Comment on PUC Rulemaking

September 30th, 2013

Yeah, I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but the minutes from the last Public Utilities Commission Rulemaking Committee and the latest rule draft update came out what, a month ago???  Naaaah, more like three weeks, but still…  And the next Committee meeting is Wednesday.

Who cares about the rules?  Who cares about Minn. R. Ch. 7849?  Well, we all should because it’s the way the Commission determines, in this case, whether a particular proposed power plant or transmission line is “needed” or not.  It lays out what the applicant must put into an application, it sets the parameters of initial notice for the project generally and the different types of notice as the project moves through the morass that is regulation.

Certificate of Need is the “IF” stage, IF a project will go forward, and not “WHERE” which comes after it’s determined that it’s needed (rightly or wrongly).  If a project gets a Certificate of Need, then the next question is WHERE.  These rules address forecasts and what types are necessary and how current,  if an applicant should be exempted from any of the rules based on the type of project or situation, the (nominal) environmental review in an “Environmental Report,” what avenues are open for public participation such as meetings and public hearings, whether you can question witnesses at the hearings, blah blah… it’s arcane, it might be boring, but it’s what we’ve got to deal with.  You can find really painful examples of how the rules do and don’t work here and at  Please weigh in!

Join us:

Rulemaking Advisory Committee

9-11 a.m. — Wednesday, October 2, 2013

PUC Building Basement (follow signs)

121 East 7th Place

St. Paul, Minnesota  55101

This is about Minn. R. Ch. 7849, the rules covering Certificate of Need.

From the PUC:

August 28 Synopsis

September 10 Draft

We’re getting pretty far along, so this would be a good time to get comments in on the September 10 Draft — QUICK before they issue a formal draft and it’s set in stone.

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