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Polymet Mining Corp. Message Board

dkwilk 36 posts  |  Last Activity: Jun 22, 2016 4:09 PM Member since: Dec 22, 1997
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  • AP is reporting. don
    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge ruled Tuesday that federal regulators lack the authority to set rules for hydraulic fracturing, dealing another setback to the Obama administration's efforts to tighten how fossil fuels are mined.

    U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said the Bureau of Land Management can't set the rules because Congress has not authorized it to do so. The judge, who was nominated by Obama in 2011, wrote that the court's role is not to decide whether hydraulic fracturing is good or bad for the environment, but to interpret whether Congress has given the Department of Interior legal authority to regulate the practice.

    "It has not," wrote Skavdahl, who last year blocked implementation of rules drafted by the agency.
    The states of Colorado, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming oppose the rules involving hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting substances including water, sand and chemicals underground to increase production from oil and gas wells
    The Bureau of Land Management and a coalition of environmental groups say the rules are necessary to protect the environment. The bureau's rules would have required petroleum developers to disclose to regulators the ingredients in the chemical products they use to improve the results of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
    Attempts to reach the Bureau of Land Management and Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael for comment about the ruling late Tuesday were unsuccessful.

    Neal Kirby, a spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said Tuesday he is pleased with Skavdahl's decision.
    "BLM did not have the authority to issue its rule in the first place," Kirby said. "Today's decision demonstrates BLM's efforts are not needed and that states are — and have for over 60 years been — in the best position to safely regulate hydraulic fracturing."
    Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming called the ruling a victory for states' rights.
    "This rule undermined the

  • The Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved the contentious 87-turbine Brady Wind Energy Center I in northern Stark County near Dickinson.
    The $250 million project by NextEra Energy Resources, which will provide 150 megawatts of power for Basin Electric Power Cooperative, faced stiff opposition. It was the second attempt at the project in the county.

    The PSC voted unanimously to approve the project, as well as the corresponding 19-mile transmission line.

    The project involved the longest wind farm hearing in state history, with 15 hours of testimony on March 31.
    “We worked really hard on this project, and we listened,” said PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak. “I’m happy to support this at this time.”

    NextEra expects construction to begin this month, with the project scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
    “We are pleased with the PSC’s decision to permit the Brady I Wind Energy Center,” NextEra spokesman Bryan Garner said. “Today’s decision is a result of months of working in partnership with the local community to find a project that addresses both the needs of the community as well as the demand for clean, renewable energy.”

    The PSC’s decision ended 15 months of debate among Stark County landowners and public officials about the future of wind energ
    Tom Reichert, spokesman for the Concerned Citizens of Stark County, which opposed the project, said even though the group is disappointed in the PSC’s decision, it will continue to provide input to other citizens in other communities who are concerned about wind farms.
    He said that mostly there is a lot of frustration on the opposition's side.
    “We worked really hard, and we’re still frustrated that Stark County did such a poor job,” he said.

    Reichert added that the group is still actively seeking a lawsuit against Stark County with what they claim was a violation of open-meeting proto

  • Xcel Energy’s proposed electricity rate hike for its Minnesota customers – 9.8 percent over three years — is excessive and should be significantly reduced, two state agencies say.

    The Minnesota Commerce Department and Minnesota Attorney General’s Office made those claims in comments filed this week with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Both agencies are tasked with looking out for the public interest in rate cases before the PUC.
    In November, Minneapolis-based Xcel filed for an electricity rate increase of $297 million over three years, the bulk of which — $195 million or 6.4 percent — would be realized in 2016.

    The Commerce Department is requesting that Xcel’s proposed $195 million increase for 2016 be reduced to $44 million.

    “The Commerce Department analysis finds that Xcel’s rate increase proposal overstates the company’s costs and understates its revenue while seeking higher profits than is justified in the current market,” the department said in a statement to the Star Tribune.
    The attorney general’s office said Xcel’s rate increase would “unreasonably shift tens of millions of dollars of cost responsibility onto residential and small business customers.”

    The attorney general also panned Xcel’s proposal to increase the residential basic rate — which customers pay regardless of how much electricity they use — from $8 to $10 per month. Xcel should be using a different methodology that would actually lower the basic rate, the AG’s office said. Xcel has said the $2 basic rate hike would bring it in line with the cost of service.

    Minnesota’s largest electric utility, Xcel has said that major drivers of the rate increase include upgrades to its power grid and nuclear power plants; and investments in cleaner energy.

    “The investment plan we proposed last year will result in cleaner air, a better environment and a more resilient, flexible energy system that will deliver value to our customers,” Laura McCarten, Xcel’s vice president for state a

  • A survey of utilities and independent power producers across the nation's central corridor shows a potential generation shortfall as soon as mid-2018 because of a wave of announced power plant shutdowns.

    The survey by the Carmel, Ind.-based Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Organization of MISO States Inc. shows the grid operator's 15-state footprint has a generation surplus of as much as 2.7 gigawatts next summer. But possible plant retirements could shrink the cushion to 900 megawatts. And even though MISO will have ample capacity, areas such as Michigan's Lower Peninsula will rely on capacity imports.

    The OMS-MISO survey provides a look forward at expected electricity demand and power plant availability over a five-year span. By comparison, MISO's annual capacity auction only looks out 12 months.

    This year's survey, the third iteration, was extended to independent power producers for the first time this year. The results were widely anticipated because of the ongoing transition of the generation fleet in MISO and running debates in states like Illinois and Michigan about how to ensure reliability and maintain competitive electric rates. All of this is occurring while U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan -- expected to lead to even more coal retirements -- is awaiting court review .

  • Court arguments over the Clean Power Plan that were to be held today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit have been delayed until Sept. 27.

    The climate-change plan will place coal-fired power plants in North Dakota under a 2030 deadline to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent, with less than three years to detail a compliance plan. North Dakota has the third-highest reduction of all states, after Montana and Wyoming. Coal states pushed back against the plan, saying the Environmental Protection Agency lacks authority, and, in early February, the Supreme Court voted to freeze implementation while legal issues are resolved first by the appeals court.

    In May, the appeals court decided it would hear arguments in full bench rather than as a three-judge panel and delayed a hearing until fall. There are 11 judges on the appeals court and two have recused themselves from the Clean Power Plan case.

    In a statement to employees, Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s attorney Anine Lambert said full bench hearings are usually reserved for instances when a party petitions for one after a smaller panel hearing and only then in cases of exceptional importance.
    “In this case, I think the judges believe the Clean Power Plan is a matter of exceptional importance,” Lambert said.
    Basin operates two of North Dakota’s seven coal-fired plants, the Leland Olds Station at Stanton and the Antelope Valley Station north of Beulah.

  • can use as a value basis for MDU..donGreat Plains Energy Inc. agreed to buy Westar Energy Inc., the biggest utility in Kansas, for $8.6 billion as power companies across the U.S., facing weak demand and rising operational costs, look to consolidate.
    Great Plains will pay $51 per share in cash and $9 per share in stock, Westar said Tuesday in a statement. The company will also assume $3.6 billion in debt, according to the statement. Great Plains Chief Executive Officer Terry Bassham will become chairman and CEO of the combined company, while Mark Ruelle will remain at the company until the deal closes.

    The transaction comes amid a boom in utility mergers and acquisitions as customers using more energy-efficient appliances and resources such as rooftop solar flatten electricity demand. There were more than $52 billion worth of utility deals pending or completed across the U.S. last year, the most since 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

    “The combination of our two companies is the best fit for meeting our region’s energy needs,” said Bassham. “By combining our two companies, we are keeping ownership local and management responsive to regulators, customers and regional needs.”
    Westar delivers power to about 700,000 customers in Kansas and owns power plants capable of producing about 7,000 megawatts, according to the company’s website. It operates in a single state so regulatory approvals may not be as complicated to obtain as they have been for utility deals involving several jurisdictions.
    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will provide about $8 billion of debt financing for the deal, according to the statement.

  • dkwilk dkwilk May 24, 2016 4:02 PM Flag

    Idiots like this are Allowed to bad the bear did not completely eat him.. don

  • Reply to

    New Bank in Watford city ND

    by dkwilk May 4, 2016 12:15 PM
    dkwilk dkwilk May 14, 2016 10:10 AM Flag


    First International Bank -- Watford City -- Breaks Ground In Bismarck, ND

    First International Bank & Trust, a company that started 106 years ago and is headquartered in Watford City, broke ground Wednesday for a six-story building, its largest bank, in Bismarck.
    Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem were among the dignitaries attending the ceremony.
    The $40 million structure is set to open in fall 2017 and will be located across from the North Dakota Heritage Center near the intersection of State Street and Divide Avenue.

    First International Bank & Trust has 26 banks (sic) in Minnesota, Arizona and North Dakota, including five locations in Fargo.
    The newest bank in Bismarck will be by far the largest facility, Peter Stenehjem said.

    “We’re kind of across the whole state of North Dakota; it’s funny that we kept always skipping over Bismarck," Peter Stenehjem said.
    "It'll be a landmark building for all of our locations, frankly," he said.

  • This weeks Jobless Numbers on top of last weeks disappointing Numbers looks like the country is SO Close to Recession that the Current Inept administration in DC will not raise Interest Rates in Fiscal yr 2016 .
    This should allow MDU and other similar stocks a constant base , unless the screw something else up..

  • todays Bismarck trib.. Bismarck get 202 Sunny days a year, near the US average of 205 sunny days. don

    Solar panels are not mentioned at all in city building code, according to land use planner Daniel Nairn. And if something is not mentioned in code, it’s assumed to be prohibited. So city staff drafted an ordinance to allow solar panels in all zoning districts — with some restrictions to protect neighborhood aesthetics.

    Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary and other members of the Bismarck City Planning and Zoning Commission applauded city staff for getting ahead of the potential issue

    Seminary said he expects popularity of solar panels to increase within the next three to five years.
    City staff reached out to solar panel installers and the energy industry for advice when drafting the ordinance. For “building integrated systems” that are part of the home, such as a skylight, there are no restrictions. For roof- and wall-mounted panels, there are some restrictions on the angle in which they’re hung.

    The most restrictions are on free-standing panels, which may be no more than 12 feet in height and, in a residential area, may not span more than 800 square feet under the ordinance. Residential lots in rural areas may have panels spanning 200 square feet per acre, and commercial properties can have panels spanning half the footprint of their commercial structure. Accessory building setback requirements will apply.

    The issue came to city staff after Rick Geloff, a resident of north Bismarck, approached them with hopes of building a solar array in his backyard.
    Electricity rates in North Dakota are the second cheapest in the nation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In January, residential customers paid an average of 8.57 cents per kilowatt hour. Geloff also said he gets about 4.5 hours of sun each day on average.

    “To make the numbers work, this ordinance won’t help me,” he told the commission, as the allowable square footage is not enough.

  • Washington post article, could ND be the 4 th state to follow suit.. this would require a special legislative session. don
    TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is suspending its work on a plan for complying with federal regulations meant to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions from power plants.

    A new state law putting the work on hold takes effect May 19 and would make Kansas at least the third state to take such a step following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in February. Lawmakers in Virginia and Wyoming included similar measures in budget legislation earlier this year, though Oklahoma’s governor issued an executive order last year to keep her state from drafting a plan.

    The high court issued a 5-4 decision staying the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s rules requiring states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants until legal challenges to the regulations are resolved. Kansas was among 27 states challenging the rules, finalized by President Barack Obama’s administration last year.

    Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed Kansas’ measure into law last week after the GOP-dominated Legislature approved it by wide margins late last month. The Kansas law prohibits state agencies from conducting studies or doing other work toward drafting a compliance plan until the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay is lifted.

    Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley called the EPA’s rules “an unprecedented expansion of its regulatory power” and “an affront to our constitutional order and the rights of our citizens.”
    “We will continue to oppose these regulations in court in order to protect Kansans from unnecessary increases in energy costs,” she said in an emailed statement.
    But Zack Pistora, a Sierra Club lobbyist, said Kansas should reduce carbon emissions linked by scientists to climate change, regardless of whether the EPA rules are in effect or the federal government presses states to act.
    “Climate change isn’t going to go away,” Pistora said. “Here, we’re just sitting idle

  • Imagine how Much Dakota Prairie Diesel these units are NOT burning each day. Fargo forum today. don

    FARGO—A downturn in the regional economy has resulted in Burlington Northern Santa Fe parking about 45 of its train locomotives at the railroad's train yard just off 12th Avenue North west of the North Dakota State University campus.
    "Customers' volumes across a broad spectrum of commodities have come down somewhat from their prior estimates. As a result, we are strategically storing locomotives in some yard locations across our network," said Amy McBeth, a spokeswoman for BNSF.

    McBeth said the locomotives will remain stored until traffic volumes warrant returning them to service.
    Quarterly profits for Forth Worth-based BNSF, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, fell 25 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
    The railroad has been cutting staff in the wake of falling oil prices, which has depressed demand for shipping

  • In addition to a countywide moratorium, a controversy over the removal of trees for a Minnesota solar project has prompted an amendment in the state legislature.

    The amendment, offered by state Rep. Marion O’Neill, would prohibit solar projects if more than 75 percent of the trees in an area larger than three acres would have to be cut down. The bill to which her amendment was attached cleared the Minnesota House on April 27, though the Senate has yet to take it up.

    The proposed legislation only applies to solar projects, and does not restrict other land-intensive uses, such as real estate development or mining. Rep. O’Neill did not return calls for comment on the distinction.

    Local officials, however, insist they’re not singling out solar for criticism, and that the unique circumstances of the project caught them off guard.

    ‘They’re gone’

    The controversy erupted in Wright County in early April, when Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA) workers clear-cut some 11 acres of mature hardwood trees – an area roughly the size of 8 football fields – for the 80 acre solar array.

    The location is part of a planned $250 million, 150-megawatt Aurora Solar Project, scattered over 21 sites in 16 Minnesota counties, that is expected to go online at year’s end. The project received approval from the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in May 2015.
    The tree clearing took place near the town of Buffalo, an exurban community about 40 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, where farm fields and natural areas are interlaced with suburban housing and commercial projects.

    Locals, no strangers to development, were incensed that they received no warning that the roughly 1,000 trees were coming down.
    “They just came through and cut them all down – they’re gone,” said Buffalo Township clerk and treasurer Tom Kleist. “We questioned afterwards why they did that. We really haven’t gotten a good response.”

  • Bismarck trib.article
    MDU Resources Group Inc., will only run its Dakota Prairie Refinery in Dickinson at 75 percent capacity following continued losses of $7.2 million in the first quarter.

    MDU Resources CEO Dave Goodin said the company is assessing its options regarding its partial ownership in the refinery, which started operations a year ago. With a low local demand for diesel and higher costs of production, the refinery is currently only processing 15,000 to 16,000 barrels of Bakken crude daily. The lowest the capacity can be sustainably reduced at the refinery is 14,000 to 15,000 barrels per day.

    MDU’s partner in the refinery, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, LP, also said in its quarterly earnings report that it may divest of some of its assets including Dakota Prairie.

    Despite the continued struggle of the refinery, other MDU Resources business sectors experienced growth in the first quarter and company earnings are on the rise.
    “The other businesses for the most part doing very well; I think that’s why shares are at their highest since last summer,” said Edward Jones analyst Brian Youngberg.

    He said many investors likely assume MDU will try to exit the refining industry.
    “The trick may be finding a buyer … especially when their partner is struggling even more,” he said. “There are plenty of good refiners out there but how many want to buy into a depressed North Dakota market.”

