Regulatory capture at PUC

August 27th, 2021

Yet another example of regulatory capture at the PUC. My take is that for pipelines and wind projects, they want to ram projects through, with little to no regard for those living with and affected by the projects.

Yesterday was the PUC’s meeting for deliberation and decision on the Walleye Wind project. Walleye Neighbors had been completely excluded from PUC Staff Briefing Papers (linked here)!

Walleye Wind was agenda item #4, the last agenda item:

I headed out in plenty of time to get there at the start of the meeting, with a 10 minute delay to get to the one door that was open, on the other side! Construction… and to wait for someone to come out because the door was locked. No problem, got in the room at about 4 minutes after the start, 9:19 a.m., and surprise, SURPRISE, Chair Sieben was introducing the parties to the Walleye docket, and included LIUNA, a mere participant, not an intervening party!

“Somebody” had rearranged the agenda and put Walleye Wind FIRST!

I’d filed a Notice of Motion and Motion based on PUC staff’s exclusion of Walleye Neighbors comments in any of the 3 sections of the Staff Briefing Papers where they should be, the “Relevant Documents,” the “Procedural History,” and “Comments Received.” Staff did not include Walleye Neighbors comments.

The staff also lists “Meeting Details” and Walleye Neighbors’ Comments are not listed in either version 1:

… or version 2:

Here’s how the meeting went, it starts at 19:00 HERE AT THIS LINK.

Sometime yesterday, a changed agenda appeared during the meeting on the meeting link (NOTHING IN THE DOCKET), listing Walleye Wind FIRST, and this one, produced shortly after 1 p.m., included notation of Commission action.

Note that towards the end, Chair Sieben asks participant LIUNA if they have any comments. That same request was NOT extended to Walleye Neighbors.

The Commission has an express mandate regarding public participation in Minn. Stat. 216E.08:

Guess again…

p.s. here’s what LIUNA had to say when I requested a short extension of time when I was retained at last minute by Walleye Neighbors, just one week before comments were due:

Another “just wow…”

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