There is of course no shortage of horrible bills in this session of the Minnesota Legislature. One especially repugnant item is described in the letter below, recently published in the Star-Tribune:
- “A pair of bills oozing their way through the Legislature are a giveaway to Xcel Energy:
- “ HF113 / SF85 would (1) authorize Xcel to build a new power plant without getting a Certificate of Need from the Public Utilities Commission; (2) require the PUC to make Xcel customers pay for it, and (3) establish a scheme for an inflated rate of return for the plant.
- “The point of a Certificate of Need is to ensure that ratepayers don’t pay for unjustified capital projects. For Xcel to use its political clout in this way suggests the company knows the project cannot be justified except to inflate its “rate base” and thereby its profits.
- “These bills are discreditable to all the legislators involved, but especially concerning is that one of the Senate authors, Mike Goggin, who represents my district (21), is an Xcel manager.
- “Sen. Goggin’s authorship of a bill so flagrantly benefiting his employer at the expense of his constituents should be considered an ethics violation.
- “Alan Muller, Red Wing, Minn.”
The plant in question is a combined-cycle natural gas plant Xcel says it wants to build at the site of the present three “SHERCO” coal units. It is very unlikely that such a project is needed or makes economic or environmental sense.
Contact info for Sen. Goggin:
Two of the Senate authors are DFLers:
John Hoffman, 651-296-4154
Dan Schoen, 651-297-8060, sen. firstname.lastname@example.org