will provide more than 3,100 miles of new transmission lines in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

In all, the projects are expected to create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, help avoid blackouts, restore power more quickly when outages occur and reduce the need for new power plants, officials said.

In Wisconsin, a transmission company spokeswoman responded positively to the announcement. “We welcome any developments that help facilitate permitting of transmission infrastructure, especially as it related to permits from federal agencies. Sometimes those permits can drag along and any help in keeping projects on schedule is welcome,” said Jackie Olson of American Transmission Co.

ATC, which controls nearly 10,000 miles of high-voltage power lines in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, is not involved in any of the seven projects.

But opponents of the line between Minnesota and Wisconsin are raising concerns. It’s not clear what would be involved in fast-tracking the plan, said attorney Carol Overland of Red Wing, Minn. The line is part of a series of transmission projects extending from the Dakotas to Wisconsin known as CapX2020. Overland said the states involved have been going through their procedures without any delay.

“What this, to me, feels like is a threat to the states saying, ‘you put it through or we’re coming in,'” said Overland, who represents the citizens group No CapX2020. “I don’t see any basis for it. The state has to retain control … because we have to live with these projects.”

ATC is making plans for the Badger-Coulee line, a high-voltage transmission line that could connect to CapX2020 and extend southeast to Dane County. The company has been seeking public comment about potential routes.

State Journal reporter Judy Newman contributed to this report.

Once more with feeling:

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for states’ authority over need for and routing of transmission?

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for federal agencies charges with NEPA environmental review of these transmission projects?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$


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

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 12:43 pm

Changes that make me ill…

obama-progress

Progress?  NOT!  My screen just lit up from East Coast and Midwest birdies that there was a White House conference call going on, and here are some reports, the short version is that Obama is toadying for the transmission owners to ram this down our throat.  Supposedly they’d conferred with “stakeholders” and funny, I never heard a peep… but this creeping federal authority is based on exactly what?  What are they proposing?

They list a handful of projects, two of which I’m mired in, the CapX 2020 Hampton-LaCrosse line in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the Susquehanna-Roseland line in New Jersey.

Here’s the map of the transmission projects they’re hyping, and look at the depiction of CapX 2020 Hampton-LaCrosse, it’s not even a route option that’s under consideration as presented in the Minnesota or Wisconsin Applications!

map

Here are some fascinating links — THERE’S NOTHING HERE, BLANKS:

COORDINATION OF FEDERAL AUTHORIZATIONS FOR ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION FACILITIES

Here’s where they list what’s going on for the various projects they targeted:

eTRANS FEDERAL PERMITTING TRANSMISSION TRACKING SYSTEM MAIN PAGE

And here’s the scary part, look at this language on that main page:

Leveraging this interagency collaboration and expanding the scope of activity beyond Federal lands, the Administration recently formed the Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT), comprised of these same nine agencies.

So do explain, where do they get the authority for “expanding the scope of activity beyond Federal lands?”

Check these “pages” for individual projects – there’s not much there:

eTRANS FEDERAL PERMITTING TRANSMISSION TRACKING SYSTEM – SUSQUEHANNA-ROSELAND

eTRANS FEDERAL PERMITTING TRANSMISSION TRACKING SYSTEM – CAPX 2020

And check this:

INTERAGENCY RAPID RESPONSE TEAM FOR TRANSMISSION

There are phone numbers on the press release, but no one knows anything and I’m getting transferred around.  So then I call the White House, then got forwarded to Neil Kemkar, White House Council of Environmental Quality… we shall see…

PSEG is already excited about it, PPL put out a press release too, nothing from Xcel yet that I can find:

October 5, 2011
Susquehanna-Roseland Reliability Project Named To Federal Rapid Response Team

My two basic questions:

1) What does “pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting” mean? What is the authority for “pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting?”

2) What is the authority for “expanding the scope of activity beyond Federal lands?”

And here’s the poop, directly from the DOE’s Lauren Azar (Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary of Energy).

azar_lauren221_150x202

She just called, and she’s a point person on the Rapid Response Team.  I haven’t seen her since she was representing American Transmission Company as it was born in the Arrowhead-Weston Transmission Project hearing in Wisconsin, was that really 10 years ago???  Anyway, I stated my concerns, she was direct and frank.  My fears are still there, that this is a way to ram projects through.  If not, why would they do this?  These are rough notes, not quite quotes:

This is a way in which feds will work better together.  Each agency will be applying their statutes.
In the past, there wasn’t a lot of coordination between the agencies, federal agencies, and the state agencies too, they can participate if they want.

We’re working to figure out a way to do it, whether to do the state and federal pieces sequentially or concurrently.  Where agencies doing same analysis, they can work together.  We’re trying to make things work more smoothy.

We’ve talked to state Commissions in MN and WI, on Hampton and LaCrosse about working together

This is the way to undermine moving stuff to the feds
If we can do this, then the states

There are cases where there’s delay, and cases where transmission has been turned down by the state
I’m not advocating that any authority get transferred

Presidential mem0 end of August, Aug 28, was the basis for this
We’re not doing anything differently, we’re just trying to do it better

As far as independent authority, we don’t need it, this is just doing what we can do and doing it better

She persisted with the fiction that projects are not getting permitted.  Sure, there’s the PATH transmission line, but that was demonstrated not to be needed (YEAAA Piedmont Environmental Council).  What others?  She said there were lots of them, but no specifics.  When she said that this transmission is about “clean energy,” I countered thatthat this transmission is NOT for wind, and she said we’ll have to discuss that over a beer some time.  I don’t think there’s enough beer in Wisconsin to facilitate that discussion!

I greatly appreciated her call, it helped clarify the DOE’s position and intent.

Here’s the White House press release, in toto, and as you read it, underline usage of the word “streamline” and be very concerned (Toto, we ain’t in Kansas anymore):

Obama Administration Announces Job-Creating Grid Modernization Pilot Projects

Seven Transmission Projects Across 12 States Will Increase Grid Reliability and Integrate Renewable Energies

10/05/2011

Contact: Sahar Wali (CEQ)             (202) 395-5428
Adam Fetcher (DOI)             (202) 208-6416
Justin DeJong (USDA)             (202) 720-4623
Tiffany Edwards (DOE)             (202) 586-4940

WASHINGTON – Demonstrating its commitment to job creation and modernizing America’s infrastructure, the Obama Administration today announced it would accelerate the permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines. This move will speed the creation of thousands of construction and operations jobs while transforming the nation’s electric system into a modern, 21st century grid that is safer and more secure, and gives consumers more energy choices.

“The President wants to get America working again. He is committed to cutting red tape and making immediate investments to put people to work modernizing our roads, bridges, airports, and energy systems,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. “Building a smarter electric grid will create thousands of American jobs and accelerate the growth of domestic clean energy industries translating into more energy choices and cost savings for American consumers, and a more secure energy future for our country.”

These projects will serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and increased cooperation at the federal, state, and tribal levels. Project developers expect that the streamlined projects will increase grid capacity and create thousands of jobs in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

“These are the kinds of job-creating projects that the President wants to see across the country,” Sutley said. “The American Jobs Act would make immediate investments in infrastructure, putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job across the country. These investments would not only put people to work now, but also yield lasting benefits for the economy, increasing growth in the long run.”

Building electric transmission lines involves coordination among multiple federal, state, and tribal agencies subject to permitting, review, and consultation. Improving the overall quality and timeliness of these procedures enables the federal government to help expedite new transmission lines. Adding necessary transmission infrastructure will integrate renewable electricity sources into the grid, accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles on America’s roads, help avoid blackouts, restore power more quickly when outages occur, and reduce the need for new power plants.

“Transmission is a vital component of our nation’s energy portfolio, and these seven lines, when completed, will serve as important links across our country to increase our power grid’s capacity and reliability,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “This is the kind of critical infrastructure we should be working together to advance in order to create jobs and move our nation toward energy independence.”

“To compete in the global economy, we need a modern electricity grid,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “An upgraded electricity grid will give consumers choices while promoting energy savings, increasing energy efficiency, and fostering the growth of renewable energy resources.”

“USDA’s collaboration with other agencies to build electric transmission will help to meet our country’s electric needs in the 21st century,” Vilsack said. “These infrastructure projects will also create jobs and opportunities that will strengthen our economy to benefit households and businesses throughout the country.”

“These projects will put Americans to work building the electricity grid of the future – one that allows for more electric vehicles on the road and homes and businesses powered by renewable energy,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said. “This is yet another step forward in our efforts to build a 21st century energy sector in America that is cleaner, healthier and more sustainable.”

