Wisconsin – the plot thickens…

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on October 26, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

Booted out… how can this be?

Here’s everything leading up to today’s dreadful court order:

Appeal Filings August 16, 2012

PSC’s Objections filed 8/29/12

PSC Reply Brief September 17, 2012

NoCapX and CETF Response to PSC’s Motions

Xcel Letter – No Briefing on PSC’s Motions

Judge Smith’s Letter and Scheduling Order

No CapX 2020 and CETF Response October 12, 2012

The PSC then filed its Reply in response to my Response:

PSC October 23, 2012 Supplemental Response

Check out p. 6 of their brief in particular, and the claim of using the Rothschild brief for reference — ummmmm… when they’re stating what the Marathon Circuit Order said?  Right…

And the judge’s Order, by fax today:

Order Granting Motion to Strike

Oh my… WOW…

At least in Minnesota the two Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse appeals are humming along, Initial Briefs due November 28th, and my Amicus Petition was approved by the Minnesota Supreme Court on the Buy the Farm case.

Xcel Energy 3Q info is out!

Filed under:Cost Recovery,News coverage,Reports - Documents — posted by admin on October 25, 2012 @ 10:22 am


I love it when this happens.  Yet again, Xcel demonstrates that demand is DOWN.


Xcel Energy’s 3Q Report

Xcel’s 3Q Earnings Release Presentation

Here is their Sales (Decline) info (click for larger graphic):

FERC Can-O-Worms!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Cost Recovery,FERC,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on October 24, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

The ownership mess at FERC gets curiouser and curiouser, messier and messier.  Hot off the wire is an ITC complaint against our friends at ATC:

Complaint – ITC Midwest LLC v. ATC LLC

This is another FERC docket, and to see the entire thing as it grows, GO HERE TO FERC DOCKET SEARCH, and search for docket EL13-13.

Here’s a map of the projects at issue:


What they’re saying is that as with Xcel Energy, ATC is not playing well with others.  ATC has Xcel on the western side looking for 1/2 of Badger Coulee, and now ITC is on the East (or south, depending on your perspective, the eastern terminus) looking for their piece of the pie.

In this filing is a cute map from the MTEP which shows just where the “congestion” is:


Response from Xcel about Info Requests


Recently, well, October 10, 2012, I sent a request to Xcel Energy for their contracts referenced in their latest Compliance Filing, specifically for each project the

Correspondence to Xcel Energy and MN Dept of Commerce Oct 10, 2012

Correspondence to Public Utilities Commission October 10, 2012

What was I asking for?  I asked Xcel Energy and the Dept. of Commerce to:

Please provide any and all New, Amended and/or Restated Project Participation Agreements, Construction Management Agreements, Transmission Capacity Exchange Agreements, and Operation and Maintenance Agreements for all segments of the CapX 2020 transmission project covered under the above-numbered Certificate of Need docket, including but not limited to Brookings –Hampton; Fargo – St. Cloud; St. Cloud – Monticello; and Hampton – Rochester – La Crosse. Please do not include those agreements filed in Appendix B of the original Certificate of Need application.

I got a response from Commerce that they had no such agreements, and it was good to get that confirmation of what I’d suspected.

More interesting, though, is that Xcel Energy, using way too many words, refuses to disclose, saying that it is “untimely and seeks confidential trade secret information that is not necessary for review of Xcel Energy’s compliance filings in this docket.”   They have made other compliance filings, and, well, it’s true, I just did this now, because a few thoughts occurred to me reading their most recent compliance filing, and if you recall, folks, I’m just one person here with office assistants without opposable thumbs, three CapX appeals, an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court, Goodhue Wind, and a hospice dog who needs help to get up the stairs, outside, and requires regular baths.  Sometimes it takes a while to get to things, sometimes it takes a while for something to sink in.  I do it when I can, and I did it.  And they don’t like it.  Oh well, guess that means I’m going to have to dig a little deeper.

Here’s their response:

Xcel Energy Response to Information Request

And it seems their collective memory needs to be refreshed:

Finally, to the extent CETF seeks to propound discovery, such request is improper because CETF is not a party in this docket.


CETF Intervention Petition

Pre-Hearing Order – Granting CETF & MISO Petitions to Intervene – PUC Docket 06-1115

Citizens Energy Task Force is indeed a party to this docket.  So here we go again, once more with feeling:

No CapX 2020, U-CAN and CETF Comment – October 24, 2012

From the resistance, looks like Xcel Energy realizes the importance of these documents!  Onward!

Intervention at FERC!

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on October 22, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

ferclogoMore FERC news today.

To check out the entire docket, go to FERC Docket Search and plug in EL13-09.

At yesterday’s CETF Board Meeting we decided to file an Intervention at FERC.  And I’m bustin’ a gut, Xcel’s response to ATC’s Complaint is hilarious!  Let’s start with the ATC Complaint that followed Xcel Energy’s FERC win in EL12-28, giving them 1/2 of the Badger-Coulee/La Crosse-Madison line:

ATC Complaint

This is the docket where ATC filed Complaint against MISO and Xcel to get a share of the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse transmission line. And the Answers from Xcel and MISO were just filed:

MISO Answer

Xcel Energy Answer

And  lots and lots of interventions:

Calpine Intervention

Dairyland Power Cooperative Intervention

Exelon Intervention

ITC Intervention

MISO Transmission Owners

No CapX 2020, U-CAN and CETF Intervention

PSC Wisconsin Intervention

City of Rochester Intervention

SMMPA Intervention

Energy Planning & Information Committee, Town of Stark Intervention

WPPI Intervention

That’s a pile o’ Interventions!


ATC’s FERC Complaint over Hampton-LaX

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on October 18, 2012 @ 6:15 pm


Remember the fight Xcel Energy picked with ATC over ownership of the “La Crosse – Madison” or “Badger – Coulee” transmission line?  Xcel won that round, and ATC couldn’t let that go unchallenged, so off they go trying to get back at Xcel:

FERC Order – Granting Xcel Complaint – July 19, 2012

Statement of Norris on Transmission Complaints

There’s been a round of Motions for Reconsideration, and that’s pending… and while it is, ATC jumped in and filed a similar Complaint against Xcel, on the “if it works for them, it could work for us” and filed requesting ownership in the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse line!  This Complaint is a hoot, it’s making the same claims we have been making, that the “benefits” of the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse line are dependent on connecting from La Crosse to Madison:

ATC Complaint against Xcel Energy EL13-9

The Notice went out – Intervention Deadline is Monday, October 22, 2012, @ 5p Eastern:

FERC Notice – EL13-9

And so far Exelon and City of Rochester (!) have Intervened:

Intervention – City of Rochester

Here’s a good quote:

Further emphasizing that the benefits of the Twin Cities–La Crosse segment were wholly contingent on a plan that allowed for interconnection to the La Crosse–Madison segment, Mr. Kline continued:

In any case, even if the PSCW decides to move the connection between the two lines to a different point, the 345 kV connection from the La Crosse area to Madison must connect directly with the345 kV line from the Twin Cities to La Crosse in order to obtain the reliability and energy transfer benefits of a 345 kV connection between the two systems. (Kline Aff. para. 35)

“Wholly contingent.”

To check the new ATC v. Xcel Energy docket, go to the FERC docket look-up HERE and plug in docket EL13-9, and for the prior Xcel Energy v. ATC, plug in EL12-28.


Transmission? It’s NOT needed!

Filed under:News coverage — posted by admin on @ 4:41 pm


Yes, once more with feeling… this transmission?  It’s NOT needed!

Here’s an article from the St. Cloud Times, good to know they’re following up on the CapX 2020 transmission project and keeping an eye on Xcel Energy.  This demonstrates what we’ve been saying for how long now?  CapX 2020 is NOT needed:

Record hot summer didn’t mean record electricity useage, Xcel Energy reports

In one of the hottest summers on record, Minnesotans should have used a near-record amount of electricity.

But it wasn’t even close.

In fact, electricity use actually fell in the scorching summer of 2012.

According to Xcel Energy figures, projected 2012 sales will be more than 1 percent below those of 2011. Average use per customer will drop by the same percentage.

Why? Strong conservation efforts and a weak economy, according to Laura McCarten, Xcel Energy regional vice president.

Xcel’s million-plus customers are trimming their power consumption — installing fluorescent bulbs, adjusting thermostats, insulating homes and switching to more efficient appliances.

Others — mostly businesses — are cutting back involuntarily. A sour economy has forced businesses to cut back, and some, such as the Ford plant in St. Paul, have closed permanently.

The overall impact of conservation and a slow economy can be seen in Xcel’s power plants. In the past five years, those plants have had to produce 6 percent less power per customer.

The company has a target, specified in Minnesota’s 2007 Energy Act, of cutting anticipated consumption by 1.5 percent every year.

The 1.5 percent is measured according to what energy consumption would have been without conservation programs. The company hit the 1.5 percent reduction target in 2011 and is on track to do it again this year, said Lee Gabler, Xcel’s director of demand side management and renewable operations.


To the Supreme Court we go!!!

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on October 16, 2012 @ 2:03 pm


Just got word that the Minnesota Supreme Court has granted the petition of attorneys for the “Buy the Farm” case for review by the court.  Like WOW!

Order – October 16, 2012

AND the Minnesota Supreme Court has also granted the Motions of NoCapX2020, United Citizens Action Network and St. Paul’s Lutheran School and Church and Cannon Falls Landowners, and the Minnesota Eminent Domain Institute (filed by Rod Krass) to file briefs as amici curiae.

There’s a blurb reminding us of the purpose of amici briefs and encouraging us to coordinate to avoid redundant briefing:

An amicus curiae brief that brings to the attention of the Court relevant matter not already brought to its attention by the parties may be of considerable help to the Court.  An amicus curiae brief that does not serve this purpose burdens the Court, and its filing is not favored.

The door is open…

Schedule for Minnesota appeals

Filed under:Appeal — posted by admin on October 15, 2012 @ 8:49 pm


The Minnesota appeal of the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse CapX 2020 transmission line is lumbering forward.  Today we reached an agreement for briefing and also that no transcripts would be required because they are already a part of the record (and those who can afford transcripts have them).

Briefs are coming due, and because the PUC served the list of documents in the record on Friday, which triggers the 30 day time period for the first round of briefs, we’re getting a little extra time here, about two weeks:

November 28 – (or earlier) Relator’s Initial Briefs (St. Paul’s Lutheran School and Church and Cannon Falls Landowners for Segment 1, and Oronoco Township for Segment 3).

December 27 – (or earlier) Respondents’ Briefs (PUC and Xcel/Northern States Power) 30 days after last Relator’s Initial Brief served.

10 days after that – Relator’s Reply Brief

Here’s the Stipulation:

Stipulation regarding Briefing and Transcripts

Onward… one foot in front of the other…

Wisconsin – Response to PSC’s Motions

Filed under:Appeal,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on October 14, 2012 @ 6:26 am

As you may recall, the PSC had filed Motions to have the No CapX 2020 and CETF Petition for Judicial Review booted out, and to have me as attorney for No CapX 2020 and CETF  booted out as well.

Here is the No CapX 2020 and CETF response to the latest PSC filing:

No CapX 2020 and CETF Response Oct 12 2012

The best part of Friday’s Response is that the PSC had used a Marathon Circuit Court Order as basis for tossing me out, stating in their brief that:

On the other hand, at least one circuit court has found that permission to practice before a state agency is not sufficient to entitle a nonresident lawyer to practice before a circuit court.  SOAR v. DNR, No. 11-CV-0833 (Wis. Cir. Ct. Marathon County October 10, 2011)(courtesy copy attached).

PSC Reply Brief September 17, 2012, p. 4.  THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE. REALLY!  Look at the Marathon County Order they cite and attach and compare with what they SAY it says:

Marathon County Circuit Court Order, October 11, 2011

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.  That Court Order states twice that “it was not signed by an attorney licensed to practice in Wisconsin.”  That’s all.  There’s NO statement that “permission to practice before a state agency is not sufficient to entitle a nonresident lawyer to practice before a circuit court.” Nothing, nothing whatsoever.

Not only that, but the nonresident attorney at issue didn’t even practice before a state agency!  The nonresident attorney at issue is Margaret (Meg) Sheehan, Ecolaw, in Massachusetts, an expert in air permits and biomass burning dedicated to fighting and shutting down incinerators.  She’s someone Alan has worked with, lobbied with, a burning cohort.  We knew they were misrepresenting that dismissal, and she quickly sent an Affidavit about that, specifically that she had NOT represented any party before the agency, before either the DNR or the PSC prior to filing the appeal that was dismissed, and that the Marathaon County case is not relevant:

Affidavit of Meg Sheehan

The two statements they make about that decision are false. It is SOOOOO naughty of PSC Counsel to misrepresent like this. See .”>Wis. Stat. 802.05(2). I’d love to file for sanctions, but I don’t think it would help any, so I’ll sit back and wait for the judge to decide.  The PSC gets one more round, and we’ll see what they have to say in reply.

Xcel Energy/Northern States Power is sitting out this dance.

Here are all the filings leading up to this, in chronological order:

PSC’s Objections filed 8/29/12

PSC Reply Brief September 17, 2012

NoCapX and CETF Response to PSC’s Motions

Xcel Letter – No Briefing on PSC’s Motions

Judge Smith’s Letter and Scheduling Order

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace