UPDATE – April 19: Now there’s a Notice 0f Comment Period:

Comments are due by May 15 — see Notice 0f Comment Period  for particulars.

Last Tuesday, there was an “Informational Meeting” where Xcel Energy was allowed to present its plan for an “Alternate Rate Design” to the Commission.  Nevermind that there is an “Alternate Rate Design” PUC Docket 15-662 and there’s an ongoing rate case right now, PUC Docket 15-826.  No, Xcel gets to circumvent all that, and get special time before the Commission.

The Office of the Attorney General registered a complaint, raised some pertinent questions (OAG-RUD_Letter_20174-130495-01) and asked that the meeting be cancelled:

Pretty simple concept, but noooooo… the meeting went forward.  And Chair Lange’s position was that we’d deal with the Attorney General’s Office’s objections AFTER the presentation by Xcel — it was absurd.

At the outset, I jumped in and requested that Chair Lange and Commissioner Schuerger recuse themselves due to their work in putting together Xcel’s e21 Initiative:

Here’s the full post with background on that:

e21_MikeBull_Center for Energy and Environment

Well, that request to recuse went over like a lead balloon…

And when “discussing” this with the Asst. A.G., one Commissioner said, essentially, “Well, Xcel Energy will file its proposal, a docket will be opened, and you can just intervene in that docket.”  NOPE, no way, that’s not how it works, intervention is NOT to be assumed, presumed, and no way is that a legitimate rationale for allowing Xcel Energy’s presentation time before the Commission.

What did Xcel have to say?  Not much of substance:


But note that Xcel proposes for this process to be orchestrated by CEE and Great Plains Institute… AGAIN!

Remember the OAG-RUD’s_Letter that any rate design should be an INDEPENDENT process, not one orchestrated by Xcel Energy (and/or its toadies).

Anyway, back to the notion of intervention… We’ve been having problems with OAH limiting interventions, unduly limiting public participation, for some time now:

More Denial of Intervention in Xcel Rate Case

May 3rd, 2016

2nd Petition for Intervention in Xcel Rate Case

January 25th, 2016

Rate Case – Response filed to Xcel’s Objection to Intervention

January 6th, 2016

Just recently in a Minnesota Power rate case, there have been two examples of unreasonable denial, that of Minnesota CUB and AARP:



Both of these were cases where there were NO objections to their intervention by any party, and yet the ALJ denied intervention, claiming that their interests were “identical” to those of already admitted intervenors.  WHAT?

To be continued… In the meantime, work on those comments in the “Alternative Rate Design” docket:

Notice 0f Comment Period:

Comments are due by May 15 — see Notice 0f Comment Period.


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