CapX 2020 – Scope of Environmental Report

Filed under:Laws & Rules — posted by admin on February 20, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

What a proverbial bunch-o-crap!

Deep breathe… in… out… in… out…

The Dept. of Commerce issued the Scope for the Environmental Report, and it’s so limited, and SOOOOO unreasonable. Yes, I wasn’t expecting much, given how it went with Chisago, but the express limitations here are unfounded.   It also assumes need, in the bogus way the applicant characterizes it, when that particularized need must be demonstrated by applicants.

My “favorite” example:

The ER will not review impacts of specific energy sources in addressing the project, such as carbon outputs from coal-generated facilities or environmental impacts from a wind generation installation. The proposal is a set of transmission lines designed, as stated, to serve local needs and to improve the access of Minnesota renewable energy sources into the grid. Transmission operates irrespective of the source of energy and is managed on the grid by the Midwest Independent System Operators independent of generation type. Therefore, these transmission lines are not directly associated with any particular source. This project differs from tohers designed to accomodate or compensate for the connetion of a proposed generating facility onto the grid.

AAAAAAAAGH! If that is assumed, we might as well all pack up and go home.  Better yet, let’s call in the really big guns! They can’t be so stupid as to really believe what’s written here (and we know from past experience that the Commissioner doesn’t write these things).

Here’s the whole thing, read it and gag:

Scope of Environmental Report

Looking at this, it seems to me it will be a problem for Xcel too, because Xcel is counting on the “it’s for wind” mantra for its rate recovery. If this “generation neutral” position is where Commerce is at, they won’t get that rate recovery perk — on the other hand, it could very well be that the mantra only applies where environmental impacts of coal might be otherwise considered. Yeah, that’s more likely, because it’s so lopsided!

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace