It’s not just in Delaware. Things got wound up in the Chisago Transmission Line docket, starting Friday, the 6th. For background, check these dockets:



To do that, go to and then to “eDockets” and then to “Search documents” and then search for the dockets.

Friday was the day when Commerce sent this convoluted and tortured responsive letter (not pleading) to the City of Lindstrom’s Motion to Extend Task Force:

City of Lindstrom – Motion to Extend Task Force

Here’s their take — which is beyond… beyond… well, read it for yourself:

Commerce Letter to ALJ Lipman

The Commerce position was a bit more than I could take — to think that, even where the PUC decision is silent on it, to think that the routing of the Chisago project is not a contested case is just nuts, so I fired off this quickie Petition to get this nailed down:

City of Lindstrom – Petition for Contested Case

They’ve been doing a good job of trying to keep the public out, keeping local government out. It started right out the gate, when Xcel didn’t serve me with the Certificate of Need application, and then didn’t seve me with the Routing application either! They didn’t serve my former client, Concerned River Valley Citizens, etiher. Chisago City was not served with notice or the application or with notice of the Citizens Task Force. CRVC participated in the notice plan, and yet when it was time for Comments on Completeness, Commerce did not bother to serve any of us with those Comments, and when challenged, PUC staff Bret Ekness said they were only about “completeness” and that the Comment period shouldn’t be extended. Nevermind that they were arguing for a “non-contested” proceeding, which given Chisago history is NOT realistic. Then came the PUC hearing, at which time Jim Alders addressed whether it should be a contested case, saying that the company expected it would be a contested case and that Xcel did not have an issue with that.

But noooo, that’s not the end of it. Last Monday, the ALJ issued two Orders, one regarding the City of Lindstrom’s Motion to Extend Task Force:

ALJ Certification to the PUC

But noooo, that’s not the end of it. Here’s the Minnesota version of gavelling the public, quashing participation:

ALJ Harrassment and Quashing of CRVC

By Wednesday of this week, the ALJ  has ordered CRVC that:

3.    On or before 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, a representative of the Concerned River Valley Citizens shall file responsive papers addressing the following matters:

a.    Whether either Mr. Neuman or Ms. Johnson is licensed to practice law in Minnesota or any other jurisdiction;

b.    Whether, in the view of the association, representation of Concerned River Valley Citizens by a non-attorney would amount to the unauthorized practice of law, as those terms are used in Rule 1400.5800;

c.    Whether, in the view of the association, retaining the services of a licensed attorney to appear on behalf of Concerned River Valley Citizens would be unduly burdensome;

d.    Whether the Concerned River Valley Citizens, if granted intervention as a party, would seek access to confidential trade secret data; and,

e.    Whether a more limited role than intervention, under Rule 1400.7150, might meet the needs of Concerned River Valley Citizens

…. sigh… can  you believe????
So we’re before the PUC on Thursday.

2 Responses to “Chisago — State cuts out the public”

  1. Alan Muller Says:

    Seems that excluding the public is a national trend….a national disgrace.

    Keep on em!


  2. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Pawlenty’s Dept. of Commerce goes overboard quashing public participation Says:

    […] I’m having a hard time getting this posting done because the actions and position of the Dept. of Commerce have been so egregious… so I guess I’ll just let them speak for themselves, the pattern will show through: Prior Post: Chisago — State cuts out the public […]

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