Thursday, August 6, 2015

What keeps Jimmy Glotfelty Awake at Night

I wonder what keeps Jimmy Glotfelty awake at night.

I bet it’s the President’s Clean Power Plan.  I bet he’s thinking about how he can exploit the Clean Power Plan for personal satisfaction.  Unfortunately, the Clean Power Plan puts Jimmy and Clean Line Energy Partners in a bit of a pickle. 

Clean Line can support the Clean Power Plan in trade publication's love fests with friendly press.  CLEP can say how Iowa needs the Rock Island Clean Line to help Illinois and Indiana meet their carbon emissions goals.  Clean Line lobbyists can talk about how wind energy demand will increase and their option is the only option to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s goals.  Basically, Clean Line will likely keep spewing the same come-on lines but add “Clean Power Plan” in their shtick. 

What probably puts Jimmy at Clean Line in a tight place is transmission becoming a legitimate option.  Suppose Kentucky wants a lot more wind energy.  Suppose the Grain Belt Express can supply a big chunk of it.  (All hypothetically here.)   How do we know the Grain Belt Express is the best and most economical option? 

Jimmy’s Conundrum is Clean Line cannot refer to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan at the Illinois Commerce Commission.  Jimmy's fear has to be those opposing GBE can probe CLEP about GBE's lack of Regional Transmission Organization recommendation for the Clean Power Plan.   Opposition will make arguments the state should wait for the RTO’s to study the issue and determine the best option to meet the requirements of the Clean Power Plan. 

If transmission is needed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Illinois should wait for lawsuits to be determined and allow the states to come up with a plan before approving the Grain Belt Express or any other interstate transmission projects.  Under the circumstances, the Illinois Commerce Commission should pull out of the Grain Belt Express approval process and wait for all the neighboring states to determine the best solution.  Just because the Grain Belt Express is the first girl at the ball doesn’t mean the Illinois Commerce Commission should take her home to meet the wife.

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