“A modern, 21st century transmission grid that expands transmission capacity in an efficient, cost-effective manner is critical to ensuring that Americans will have reliable, reasonably priced electricity,” FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said.

“It’s important that these pilot projects move forward quickly while getting the economic, cultural and sustainability benefits provided by historic preservation reviews,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, chairman, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. “The pilot project approach provides an efficient means to meet our respective agencies’ legislated responsibilities. They benefit the American people while creating a model to streamline future efforts. This is good government at work.”

In October of 2009, nine Federal entities including, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding increasing their coordination to expedite and simplify building of transmission lines on Federal lands.

Leveraging this interagency collaboration and expanding the scope of activity beyond Federal lands, the Administration’s recently formed Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT), comprised of these same nine agencies, will accelerate responsible and informed deployment of these seven key transmission facilities by:

Coordinating statutory permitting, review, and consultation schedules and processes among involved federal and state agencies as appropriate through Integrated Federal Planning,

Applying a uniform and consistent approach to consultations with Tribal governments, and,

Expeditiously resolving interagency conflicts and ensuring that all involved agencies are fully engaged and meeting schedules.

Crossing twelve states the RRTT’s seven selected pilot project transmission lines are as follows:

* Boardman-Hemingway Line powering Oregon and Idaho:
The new 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line proposed by Idaho Power would create an approximately 300 mile long, single-circuit electric transmission line from a proposed substation near Boardman, Oregon to the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho—known as the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project or B2H Project. According to the developer of this project during peak construction, this project is estimated to create about 500 jobs in Idaho and Oregon.

* Gateway West Project to bring new transmission across Wyoming and Idaho:
Jointly proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power, this project would add approximately 1,150 miles of new, high-voltage transmission lines between the Windstar Substation near Glenrock, Wyoming and the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho. According to the developer of this project, during peak construction, it is estimated to create between 1,100 and 1,200 jobs.

* Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse Line to power to Minnesota and Wisconsin:
This double- circuit capable 345 kV transmission line will run between a new substation near Hampton, Minnesota, a new substation north of Pine Island, Minnesota, and continue on to cross the Mississippi River near Alma, Wisconsin. A single circuit 345 kV line will be built in Wisconsin to a new substation in the La Crosse area. Two 161 kV lines will be built between the new substation near Pine Island and existing substations northwest and east of Rochester. According to the developer of this project, approximately 1,650 jobs will be created during peak construction.

* Oregon to get additional transmission from Cascade Crossing Line:
Portland General Electric’s proposed Cascade Crossing Transmission Project includes approximately 210 miles of 500 kV transmission line from Boardman to Salem, Oregon—for the construction of four new substations, expansion of three existing substations, and upgrades to the existing transmission systems near Salem. According to the developer, Cascade Crossing is expected to create about 450 jobs during peak construction.

* SunZia Transmission, LLC to bring power to New Mexico and Arizona:
SunZia Transmission, LLC plans to construct and operate up to two 500 kV transmission lines originating at a new substation in Lincoln County in the vicinity of Ancho, New Mexico, and terminating at the Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County near Coolidge, Arizona. According to the developer estimated job creation will be about 3,408 direct jobs during the construction period.

* Susquehanna to Roseland Line brings new transmission to Pennsylvania and New Jersey:
PPL Electric Utilities (PPL) and Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) have proposed the Susquehanna-Roseland power line project which includes an approximately 145-mile long 500 kV transmission line from the Susquehanna Substation in Pennsylvania to the Roseland Substation in New Jersey, and several 500 – 230 kV substations in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Based on the current schedule for the environmental review, the project is expected to be in service in the spring of 2015. According to the project’s developer, over 2000 jobs will be created in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

* Transwest Express to stand-up transmission from Wyoming to Utah and Nevada:
TransWest Express LLC plans to construct and operate a more than 700 mile, 600 kV, transmission line which is estimated by the developer to create 1,035-1,550 direct jobs per year at peak construction. This project will facilitate the development of new wind projects in Wyoming.

For a map of the transmission line pilot projects please visit: www.doe-etrans.us

For more information on the Rapid Response Team for Transmission please visit:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives

For more information on the Memorandum of Understanding please visit:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/Press_Releases/October_28_2009

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