Xcel objects to No CapX and Overland intervention

Filed under:Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on January 5, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

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Yesterday at the Xcel Energy rate case prehearing conference, Xcel’s attorney, Eric Swanson, stated that they’d be objecting to the No CapX 2020/Overland intervention.  Just after that prehearing conference ended, their objection was filed:

20161-116957-02_Objection Intervention

Good idea, Xcel….

What do other Petitions for Intervention look like?  What other Objections has Xcel made to Interventions?  What do Petitions for Interventions that have been granted by an ALJ look like?  Let’s compare…

Recently, Xcel Energy’s Chris Clark, who I’d been working in tandem with years ago when he was just lowly corporate counsel cohort opposing the legislatively mandated Power Purchase Agreement for the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project said, “I just don’t understand why the transmission side hates you so!” (rough, not exact quote).

Clark-Chris

Well, Chris, I guess you’re gonna find out.

I presume that this is just a way to eliminate anyone that they haven’t bought off in the course of that “e21 Initiative” where they “reached consensus” about wanting a business-plan based multi-year rate plan — many of the usual suspects were NOT present at that Prehearing Conference and there’d only been two Interventions filed prior to the Prehearing Conference, and only one filed since.

e21_Initiative_Phase_I_Report_2014

Yeah, great idea.  I testified against that effort at both Senate and House committees, where the room was backed full of those who’d “reached consensus” and they were all S-I-L-E-N-T as Sen. Marty and Rep. Garofalo ushered that bill through.  SHAME!  Will they show up for the rate case, and what position might the take?  Certainly not anything challenging the “Multi-Year Rate Plan.”

There was an interesting twist too.  I’d brought up that under Minn. Stat. 10A.01, Subd. 2, participation on a rate case is deemed lobbying, and requires registration and reporting when/if the thresholds are met, and requested that this requirement be addressed in the Prehearing Order.  The ALJ clearly knew nothing about it.

Minn. Stat. 10A.01, Subd. 2.  Administrative action.

“Administrative action” means an action by any official, board, commission or agency of the executive branch to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule under chapter 14. “Administrative action” does not include the application or administration of an adopted rule, except in cases of rate setting, power plant and powerline siting, and granting of certificates of need under section 216B.243.

I’d noted in the discussion that the lobbying statute is typically noted in the Commission’s referral to OAH, and thankfully, on the record, I’d thought to look at that Order, and there it was, p. 7:

Order10Areference

And I noticed that Eric Swanson was very, very quiet during that discussion.  HE is the one who charged me with not registering as lobbyist in the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line case, as attorney for Minnesota Power.  That was such a low budget virtually pro bono operation that there’s no way either RRANT or I would meet the thresholds for registering or reporting.  That gambit of his was just more harassment, trying to limit legitimate critique of their project and process.

So now, for a response to that Objection to Intervention of No CapX 2020 and Overland…



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace