Wisconsin – Petition for Judicial Review filed

Filed under:Appeal,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on August 18, 2012 @ 9:29 am

NoCapX and CETF filed a Petition for Judicial Review with the Dane County Circuit Court for review of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s Final Order on the CapX 2020 transmission line from Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse:

Appeal Filings August 16, 2012

Right after filing in the District Court, it was personally served on the PSC.  And copies have been mailed to all parties in the proceeding.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

CapX 2020 transmission line opponents file lawsuit in Dane County

Wisconsin is odd, after it’s been filed with the court, there are 30 days to mail to the parties — we could have kept Lisa Agrimonti sitting on the edge of her chair, but I wanted to get this all done.


Something that I found strange and disheartening, but not surprising, is that there are very few appeals of Public Service Commission decisions.  Why?  I think that the Commission’s Intervenor Compensation case-by-case payments and their additional newer annual payouts to specific groups does a lot to limit true resistance and challenge — who is going to rock the boat and risk their PSC gravy train!?!?! Every year, the “usual suspects” get a LOT of money from the PSC.

CUB got $96K and Clean Wisconsin got $36k (plus their annual kicker).  NoCapX got nothing and CETF got $15k, NO money for witnesses, and not enough for expenses.  Our proposal was for $36k for MSB on need and $6 or 9k for an appraiser.  Neither of the others proposed an approach like ours, no one proposed a property valuation expert and CUB’s proposal was distinct from ours.  Yet PSC staff says it’s duplicative.  No it was not!

We were not able to present a Direct case without witnesses, and then the judge tried to limit what we could present in cross, saying in the prehearing order that we had to pre-file hard copies of all cross exhibits, that the hard copies had to be in color if the ERF filed exhibit was in color (cost prohibitive to say the least) and when we filed them, costing over $1,000, they then said that was silly, that CD was OK and we could bring those to the hearing, I spent a day copying on CD and then they said that wasn’t necessary — they were putting up road blocks and then changing their rules after we’d spent considerable time and money complying.  VERY frustrating and procedurally bizarre.

During the hearing, the funded intervenors just sat there quietly during the testimony, no cross examination (check the transcript, it’s astounding), instead just sitting there, taking few notes, checking email and surfing and playing with phones.  CUB’s witness did not challenge need and instead advocated for a low voltage line that isn’t needed.  Clean Wisconsin didn’t even challenge the line and instead presented tedious testimony on tussocks.  I nearly blew a gasket.

The transcript is on line at the PSC site, scroll down and plug in docket 05-CE-136.  It’s appalling.

one comment so far »

  1. Definitely disheartening.

    Comment by Toni Yeske — August 19, 2012 @ 10:25 am

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace