FERClitigation.com has published a new letter to the U.S. Department of Energy's Inspector General from Senators Collins and Barrasso.

The Senators are asking the same questions that have been stinking up the FERC's aura for months.

1.    Are parties who "do not otherwise appear frequently before FERC" held to different standards than the utilities who are part of the daily scenery at FERC?

2.    Are there clear rules about what constitutes market manipulation?  Are market participants given adequate notice about what constitutes a violation and treated fairly during an investigation?  Is FERC pursuing "market manipulation" that was perfectly legal when it occurred?

3.    Are deals made with utilities that could be construed as quid pro quo enforcement settlements in order to receive FERC approval for a different transaction?

Tough questions.  Where are the answers?

You don't have to be one of the "white shoe" FERC regulars to think that something's off here.  There's been enough written to make even common consumers question whether our recently politicized FERC plays favorites with its incumbent utility friends while saving its scary investigations and worst punishments for energy "outsiders" that dare to venture into its lair.

The Wall Street Journal gets right to the point:
Ad hoc settlements win political plaudits, but because companies usually neither admit nor deny wrongdoing, the settlements set no meaningful or coherent legal precedents.
Does FERC's mindless pursuit of settlements really serve consumers?  Or is it all about the occasional big headline to draw the passing attention of the common consumer and give him a false sense of security that regulation is working to protect his interests? 

Does FERC play footsie with gigantic utility holding companies?  Case in point:  FirstEnergy's 2012 scheme to drive up capacity prices in ATSI, which cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Regulators didn't bat an eye because what FirstEnergy did was legal when they did it.  But, not so for some of FERC's red-headed step children that aren't regulars at the Sunrise Cafe.  Their ignorance of FERC's mysterious enforcement methods has cost them dearly.

Will DOE's Inspector General shake some of the political rot and decay out of 888 First Street and restore the public's respect and trust in the important work of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission?

I hope so.
 
 
Be a good judge and get these plebeians off my lawn!

FirstEnergy CEO Tony the Trickster must have run out of stale Halloween candy to toss to the union workers who keep his evil empire running.  Union workers have been staging protests outside his home in recent months, as they continue to work without a contract while attempting to negotiate with Tony's union-busting company that never negotiates.  Now FirstEnergy has upped the ante by whining to a judge to make them stop.  Way to go, champ!  Sttttoooppppppp it!  Wahhhhhhhhhh!  Moooooooommmmmmmmmy!

Last week, FirstEnergy's legal henchmen took Tony's whining to court:
Common Pleas Judge Jane M. Davis on Wednesday granted the request by Akron-based FirstEnergy against the Utility Workers Union of America, System Local 102 and its union members.

On Saturday, according to the complaint, about 25 to 30 pickets showed up at the Green home of FirstEnergy Chief Executive Officer Tony Alexander at 9 a.m. By 10:30 a.m., more than 65 protesters on the sidewalk and along the street in the residential neighborhood were holding signs reading: “Bonus for bosses, cuts for labor” and “Tony is a Rat.”
The pickets also used air horns, with the majority of the pickets staying until 12:15 p.m. A few remained until 2:45 p.m.
A neighbor complained to the pickets about the traffic and nuisance, according to the complaint.
The complaint also says there have been at least eight protests at Alexander’s house since April, usually involving eight to 12 people.
I'm thinking that maybe Tony isn't the most popular guy at neighborhood barbecues and pool parties.  Doesn't this guy have enough money to go buy himself a private estate somewhere, with vicious watch dogs, like Charles Montgomery Burns, and quit inconveniencing his neighbors by bringing his work home with him?

Apparently all the proletarian partying on the sidewalk has gotten to the old grouch.  Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Tony, WAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I wonder if it's half as inconvenient for Tony as all the burdens he wants to put on his workers so that he can rake in more profits?


Send in the spies...
An affidavit said First­Energy officials learned there were sign-up sheets for protests planned for the next two Saturdays at the Bath Township home of Charles Jones, FirstEnergy executive vice president and president of FirstEnegy Utilities, and the Richfield home of Lynnette Cavalier, senior vice president of human resources.
...and the FirstEnergy legal team.  FirstEnergy says it isn't trying to stop the protests, just make them more polite.
The request for the restraining order asked that the protests be limited to no more than five people and that they prohibited from using bullhorns or air horns and screaming, yelling or changing “in a manner intended to disturb.”  [typo alert!  I think the reporter meant "chanting," not "changing."]
FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider said the company’s actions were in response to the large, “inappropriate” demonstration in a residential area.
“Protesting in front of our corporate headquarters is one thing. Protesting in a residential neighborhood is a different thing,” he said. “It was truly disruptive on a Saturday morning for them to be using a bullhorns and air horns.”
Alexander was not home at the time of last week’s protests, Schneider said, but has been home during some of the eight other protests there.
He confirmed that an off-duty local officer has been patrolling the area near Alexander’s home since the protests began in April. At times, the protesters have approached the home and neighbors’ homes, Schneider said.
He declined to say whether Alexander had hired security at other times of the day.
FirstEnergy is not trying to shut down future protests at homes, Schneider said, but requested they be limited to five people or fewer.
In granting the restraining order, however, Davis — or someone in her court — wrote “0” on a line next to the number of pickets allowed. She also set a hearing date of Sept. 29.
Is this even legal?
Bob Whalen, president of the Utility Workers of America System Local 102, said he would send word to his members to comply with the retraining order but questioned whether it violates the workers’ rights.
“We certainly will not be there. There won’t be anything sanctioned by the union. I don’t want to put my people in harm’s way [legally], and we’re not that kind of organization,” Whalen said. “We are looking at the constitutionality of that judge’s order right now.”
Whalen said he was not present at the protest in front of Alexander’s home and was not sure whether there were protests planned for the next two Saturdays, but said he has a retired worker who organizes protests.
“They have a calendar full of plans, and I really don’t micromanage it,” he said.
A call to Davis’ court chambers asking about the legality of the restraining order was not returned.
ACLU spokesman Gary Daniels said that without knowing the specifics of this case, he would comment only in acknowledging that a 1998 Supreme Court ruling allows the government to limit pickets at a single residence.
Meanwhile, 680 workers of West Penn Power, Potomac Edison and a small power plant called AE345 continue to work without a contract.
Who's paying for all these legal shenanigans?  I do hope Tony is paying to rake the ruffians from his dooryard and not recovering the cost from FirstEnergy electric customers...

Just one more example of the growing divide between the haves and the have nots, the worker bees and the figureheads.  Shut up and row, slaves.
 
 
And opposing testimony is filed in Clean Line's Grain Belt Express permitting case in Missouri!

Read it here!  Enter case number EA-2014-0207

The citizens of Missouri scored a huge, definitive victory over Grain Belt Express at the recent series of public hearings sponsored by the MO PSC.  Thousands of citizens showed up at the hearings, decked out in neon green, and spoke from the heart (transcripts of the public hearings are also available on the MO PSC docket).  This is reality.

This is fantasy.  In the wake of its public spanking, Grain Belt's super spunky and personable project manager, Mark Lawlor, sent what he characterized as a "press release" to the Caldwell County News.  The "press release" contained Mark's revisionist version of the public hearings, to make it seem like Grain Belt didn't get its butt kicked so hard.

The Caldwell County News printed Mark's "press release" in the opinion section as a "Letter to the Editor," where it rightly belongs.

And Clean Line toady Sierra Club came out with its own press release to attempt to make it seem like its members made more of a showing than they really did.  This ridiculous article downplays the reality of the crowd in favor of the fantasy of a just a few speakers.  This isn't balanced "news," it's one-sided propaganda.  The comments on the story expose the fantasy and replace it with reality.  Grain Belt's intention to use eminent domain to take private property from Missourians so that it can ship electricity from Kansas to Indiana is "DOA."

But that's not even the half of it.   Sierra Club's claims about the wonders of Grain Belt Express are also fantasy.  Grain Belt will do little to "move Missouri away from its reliance on coal" when the majority of the electricity on the line will simply pass over Missouri's head on its way to other states.  The converter station is called a "token" by Missourians who realize that in order to even be built in the first place this converter station requires Missouri customers to buy the power.  There are none.  No customers, no converter station!  *poof*

Here's a better plan for Missouri:  Development of in-state renewables located close to point of use.  Increased energy efficiency.  Both of these options provide more jobs and economic benefit to Missouri than importing electricity from another state.  Importing Clean Line's power EXPORTS Missouri energy dollars to Kansas and other states.

Keep it clean.  Keep it local.  Keep it smart!


 
 
The union busters at FirstEnergy are at it again.  The Herald-Mail reports that local union members have rejected FirstEnergy's contract offer.  The local union represents workers from Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland, the Waynesboro area in Pennsylvania, and West Virginia's eastern panhandle.
The company and the union have been negotiating for a new contract since March 2013. Federal mediators have been involved during the past several months.
Whalen said union members are upset at FirstEnergy demands such as that they use their own "vehicles on their own time" to reach construction and maintenance worksites, and, because the utility is at "an all-time low staffing level," each worker is being forced to respond to emergency calls far more often than was normal a few years ago.
Union rep. Robert Whalen said that by rejecting the contract offer, union members have authorized a strike, if necessary.

But never fear, Potomac Edison customers... useless PR flack Toad Meyers has promised to keep your lights on by magic!
...the utility has plans to continue providing electrical power to its 382,000 customers in Potomac Edison’s Maryland and West Virginia territory “no matter what happens,” company spokesman Todd Meyers said.

“We’ll keep the lights on for our customers,” he said.
It must be magic, because I don't think Toad could cut it in lineman school.  I'm still waiting for him to come read my electric meter and he hasn't shown yet!  I wonder if they'll let him use a company truck for that, or will he have to use his own vehicle?  In case your lights go out, don't bother with the emergency number, call Toad:  (724) 838-6650.

I'm going to stock up on candles and gas for the generator.  I have no faith in Toad's promises.
 
 
The final four PSC public hearings on Clean Line's Grain Belt Express project were held in Missouri last week, and the Caldwell County News has the best coverage of the Hamilton hearing.

Over the course of eight hearings spread across the state in the last month, Missouri's patient and empathetic public service commissioners listened carefully to thousands of Missourians who oppose granting eminent domain authority to Clean Line for its speculative, unneeded 700-mile transmission project.

This is a huge victory for the people of Missouri, who came together to show the PSC and Clean Line a united front.  The final hearings even attracted a dedicated contingent of opponents from neighboring Kansas, who were thrown under the bus by their own regulators last year.  And what a difference for them!  The respect that the Missouri regulators have for the people they serve was a breath of fresh air, as reported by one of the Kansans.

Many thanks to Jennifer Gatrel and Russ Pisciotta, who have dedicated themselves to this effort for the past year, and delivered for their members with the best public hearing effort possible.  The "we the people" pinnacle reached last week is their only reward for the hours of tireless work they have put into the effort.  These are the moments hard working opposition leaders live for, and the feeling is indescribable.  I'm only sorry I had to miss it due to other commitments, but I am fully confident there will be other moments of victory as this group moves into the evidentiary hearings in November and toward their ultimate victory over Clean Line!

Good job, Missouri!  You are an inspiration to transmission opposition everywhere!
 
 
A good friend of mine came up with an apt acronym for the few diehard fans of the Clean Line Energy projects.

MIMPSY:  Money In My Pocket, Screw You!

The MIMPSYs are in high gear in South Dakota, eagerly salivating at all the money they will rake in if the states of Iowa and Illinois allow their people and their land to be used to build Clean Line's money-making "road to market."

For years, Clean Line has been telling Iowa's economic development types how much money will flow into Iowa if it only forces approval of its Rock Island Clean Line project.

But, it now appears that at least a third of the riches promised to Iowa in exchange for its sacrifice will flow to South Dakota instead.

Dakota Power Community Wind has been pumping itself up in the media lately, trying to raise enough capital to build a wind farm of up to 1,000MW in eastern South Dakota.  This is nearly one-third of RICL's proposed 3,500MW capacity.

A recent article claims the benefits South Dakota will reap from the building of RICL:
"The economic potential for our area is tremendous and uses South Dakota's renewable resources to help solve our country's energy needs," said Beresford Mayor Jim Fedderson.

Based on a study done for a similar project, Dakota Power says the potential revenue from turbines to landowners could be between $6 million and $7 million annually. State gross production annual tax receipts could reach more than $4.5 million and the county nameplate tax revenue could equal $3 million per year. Statewide direct economic effect could be more than $200 million.
But, wait, all that money is flowing directly out of the money RICL has promised to Iowa in exchange for allowing RICL to be built as a closed highway through the state.  South Dakota's windfall is coming directly from the pot of money RICL promised to Iowa!  How much more of RICL's economic promise to Iowa is going to evaporate if RICL is permitted?

Pure and simple greed can turn even the finest men and women into blinded fools.

Or MIMPSYs.  A handful of South Dakota landowners hosting turbines are expected to rake in $6 to $7 MILLION dollars per year if RICL is built.  What are the thousands of landowners hosting the line in Iowa and Illinois expected to be paid for their contribution to the effort by hosting the line?  I think I heard something like $500 annually for each tower, if the landowners accepts less than fair market value for the easement and opts for the annual payment scheme. 

