CETF Appeal Clears First Hurdle!

Although the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission questioned CETF’s right to have our appeal heard in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, on October 15, 2009, the Court of Appeals ordered that the case will move forward to be decided on its merits.

On September 9, 2009, Citizens Energy Task Force filed a formal appeal challenging the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s decisions to certify the CapX2020 projects and challenged the La Crosse Project and “upsizing” the CapX2020 lines as contrary to law.

Our attorney Paula Maccabee, filed a detailed 45-page brief (here) on October 9, 2009, along with several hundred pages from the hearing record.

  • CETF argues in our brief that the Court of Appeals should reopen the question of need and send the decisions approving the CapX2020 power lines back to the Commission because demand for electricity has declined below any of the levels the utilities studied to justify the CapX2020 power lines.
  • CETF asks that the Commission’s certificate of need for the LaCrosse line (from the Twin Cities to LaCrosse Wisconsin) be reversed due to violations of environmental law and conflicts with state and federal laws and policies to protect national wildlife refuges from power lines. Local needs for electricity can be met with local, lower voltage transmission that doesn’t cross the Mississippi River in a national wildlife refuge.
  • Finally, CETF challenges the authority of the Commission to upsize the CapX2020 projects, since there was no showing that they were needed.

NoCapX and UCAN, two other community groups opposed to the CapX2020 projects, have also appealed the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission decisions.

Watch for more appeal updates as they progress.