Time to haul out the big honkin’ gavel again…

I am not making this up — from the “FOURTH PREHEARING ORDER” in the Mesaba Project siting docket:

Unless excused by an Administrative Law Judge, failure of a party to file testimony when due shall result in that party being denied further participation as a party in this matter.


Ironic given that just last week, there was the backpedalling Chisago ALJ Order that said:

The fact is that our system of due process delights in the contributions that genuinely motivated parties make toward building a record for later decision-making.

Uh-huh… right… except when, as Xcel’s Chris Clark said, “We didn’t have anything to say!” Thankfully, my clients aren’t the only ones who haven’t submitted testimony. We’re in good company – there’s Xcel, Minnesota Power, so far, Excelsior is the only party to submit testimony, and that makes sense because THEY have the burden of proof in this. Intervenors are under no obligation to submit testimony, and if they “didn’t have anything to say” or if they’re cash strapped and will build the record on cross-examination, that’s just ducky.

So, show me the authority for an order like this!!!

hy are we sitting back? The ALJs’ recommendation has come down in the PPA side of things, with the ALJs recommending that Excelsior’s Petition be denied. As we wait for the Public Utilities Commission to take it up, the siting side of this is sitting… languishing… a good thing:

Commerce Siting Docket Site

For PUC Siting docket site, go to and then to “eDockets” and then to “Search Documents” and then search for docket “06” and “668.”

Intervenors in a docket may participate to the extent that the choose. They can wage and active and fierce intervention or they can collect the mail as biomass, their choice. They can passively proceed with thumbs up various orifices or flood the other side with frantic information requests. It’s OUR choice. It’s not for the ALJ to limit. So here we go again, off to the races.

And of course I’m remembering the Hearing Examiner gavelling and yelling at Alan when he had the nerve to ask for the authority for ordering that he and the other Intervenors could not speak at a public hearing! I’m remembering the ALJ’s Order that CRVC explain just exactly why their representing themselves was not unauthorized practice of law (Here’s another post on that). And I’m remembering David Ludwig of the PSC essentially saying the same thing to me when I was representing a client before the PSC! How dare they try to quash the public! I expect this from the project proponents, but from state agencies? The arm of the governor???

Unless excused by an Administrative Law Judge, failure of a party to file testimony when due shall result in that party being denied further participation as a party in this matter.

Plus they’ve not added Charlotte, Ed, Ron and Linda, and Ross to the service list… so they didn’t know about this outrageous Order.

OK, fine, whatever, well, at least Xcel and Minnesota Power know about this and I trust they’re shaking their heads in amazement too…

One Response to “Another outrageous ALJ Order”

  1. Alan Muller Says:

    Attacks on public participation have become the norm everywhere. Certainly they are in Delaware. How can it be that we have entered a new century with our democracy deteriorating? I think it must be that we–activists–are seen by the pols as largely isolated from the general population. This must be the work–rather, the non-work–of the media. Seems to me the ALJs are only the errand boys in this, currying favor with their perceived bosses. Who is responsible? How about a photo of Governor Pawlenty with his email and phone number…?

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