Why the disparity?  Why are just a few landowners in South Dakota going to rake in $6-7 million annually, while the rest of the host "team" must settle for $500?

Stop.  Think.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Don't let greed blind you.
 
 
Yesterday, Sierra Club announced that it opposes PPL's "Project Compass," at least the parts that it thinks will carry "dirty" energy.
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said his group "will definitely oppose" the section in that state.

Tittel said the Sierra Club's opposition is "absolutely" a challenge to the existing business model for utilities, which often rely on far-off plants to send power into populated areas.

Tittel said the PPL proposal is like "frack by wire" because the proposed route across northern Pennsylvania would encourage new power plants fueled by hydraulically fractured Marcellus Shale gas.
But what about the sections that environmental NGOs think will carry "clean" wind energy from the Midwest?  How is Sierra Club going to support the western parts of this project without connecting them to the eastern parts that deliver the load?
Tom Schuster, a regional Sierra Club representative, said the group hasn't taken a position on the entire project because there are still too many unknowns.
Meanwhile in Midwest states, Sierra Club is supporting new transmission lines intended to move electricity hundreds of miles across multiple states.  Aren't those also transmission lines that rely on far-off plants to send power into populated areas?  Yes, they are.
Environmentalists who testified said they support the [Grain Belt Express] plan. James Harmon of Kirksville, a member of the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s Missouri Chapter, said it would help Missouri and other states meet the new federal goals for reducing carbon emissions.
DILEMMA!

This is what happens when your policies are hypocritical.  Either you like big new transmission "for wind" (and everything else they carry), or you don't.  There are no "electron police" standing by to keep dirty electrons off new transmission lines.
Hello, left hand... let me introduce you to right hand.  May you two have a long and hypocritical life together!

So, how does Sierra Club want to plan our electric grid?  This is what happens when you let a bunch of "public policy" wonks have a seat at the table.  It doesn't sound like there's any real plan at work here.

Meanwhile, equally silly arguments about "mine mouth" gas plants hijack
the reporter's attention:
Jay Apt, director of the Carnegie Mellon University Electricity Industry Center, said that enormous natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale has led to significantly cheaper wholesale prices in areas of drilling. In other words, a power plant could produce electricity cheaply in Pennsylvania and a utility could transmit it to places with higher electric prices, such as Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.
Ever heard of a gas pipeline, Jay?  Gas can be transported to plants that burn it in places with higher electric prices.  You're going to have to transport something somewhere, and what's easier to get permitted?  A FERC-jurisdictional gas pipeline, or a state-jurisdictional 725-mile high voltage transmission line that meanders through four very urban states?  We all know that FERC has never met a gas pipeline it didn't like.
PJM says what it always says -- because when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  PJM never changes, no matter how many new rules get made.  PJM simply finds a way to bend the new rules to continue to support its generation and transmission incumbents.
PJM Interconnection of Audubon, Pennsylvania, which oversees wholesale electric demand for 61 million customers in a 13-state mid-Atlantic region, has said that the electric grid is "undergoing an extraordinary transformation" as coal-fired plants retire.

 PJM could approve all, part, or none of the PPL plan, but regulators agree that the region needs transmission upgrades to ensure reliable and affordable electric service. Allentown-based PPL said the line would take about a decade to build.
Dotter goes... doddering... on making silly analogies:
PJM spokesman Ray Dotter said it's like a huge version of the dilemma many individuals face: Is the most effective thing to buy a new car, or fix the old one you have?
The PPL plan is like the new car choice. PJM will review the proposal and is likely to vote on it in November or December, and is also considering numerous smaller projects from other utilities.
So, if PJM decides to buy PPL a new car, are they planning to trade in the old car?  Or do PJM and PPL intend to continue driving that old, inefficient car AND the brand new one?  New transmission that ignores current inefficiencies and outdated equipment simply adds to the problem, it does not solve it.

Then Tittel says something sensible:
"We have better places to invest our energy money" in or near in New Jersey, Tittel said, such as offshore wind, solar, and energy efficiency projects. He added that if money was spent in those ways "you wouldn't need the power line."
I hope this means that Tittel will now be supporting smart, new local transmission projects in New Jersey!

But, just in case the Sierra Club simply continues to flap its arms ineffectually and contradict itself, the citizens of the affected states will most likely be the REAL opposition that kills PPL's transmission project.

