Bill Luther thinks he’s special…

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud — posted by admin on June 10, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

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:

ALJ’s Recommendation

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!


  1. Nobody pays enough attention to what is going on. Everybody just hopes that they will not be affected. Bill Luther of all people should have understood what was happening.
    The process is flawwed. CapX2020 does not benefit the people who will lose land and propert value because of it. If it did in any way then maybe there would be much less opposition. For example I pay twelve cents a kilowatthour. The national average is eleven point something, if CapX2020 were to guaranty me a discount based on my home’s distance from the CapX transmission line I would be fighting for it not against it. But they would rather just take and give nothing back in return for my loses. Rick Conrads

    Comment by Rick Conrad — June 11, 2011 @ 5:01 am

  2. In sales, you have to put your offer in front of the buyer at least 7 times before they actually will ‘see’ what you are trying to offer. Interesting ,isn’t it? Where was Luther 4 years ago, indeed?
    I applaud you for your persistence. Thank you for the updates, always.

    Comment by Judy Lane — June 11, 2011 @ 6:05 am

  3. Perhaps he is indifferent to whether it goes past his family’s farm. He may not have much of an emotional attachment to it anymore, and just showed up to be able to tell family members he “atleast tried”, probably knowing full well it was futile. Who can read a man’s mind? The whole scenario does sound quite comical, though.

    Comment by Bruce Blommel — June 11, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

  4. Could Mr. Luther be related in some way to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or his republican friends, who have assumed that the regular citizens of Wisconsin have to pay their taxes, but get no fair representation by them in the legislature? Basic constitutional rights,and fair and equal treatment, no longer exist in Wisconsin. I can imagine the results for capx2020 when the process gets rolling here. The Governor will provide everything the big companies and his campaign donors want.Many believe the power consortiums will have free rein over property owners whose land the project ends up on. The Minnesota scenario will be absolutely mild compared to the antics that will take place in Wisconsin. Everyone in Wisconsin needs to pay attention now and get involved……………………………

    Comment by Karen Schwengels — June 12, 2011 @ 7:11 am

  5. I believe in the non-proliferation policy to site infrastructure together. The siting of transmission lines along major highway right of ways makes sense in most cases. But the process is top loaded in favor of the utilities. Especially when they propose two alternate routes that so obviously have greater costs and higher impacts than the route they want. This insures that in the the applicants will be able to claim that public comments showed that the public favored their preferred route by a factor of two to one.

    Comment by Rick Conrad — July 9, 2011 @ 4:44 am

  6. In the end the applicant will be able to claim their route choice was favored by the public. two to one.

    Comment by Rick Conrad — July 9, 2011 @ 4:47 am

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace