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Feb. 7, 2000

Dear Cree sympathizers:

Hydro Action alert! Your letter is needed by Feb. 23!

The time of reckoning with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is upon us! NSP applied for a new contract with Manitoba Hydro on Feb. 2 at the PUC. Environmentalists and Cree supporters now have until Feb. 23 to persuade the Commissioners to refuse that application. Letters opposed to giving approval for Manitoba Hydro's electricity need to be sent before Feb. 23 to establish that this is a "contested case" and therefore requires a formal hearing.

NSP hopes to have the Manitoba Hydro contract negotiated and signed as soon as possible. A PUC staffer told me today the PUC is trying to accommodate NSP's need to speed up the application process so NSP can accomplish its business in a timely fashion. Don't let NSP slip this deal through without speaking up. OUR North American continent and OUR neighbors up north will SUFFER if NSP gets the Manitoba Hydro contract.

It is crucial that your letter refers to Docket # E-002/M-99-888. This is the code pertaining to the application; include it in the letter.

Please write. Explain why you feel the Commissioners should refuse permission to NSP to buy power from Manitoba Hydro. If it is helpful to you, you may use any of these reasons:

1. Dependence upon Manitoba's hydro-power removes incentives to develop more renewables in the upper Midwest.

2. Manitoba hydro-power is not acceptable as a "renewable" energy source because it destroys the boreal forests and river systems of northern Manitoba.

3. Dollars sent to Manitoba do not create jobs in the utility industry here, nor in a restructured industry.

4. The NSP contract links us firmly to the continuing environmental and cultural destruction that Pimicikamak Cree Indians have been speaking out against (and acting as spokespeople for the Nelson River drainage area which includes portions of Minnesota).

5. Manitoba Hydro's river manipulation has undocumented consequences for Minnesota's migratory bird species because of the destruction of boreal forest and uplands.

6. It is not in your public interest as a conscientious Minnesota consumer to collaborate with the destructive companies hiding the true cost of mega-hydro-electric generation.

Mail your letter to:

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
121 7th Place East, Suite 350
St. Paul MN 55101-2147

Thank you for taking time out to stop the hydro-electric holocaust,

Diane J. Peterson
Member, Peace and Social Action Committee
Twin Cities Friends Meeting
St. Paul, Minnesota
(651) 653-4385

P.S.: I am lobbying at the Capitol for a Hydro Review bill--sending me a copy of your letter to the PUC will assist the effort on that front.
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For those who need to see the legal language, here is the official notice from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission:

Date: February 4, 2000
To: Service List
From: Burl Haar, Executive Secretary
Docket: E-002/M-99-888
Subject: In the Matter of Northern States Power Company's Petition for Review of its 1999 All Source Request for Proposal (RFP)
Subject: Notice of Comment Period

TAKE NOTE that on February 2, 2000, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) received Northern States Power Company's SHORT-LIST INITIAL EVALUATION REPORT (Report) in the above entitled matter. On January 26, 2000, the Comission received the Independent Auditor's Short-List Selection Report. Under the modified bidding process there is a 15 day comment period to demonstrate that a bidder was excluded from the short-list due to unfair treatment or because of significant errors in the selection process. The commission will extend the comment period in this case to 21 days. Comments on the Report must be filed by 4:30pm on Wednesday, February 23, 2000. If necessary, Reply comments must be filed by 4:30pm on Wednesday, March 8, 2000.

Questions regarding this matter should be referred to Bret Eknes [a PUC administrator] at 651-296-8667 or Susan Mackenzie [an electric rates analyst at the PUC] at 651-296-8994.