The citizens have each other's back, because they can't count on organizations like the Sierra Club to deliver a coherent message about new electric transmission.

We always show up to get the job done!

So, with that in mind, PJM wants to hear your comments about "Project Compass."  Tell them what you think.
 
 
Bees pollinate.  Bees make honey.  Bees can sting, too.  That hurts.

Spiders are scary.  But they also eat harmful insects.  Sometimes they bite, and some of the bites are painful, and poisonous.

Vultures are gross.  They eat dead things.  Nature's cleaning crew.

Sharks eat things.  Mostly other sea creatures, but sometimes they eat people who venture into the shark's dinner buffet line.

Traders trade.  They're supposed to make money doing it, but sometimes they lose money making risky investments.

Do we blame bees for being bees?  Do we blame spiders for being spiders?  Do we even want to think about vultures eating carrion, much less damn them for doing it?  Do we blame sharks for eating the occasional person?  (Well, unless you're Captain Quint and are convinced sharks eat people with menace and forethought, but that was Hollywood fiction.)

Then why do we want to villainize traders for trading?  The object of trading is to make money.  Traders don't go to work every day hoping just to break even, or take a loss that produces money for some other entity.

A recent article in the New York Times scandalizes profitable electric market trading and blames traders for "making consumers pay more."

When the regulators and legislators decided to create a competitive electricity market, they spread a bunch of financial chum in the water to attract investors to come buy the products the market created and shoulder some of the risk of wild price swings in order to shield utilities and consumers.  The NYT article puts it this way:
The contracts were intended to protect the electricity producers, utilities and industries that need to buy power. The thinking was that the contracts would help them hedge against sharp price swings caused by competition as well as the weather, plant failures or equipment problems. Those lower costs could reduce consumers’ bills.
So, the traders came.  They ate the carrion.  But, the nature of risk means there's a balance between reward and loss.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  The NYT article concentrated on a winner, without mentioning any losses.  The NYT article lambastes DC Energy for being successful.  What do the NYT reporters think would happen if DC Energy, and all other traders, stopped buying these electric market products?  Could we do away with competitive markets?  Would consumers pay more or less if we did?

When a trader buys one of these products they are assuming risk that they may lose their investment.  If they lose, should consumers make them whole?  Of course not, the trader assumed the risk when he bought the product.  But, when they win, people like Mayor Margot Garant think the trader should give the money they made back to the consumers.
“Why aren’t we getting that money?” said Margot Garant, mayor of Port Jefferson.
Because you didn't take the risk, Margot!

Traders serve a purpose to keep competitive electricity markets functioning.
Trading firms like DC Energy say they ultimately benefit consumers by bearing financial risks and fostering competition. They argue that power companies can hedge only if someone else is willing to speculate. Market forces, they say, can also help power companies determine where to invest in the grid.

“We believe this type of activity should cause prices to better reflect true costs and thus create a more efficient electricity infrastructure that should better serve the retail customer,” Andrew J. Stevens, a co-founder of DC Energy, said in an email.
A trader made this very apt analogy to me:

"Traders should perform a valuable role -- they absorb risk that other market participants don't want to take.  Kind of like insurance companies, which can be wildly profitable too. It's like asking: what would happen to home prices if we disallowed insurance companies from selling homeowner's insurance? If people couldn't insure their home and had to assume the risk and liability of it burning down, people would be less likely to buy homes, would be more worried when living in their homes, etc.  In general, insurance companies provide a stabilizing effect on the housing market.  As a society, we accept this even though we know that insurance companies generally collect more in premiums than they pay out in claims. In other words, they are profitable, yet that doesn't seem to irritate people so much because we like going to bed at night knowing that our homes are insured."

So, why do we revile all traders, even ones making money legally?  Is it because taking down successful traders makes big headlines for regulators swaggering through the OK Corral with their market manipulation magnum drawn?  It's nice to think that some really smart guys are keeping us safe from bad traders doing things that are illegal, right?

But, the regulators aren't that smart.  If they were, we wouldn't have electricity markets with money-making loopholes big enough to drive a truck through.  When a trader makes a bunch of money making legal trades, we ought to punish the regulators, or the market monitors, or the RTO personnel who created these badly designed market products.  Why do we want to punish the trader for doing what traders do?

Maybe it's because those not-so-smart regulators want to drive all the traders who are smarter than they are from the market.  That may be the only way to stop traders from making money in our competitive electricity market.  Only then will the regulators be the smartest guys in the room, but our competitive electricity market won't survive it.

WANTED:  Really stupid traders to assume electric market risk and take losses.  Must be dumber than regulators and market monitors/designers and have an endless supply of cash to give away to consumers.  Apply at FERC or your regional transmission organization.
 
 
The Missouri PSC held its first two public hearings concerning the highly controversial Grain Belt Express on Tuesday. The company is seeking to become a public utility in Missouri with the hope of building a mega high voltage DC power line through the state that would originate in Kansas and terminate in Indiana and provide power to the east coast. The company has promised that they will build a substation that would make less than 1% of Missouri’s annual energy usage available for purchase by local utilities.

Opponents of the project were mostly Missouri landowners and farmers who are determined to block the company from receiving public utility status because it would allow them to use eminent domain to force landowners to host massive power lines on their property. The Missouri PSC will ultimately decide if the private, speculative company from Texas should be granted such power over Missouri citizens.

The PSC is holding a series of public hearings in each of the eight impacted counties. The first two of them were held August 12th, in Hannibal and Monroe City. The hearings were extremely well attended. Over 700 attendees made the drive to have their voices heard. The vast majority were in complete opposition to Grain Belt.

Group spokesperson Jennifer Gatrel commented, "We were really hoping that opponents of the project would wear green to make their opposition known. We were not disappointed. The audience was a sea of green! We were also very happy that the PSC allowed the audience to show their support with applause. It soon became very apparent to all that the project was firmly opposed. We are so grateful to the many articulate, intelligent, passionate people who showed up to make extremely compelling arguments. We find it impossible to believe that the commissioners were not deeply moved."

Some of the highlights of the hearings included Missouri State Rep. Jim Hansen making an impassioned plea for property rights and liberty. Landowner Louis Meyer drove 1,000 miles to attend the hearing and spoke for 15 minutes, laying out an implacably researched and deeply moving argument against Grain Belt. He presented a literal stack of evidence to the commission to back up his statements. Mothers got up and spoke plainly about their fear of having their kids and grandkids near the lines. Farmers like Kent Dye spoke to the technical reasons why having giant obstacles in the middle of fields makes farming much more difficult and dangerous, and lowers profits.

A recurring theme at both hearings were the unsavory tactics and broken promises made by Grain Belt. A local business owner testified to the commission that his business was falsely added as a supporter of Clean Line on list created by the company. Two gentlemen, Macy Rotenburg and former state Representative John Cauthorn, testified that they had determined that many businesses were erroneously put on the supporters list. There were also many people who testified that they were told that they would get answers to their questions, but have not. One woman submitted a recording of Grain Belt Project Director of Development Mark Lawlor making promises that he later broke.

Like a night of great theater, there were tears and laughter from the crowd. One spirted lady brought a giant extension cord to the podium. She stated that one end represented Kansas, and the other end Indiana. The cord itself represented the Midwest it would pass through. She then presented the commissioners with a night light to represent the power that Missouri may purchase from Grain Belt Express. Both the officials and the audience were tickled. As she left the podium, the judge asked her with a smile, "Do you want your nightlight back”?

Block GBE recently became aware of how little progress Grain Belt Express has made with land acquisition. In July, Grain Belt stated that, to date, it has signed easement agreements from approximately 179 landowners for approximately 61 miles in Kansas. In Missouri, it has received approximately 9 easement agreements for approximately 2 miles.

"Grain Belt is proposed to cross 370 miles of Kansas, but currently only has the land rights to 16 percent of it. I guess the reports I read that Clean Line has all the land in Kansas they need for the project couldn’t have been farther from the truth,” said Matthew Stallbaumer, whose family farm near Seneca, Kansas would be impacted.

Block GBE president Russ Pisciotta remarked, "We are thrilled! We honestly don't know how the hearings could have gone better. Thank you to all who have sacrificed so much to protect private property rights. Those who came out yesterday certainly set the bar high for the upcoming hearings, but I have no doubt they too will be a rousing success!"

To find out more about this issue and to get a schedule of the upcoming public hearings please visit BlockGBEMO here.
 
 
Yesterday marked the first two Missouri PSC public hearings on Clean Line's Grain Belt Express project.  Additional hearings will be held later this week, and in early September.  Get dates, times and locations here.

Missouri showed them!

Hundreds packed the two public hearings and dozens spoke out against the project.
I think Clean Line infused spokeswoman Cari VanAmburg with a little too much perky.

"500 megawatts of clean wind power for the state!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
  You're going to be seeing this in your nightmares for years.

You believe her, don't you?