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Winning the Politics of Transmission Development. Harvesting Clean Energy 11 October 23, 2011 Boise, ID. About Gallatin Public Affairs. Integrated Northwest Public Affairs firm Specialize in energy project development and permitting – renewables, transmission lines, & gas pipelines.

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Winning the Politics of Transmission Development

Harvesting Clean Energy 11October 23, 2011Boise, ID


About gallatin public affairs
About Gallatin Public Affairs

  • Integrated Northwest Public Affairs firm

  • Specialize in energy project development and permitting – renewables, transmission lines, & gas pipelines


About gallatin public affairs1
About Gallatin Public Affairs

  • Public Affairs energy projects:

    • MATL Project, recently purchased by Enbridge Power

    • Northwest Transmission Study, partnership with PG&E, PacifiCorp, Avista, and BCTC

    • Palouse Wind Project – First Wind Energy

    • Rockland Wind Farm – Ridgeline Energy

    • Elk Point, S.D. Oil Refinery – Hyperion Energy Center


Developing a successful political strategy
Developing a Successful Political Strategy

  • Agree on attitude, organization and timeline

  • Public Opinion Research


Poll findings
Poll Findings

In the future, which of the following types of energy should be used for the majority of the state’s energy needs?


Poll findings1
Poll Findings

In the future, which of the following types of energy should be used for the majority of the state’s energy needs?


Poll findings2
Poll Findings

Do you favor or oppose building new high capacity transmission lines in order to expand renewable energy supplies?


Poll findings3
Poll Findings

Do you favor or oppose building new high capacity transmission lines in order to expand renewable energy supplies?


Poll findings4
Poll Findings

  • When a major project like building these transmission towers and lines are being considered, which of the following comes closest to your opinion?


Poll findings5
Poll Findings

  • When a major project like building these transmission towers and lines are being considered, which of the following comes closest to your opinion?

  • The project is so important to the future of the entire state that the best interests of the state’s residents should override the concerns of residents where the lines are being built; OR

  • 2. Regardless of the importance of the project, the concerns of local residents should be addressed even if it means this project cannot be built?


Poll findings6
Poll Findings

  • When a major project like building these transmission towers and lines are being considered, which of the following comes closest to your opinion?


All politics is local
All Politics Is Local

  • Transmission projects need to be approached like campaigns

  • Two examples of recent projects:

    • TANC in California

    • Montana Alberta Tie Line



Why tanc tanked
Why TANC Tanked

Editorial, July 13, 2009

“The current proposal, referred to as TANC (for the Transmission Agency of Northern California), has created more ill will in a few months than anything we can recall in recent times.

Property owners were justifiably angry when they learned -- at or near the initial deadline for public comment -- of the massive project that would run high-voltage lines across their property, with huge towers spaced accordingly. Many of them aren't within the five jurisdictions that would be getting the solar or wind power.”


Why tanc tanked1
Why TANC Tanked

  • Planners approached TANC as a engineering project

  • Inadequate key stakeholder outreach prior to public scoping period

  • Need and benefits never clearly defined


Why tanc tanked2
Why TANC Tanked

  • Lethal alliance between environmental groups and conservative landowner groups

  • Opposition quickly demonized project through social media

  • TANC had no effective response to opposition

  • In less than 6 months after public notification, the project died

16



Matl project map
MATL Project Map

MATL Line


Matl facts
MATL Facts

  • Planning began 2005

  • Major permits issued in October 2008

  • Construction began summer 2010 – Federal Stimulus Loan


What went right
What went right

  • Told a credible story of why and how the project will benefit local communities

  • Built and maintained a solid base of support at the local community level

  • Proactively engaged affected landowners – including a new approach to compensation


What went right1
What went right

  • Formed a Land Owner Advisory Committee

  • Educated state legislators

  • Engaged in a highly collaborative relationship with state and federal regulators

  • Matched Gov. Schweitzer’s energy agenda with MATL project goals

  • Built support with wind developers


Matl facts1
Matl facts

  • Court decision in December 2010 led to legislative efforts to clarify eminent domain laws in Montana

  • Construction halted spring 2011


What went wrong
What went wrong

  • Lack of resources to maintain active communication stakeholders during legislation process

  • Lack of direct information from MATL to landowners during regulatory process led to confusion and mistrust

  • Necessary use of eminent domain was exercised without a proactive communications plan

  • Unable to control media messaging during legislature and eminent domain proceedings


Lessons learned
Lessons Learned

  • The communications strategy for large, multi-year projects must extend throughout the planning, permitting and construction phases

  • The project developer must maintain public interaction, even through the regulatory process

  • Don’t let the attorneys stifle communications


Top ten list
Top Ten List

  • Approach transmission projects like campaigns

  • Research is key

  • Develop a credible story

  • Understand opposition and implement appropriate strategies

  • Conduct early stakeholder outreach – listen and learn


Top ten list1
Top Ten List

  • Communicate with stakeholders with, emphasis on landowners, throughout the entire process

  • Have tangible benefits

  • Project developers should be viewed as partners, not trespassers

  • Keep process open and transparent

  • Developers need the capital, determination, and fortitude to drive the process to the end


Winning the Politics of Transmission Development

Harvesting Clean Energy 11October 23, 2011Boise, ID

Presentation by:

Jeffrey Bell, Managing Partner

Gallatin Public Affairs


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