PUC: BHP can rape subscribers

The Republican-owned South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has given his approval to the rapacious retail ravaging of Black Hills Power customers. After another blizzard left thousands without power for the nth time, the political patronage is paying off again.
Mike Theis, director of operations for the Rapid City-based company, said it was unusual but not unprecedented for the company to seek a rate increase as a result of storm damages. The company also wants to raise its rates to cover the costs of closing a coal-fired power plant in South Dakota and two in Wyoming. The company says it has decided to close the plants rather than comply with more stringent federal regulations. The company's request for another round of rate hikes comes three months after regulators granted the utility a 5.7 percent rate hike that was implemented on Oct. 1. The rate hike is estimated to generate an additional $8.8 million in annual revenue for the company. [AP, Casper Star-Tribune]
Yet to be known is how much of the $38 million given once again to South Dakota in blizzard relief will go to Republican donors like Black Hills Power.

The plant at Osage, Wyoming has been an asbestos hazard since its construction in 1952. It spews mercury over western South Dakota, too.

Stock in Black Hills Corp. (BKH) fell in yesterday's trading.

BHP has also announced it's buying a pipeline in Wyoming firming its commitment to Wyoming politicians.
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Vice Chairman Chris Nelson has been selected to serve as chairman of a national committee of utility regulators charged with analyzing and impacting telecommunications policy, trends and best practices. The Committee on Telecommunications develops NARUC policy through resolutions about current issues that guide the association’s message in working with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the court system. Appointed to the PUC by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in January 2011 to fill a vacancy, Nelson won election to the three-member commission in November 2012 to serve the remaining four years of the term. Nelson served as the PUC’s chairman in 2012 and vice chairman in 2011. Prior to his PUC service, he was South Dakota’s Secretary of State for eight years. [Prairie Biz Mag]

In 2011, Yellowstone Public Radio reported that a segment of newly-built high pressure TransCanada gas pipeline exploded 20 miles west of Gillette, Wyoming. The Casper Star Trib has a story:
A natural gas pipeline west of Gillette exploded Wednesday night. It shook nearby homes and echoed at least 30 miles away but didn’t cause any injuries or property damage, officials and a resident said. The blast ripped open a 60-foot section of the Bison Pipeline and shot several pieces of 30-inch-diameter pipe around the bluffs on land about 20 miles west of Gillette at about 7:30PM.
Switches connected to servers can be told to engage and disengage often enough as to cause equipment failure making them prime targets for monkey-wrenching.

Republicans in South Dakota and Montana are preparing to wage civil uncivil war over whose agenda needs to be more detached from reality.
Attorney General Marty Jackly [sic] says he will oppose any effort to repeal the state’s death penalty during this year’s legislative session. The idea of repealing the death penalty has become a legislative focus for some since Sioux Falls Representative Steve Hickey said last month that he will introduce a bill to do so. Hickey, a pastor, has said he believes the death penalty does not prevent people from committing crimes or improves public safety. [KCCR Radio News]
South Dakota is preparing to kill an Anchorage, Alaska man for his part in the 2000 slaying of a Spearditch man.

Hickey has also spoken out against the state's insatiable thirst for violence and supports executive clemency for Leonard Peltier.

Jackley, of course, is merely an asshole.
Texas, South Dakota and Georgia have turned to private compounding pharmacies to make their pentobarbital. South Dakota already has executed two people using the drug from a private pharmacy. [Kevin O'Hanlon, Report: Grim future for U.S. death penalty, Lincoln Journal Star]
Compounding pharmacies were the subject of a segment on this morning's Diane Rehm Show: South Dakota came up in the conversation. Jackley appeared today on Dakota Midday, the flagship broadcast on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio.

Self-reliance is the flip side of moral hazard.

Republican attorneys general are the top cops in the mountain west states: think they'll sue one another to advance stiffer cross-state pollution rules?

Of course not.


Anonymous said...

Larry I'm really torn on the death penalty. When I see such a brutal murder like Chester Allan Poage I immediately think the death penalty is justified by The Rack, Iron coffin, fire up old smokey the electric chair or whatever by those who are just filled with anger, hatred and a disregard for life but is this proper punishment? Look at Texas. Huntsville Prison is like an execution factory. Does it deter such violent crime? Is it right for a society to execute criminals or is life in prison without parole a more just punishment? Then there are those isolated cases where someone on death row or may have been executed that were later found to be innocent. I'm torn on this issue. Lynn G.

larry kurtz said...

It's my understanding that Rep. Hickey's believes putting someone to sleep for societies crimes deters no one from committing atrocities and the legal process puts too much pressure on the justice industry.

My belief is that the convicted should have the choice if (s)he waives an appeals process.

Anonymous said...

Larry, Do you mean the convicted has the choice to die or life in prison or choice of what method to be executed?

Lynn G.

larry kurtz said...

The choice to be put to sleep or spend the rest of his/her life in hell: it's the least we could do as a democratic electorate.

Anonymous said...

That sounds reasonable

Lynn G.

Lanny Stricherz said...

CADerio If the convicted can choose to waive all legal procedures to stop his or her execution, and the State then goes ahead with the execution, we have assisted the convicted in suicide, which is an outlet, that we do not even offer to the terminally ill. Convicted killer of Officer Johnson at the SD Pen, even admitted that he could not face the sentence of 40 years or so that he had for a previous crime's conviction and that is why he assisted in the murder of the officer.

larry kurtz said...

Yet drugging Jared Loughner and James Holmes to be sane enough to stand trial is legal, Lanny. It seems no punishment will deter the most desperate and detached among us from violence.

Why not offer Adderall as an alternative to meth, for instance? People commit crimes because their needs aren't getting met.