Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Minnesota "Sustainable Energy" Scam: From T. Paw to T. Boone

The Minnesota "Sustainable Energy" Scam

Jim Fetzer

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The "Sustainable Energy" Billboard

It was my pleasure to interview Mary Hartman and Kristi Rosenquist on "The Real Deal", an internet radio program I host on M/W/F from 5-7 PM/CT, which took place on 17 June 2011 and has been archived at I was taken aback to discover that the sustainable energy program in Minnesota is by and large a scam designed to enrich the Texas billionaire, T. Boone Pickins.

I learned from them that a program being sold to the residents of Minnesota as an "environmentally friendly" enterprise actually appears to conceal a major rip-off of the public, where the purchase of land for wind mills is being use as a front to conceal taking control of mineral and water rights. The scam is so bad that the utility monitoring the production of energy has been derelict.

Not only has the utility not been properly monitoring output but the cost of the energy that is being consumed by these enormous devices -- the windmills themselves -- has not been taken into account in determining their output, which is a fraud in itself. Without knowing the cost of production, the actual benefit is unknown.

In addition, these enormous structures are littering the landscape of rural areas in a way reminiscent of grotesque horns extruding from the earth. The sound is bad enough, but the effects upon health of the vibrations they are generating has yet to be measured. It appears to be both serious and enduring -- a bad combination!

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A "Tipped" Turbine for Your Yard

While former Governor Tim Pawlenty wants to take credit for this "green" initiative, I believe that anyone who looks into what is actually going on will discover that it is as terrible a scam as Minnesota has ever known. If it is not brought to a halt now, there is scant change the state will ever recover -- and the citizens of the land of 10,000 lakes may actually have to pay for its own water.

The idea of producing 25% of the state's energy using sustainable resources by the year 2025 as the "25 x 25" program appears to have been a marketing mechanism to conceal the real objective, which is converting state resources to private benefit -- a disgrace being promoted as a benefit, which means that what's really going on here is a massive scam. Remember that green is also the color of money.

Here is a link to the interview. I urge every American who cares about their own state to listen and weep. This is a tragedy in the making, which puts the lie to politicians and officials who are selling the states most precious resources -- its land, minerals, and water -- to private investors who stand to make fabulous profits at the public's expense:

Here's a summary of what Kristi and Mary have turned up, but it's only a summary. For more details and exposure of what's really going on, listen to the interview. It runs 100 minutes -- four segments of 25 minutes apiece -- and you will never feel the same way about "green" projects being promoted by the state! It's simply stunning.

From T. Paw to T. Boone

Kristi Rosenquist with Mary Hartman

Government of the lobbyist by the lawyer for the benefit of industrial wind developers is a serious problem. Touted to protect the environment, the Minnesota 2007 Renewable Energy Standard is instead enriching out-of-state corporations on the backs of Minnesotans.

The New Generation Energy Act was a Governor’s Initiative championed by Tim Pawlenty. Edward Garvey & Christine Brusven wrote the MN Renewable Energy Standard (RES), then shepherded it through the legislature for Governor Pawlenty. Now Mr. Garvey is a principal at WeberJohnson lobbying for wind energy. Ms. Brusven is the lawyer for Texas billionaire T. Boone Picken’s company, AWA Goodhue LLC. Her firm, Fredrickson & Byron, is a WeberJohnson client. They wrote the law, now they lawyer and lobby for the beneficiaries of the law.

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And whose home is being destroyed thereby

The RES requires utilities to get 25% or their energy from renewable sources 2025. The law exempts wind from the normal checks and balances required of other electrical generation sources. Wind is exempt from showing need, environmental impact, negative effect on rate payers and negative effect on the electrical grid.

The Public Utilities Commission reviews wind development applications with support from the Department of Commerce’s Office of Energy Security. The lawyers and lobbyists did a fine job of writing and tweaking the RES and related laws to force the hand of the Public Utilities Commission and the Office of Energy Security to meet the mandate laid out in a law written entirely for the benefit of wind developers.

This has left Goodhue County and her Townships in the dismal position of having a small amount of power and influence over a poorly defined, untested portion of the wind permitting process. The real stakeholders are left trying to discern reasonable setback distances from houses for 450 foot turbines that reasonably should not exist.

The only reason T. Boone Pickens is signing 30-50 year leases with landowners in Goodhue County is huge financial gain with little or no risk. State mandate, MN Community Based Energy Development (C-BED) tariff on rate payers, federal subsidies, federal production tax credit, ten year depreciation, federal tax shelters, current transmission capacity in Goodhue, and the MN Flip business model do nothing to reduce carbon. Pickens declared in 2008 that his 68,000 acre ranch located in the Texas Panhandle, one of America’s windiest regions, will not have a single turbine. “I’m not going to have the windmills on my ranch," he said. "They’re ugly.”

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And even more so when they are fried . . .

I spoke with Shane Myre at Governor Pawlenty’s office both by phone and in person. Mr. Myre assured me that he passed on my concerns to the Governor. He also assured me there was no chance Governor Pawlenty would meet with the citizens of Goodhue County to hear our concerns. The results of Pawlenty’s Governor’s initiative are a fiasco.

Tim Pawlenty is a fiscal conservative on most issues. When it comes to wind-generated electricity, Tim Pawlenty is generous with tax and rate payers’ money to fund the feel-good illusion that industrial wind turbines will reduce carbon emissions. Lots of money combined with the expertise and inside track of Pawlenty’s former Commerce Department staff make Minnesota the perfect target for a billionaire with a few hundred extra turbines. That’s why I say, “Pickens gets the gold mine; we get the turbine shaft. Thanks T. Paw.”

Mary Hartman and Kristi Rosenquist are long-time residents of Minnesota who believe that citizens can contribute to better government as long as they keep informed.