NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Petitions Filed

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on January 27, 2009 @ 8:52 am

Yesterday NoCapX 2020 and United Citizens Action Network filed a Petition to Intervene in the Routing docket for CapX 2020.  Today we filed our Petition for a Citizens Advisory Task Force.

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Petition for Intervention

NoCapX 2020 and U-CAN Petition for Citizen Advisory Task Force

The Staff Briefing Papers are odd, both acknowledging some of the problems inherent in this application and process, and avoiding a statutory Citizens Advisory Task Force.  Scott Ek is new, without the baggage of the other Commerce staff, but he’d obviously be getting “on the job training” in Commerce philosophy and policy.

Back in the late 1990s, a Citizens Advisory Task Force had a charge and power to do a thorough vetting of an application.  But in 2001, the Task Force statute was changed, gutting their term and power by adding this language:

At the time the task force is appointed, the board shall specify the charge to the task force. The task force shall expire upon completion of its charge, upon designation by the board of alternative sites or routes to be included in the environmental impact statement, or upon the specific date identified by the board in the charge, whichever occurs first.

Minn. Stat. 216E.08.

Commerce has been interpreting it to mean that the job of the Task Force is to comment on the appropriate scope of environmental review, and the minute the Scoping Decision is out, the Task Force is over.  EH?

This needs some clarification, and the Commission, in ordering a Task Force, should specify the Task so that Commerce does not limit them… as has happened in the past.

What’s good about Staff’s recommendations is that it’s acknowledged that there’s not enough time and that there’s a benefit to having a Task Force around.  Seems to me that the Commission should Order a Task Force and then, when it ends as mandated in the statute, it would continue as a “work group” or a “focus group” as suggested by Commerce.  That’s workable.  but I want specific directions, like “The Task Force shall issue a report with their Findings” or some such, and outline what the “task” is.  Let’s get specific!