Have they forgotten the first word of the Commission’s name: PUBLIC? They’re barring the door to my being there by phone. Or more correctly, they won’t answer the phone! It’s beyond “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” More like “I’m sorry, but the number you have reached has been disconnected” minus the “sorry” because they’re probably relieved.

I’d asked to sit in on the Big Stone deliberations by phone a couple days ago, given that I’m in Delaware, I can’t just hop in the Diamante and fly to St. Paul. Janet Gonzalez said she wasn’t handling it (she’s the one who has arranged this in the past, though Bob Cupit did it once), and Janet said to call Bob Cupit, and Bob said he was overloaded and to contact Mary Swoboda, who has the technical knowledge to do it. No problem… so I thought. Silly me… I called and sensed some resistance, which is odd, because I’ve done this several times before, for two or three PUC meetings, and as many prehearing conferences… Mary said she’d have to talk to Bob… who had just sent me to Mary… yes, we’re going circular… and Mary said she’d call back. Yet here’s what showed up from Bob:

We’ve discussed this further after your call to Mary. I’m reminded that our accommodation policy is for full parties with extenuating circumstances. And of course, oral arguments were yesterday, which you did not attend as a limited party. Three parties with limited party status, including yourself, were called on by the Chair during the oral arguments and none responded. Further, you haven’t offered any extenuating circumstances. We must decline your request.

SAY WHAT?!?!?!?!? “Accommodation policy” my ass… I think Alan would call this the NON-accommodation policy. Methinks it just might be something else bringing on the bad connection.  My response:

Bob & Burl –

I did present extenuating circumstances as I definitely told Mary and Janet that I was in Delaware, and that if I was in Red Wing it would not be an issue, obviously I’d come up.  I did not ask to listen in on yesterday’s argument as I had no argument to make, and there’s no requirement to argue and as a limited intervenor — I wouldn’t even try to argue that actively participating in final argument is required or necessary.

mncoalgasplant.com’s limited party status in this proceeding is another major problem, but that’s another story for another time…

Your “accommodation policy” isn’t anything that’s been discussed with me in the previous times I’ve done this and I believe that Charlotte Neigh, not a party to any proceeding, has also listened in. The only issue raised previously is that there is limited access and it’s first come first serve.  No one has said that there are too many asking for listening privileges.  Trotting out a “policy” now and refusing access isn’t equitable.  As someone said recently, “I’ve just about had it.”

There’s a few hours left to line up someone to speak for mncoalgasplant.com at the meeting…


Here, Bob, this one’s for you — as you may recall, you haven’t gotten one of these since your comment at the Excelsior Task Force meeting about the TF and the law regarding cumulative impacts, so here you go, today’s Horse’s Ass Award:

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