A couple days ago, Judge Heydinger, who is presiding in the Xcel Hiawatha Transmission Project routing docket, issued an Order to Show Cause, demanding they comply or be booted out of the proceeding!

Here’s the March 29, 2010 Order to Show Cause

There were two problems that just shouldn’t go unchallenged.  First, she PRESUMES need, by ordering, in a Prehearing Order, that Intervening parties choose their “preferred route.”

Here’s the December 7, 2009 Prehearing Order

HUH?  “PREFERRED ROUTE” presumes that the route is needed, it requires parties to say “Stick it THERE!” which pits communities against each other, pits interests against other interests, it is just not right.  Why?  It’s going a step too far, it’s putting the cart before the north end of a horse headed south.  Need has not been proven in this case.  There is no Certificate of Need.  Heydinger’s presumption of need shows bias and prejudice in favor of Xcel.  It shows acceptance that the design of this project as proposed, the size, type and timing, is appropriate.  It shows acceptance of the proposer’s claim that this is the full project, which is contrary to studies revealed in Discovery and out in the public realm (on this blog, too!).   None of this has been demonstrated or found as fact in this docket.  There is no basis in the record or in law for that presumption.

And then, the following day, she issued a “letter” (not an Order) about “Hearing Arrangements” requiring that each intervening party be present every day, EVERY day, for the Evidentiary Hearing that’s likely to last three weeks.

Here’s the March 30, 2010 Letter – Hearing Arrangements

This hearing may be a bit much (compared to Arrowhead WI with 37 intervenors and 63 witnesses???) but imagine what it’s like for the Intervenors who are not funded, not represented, struggling along as best they can.

To see the full Hiawatha Transmission Project docket, go to www.puc.state.mn.us and then “Search eDockets” and then search for docket 09-38.

The rules say that “any PERSON” can file an affidavit of prejudice to disqualify a judge, so I did:

Overland Affidavit and Exhibits

So my question for all the Intervenors already in this — why are you all just sitting silent and letting these Orders and presumptions go unchallenged?

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