  • Reply to

    New Bank in Watford city ND

    by dkwilk May 4, 2016 12:15 PM
    dkwilk dkwilk May 4, 2016 5:26 PM Flag

    Business expansion in a town served by MDU. don

  • Cornerstone Bank will break ground on a new location in Watford City on Tuesday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m. at the building site located on Highway 85, just east of Heggen Equipment. The bank is scheduled to open to customers in the summer of 2017 and will offer conveniences like a drive up ATM and better parking in addition to the same great services offered at the current location. Cornerstone is working on this project with the Architecture Firm Wild CRG.

  • Reply to

    Ready for Refienry Impairment charges

    by dkwilk May 3, 2016 8:35 PM
    dkwilk dkwilk May 4, 2016 8:46 AM Flag

    At present stock price and current Company provided Earnings estimates this dog is trading at 19 times 2016 Earnings , instead of a golden parachute, give the MisManagement of this Hodgepodge a Case of Alpo dog food and send them packing.. don

  • the So-called Execs get their bonus, and more and the Shareholders get a sample size Jar of KY..
    From MDU press release..

    The refining segment experienced a $7.2 million loss, which includes the results of the company's 50 percent ownership interest in the Dakota Prairie Refinery. The refinery, which began commercial operation in May 2015, is operating satisfactorily. However, market conditions for diesel and naphtha have deteriorated greatly. The Bakken basis differential from West Texas Intermediate (WTI) pricing remains narrow, which increases the refinery's cost for its crude oil feedstock. The company continues to focus on operational improvements and cost-cutting measures at the plant to improve profitability.

    In light of current market conditions, the company is assessing various options with respect to its ownership interest in the refinery, is assessing the potential for an impairment charge at some future time if current market conditions persist, and continues to assess potential impairment indicators.

  • Dickinson press article.. to what extent will this slowdown effect MDU and earnings..??

    WILLISTON -- Though thousands of hotel rooms and apartments sit empty and a major big-box store is about to close, those who work there say they're still optimistic about North Dakota's Oil Patch.

    "I do say we are busier than you would think we would be," said Tom Rolfstad, Williston's former economic development director.

    Still, as drilling rigs went from more than 200 during the boom to below 30, development has dried up. A Home Depot store that opened just three years ago will close next week.

    Shane Roers came from the family business in Fargo to Dickinson, where Roers West has made a mark developing new projects for businesses, apartments and homes.

    "I think that there's definitely not a fear factor like there was in the past, but I can tell you there's people not pulling the trigger on stuff," Roers said. "As oil gets up to 40 bucks, maybe that will start easing. If we can get up to 50 bucks -- it's going to take some time. If it jumped up to 60 bucks tomorrow, it's not going to happen right away. It's going to have to level off and get some stability until people feel comfortable with it."

    In Williston, hotels have the biggest challenges. Twenty-two were built during the boom, and even that wasn't enough back then. Now they have 1,800 open rooms and are running at just 20 to 25 percent capacity, Rolfstad said.
    "They're actually more on the bleeding edge than anybody," he said.
    That's one reason some in Williston want to shut down the remaining crew camps for oil workers, allowing hotels to benefit from workers still here.

    With about 3,200 vacant apartments in Williston, Rolfstad figures about 6,400 bedrooms are vacant. And rents are down by "half at least," he said.
    At the height of the boom, tenants were paying $2,500 a month. Now, occupancy is so low property managers are offering deals and incentives to incentives to renters who often are paying something close to $750 a month.

  • todays Washington Post. don
    OMAHA, Neb. — The Latest on Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting, where tens of thousands of people have listened to CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger talk business for several hours (all times local):

    4:15 p.m.

    Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have overwhelmingly rejected a resolution calling for the company to write a report about the risks climate change creates for its insurance companies.

    CEO Warren Buffett says he agrees that dealing with climate change is important for society, but he doesn’t think climate change creates serious risks for Berkshire’s insurance businesses.

    Buffett says the fact that Berkshire generally writes insurance policies for one-year periods allows it to regularly re-evaluate risks, such as climate change.

    The activists who proposed the motion tried to urge Buffett to take a public stance in favor of measures to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, but he resisted.

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