This is the promised further detail on the “mega-horrible” bills being heard in a Senate committee at 4:00 pm this afternoon (Thursday, March 19th.
For the utility “deregulation” bills
see Carol Overland’s Legalectric.org post, “the problems with SF 1735″ . Overland has been practicing utility regulatory law for a long time and knows the history behind the present scams. This is complicated stuff that just can’t be reduced to sound bites, but here are two anyway: (1) Utilities, expecially Xcel Energy, can pretty much afford to buy off everybody, and (2) Nobody in Minnesota government or politics seems to be publicly standing up for ratepayers, the environment, or the public interest.
Attorney General Lori Swanson has the authority to act on behalf of the public. Ask her to do so: (651) 296-3353 or 1-800-657-3787, Attorney.General@ag.state.mn.us.
[Note: There is a “delete-all” amendment to S. F. 1431 which we received at 10:30 pm. This new version does not seem to correct any of the problems people are objecting to. It has new sections, some of which seem to raise new concerns.]
[Update: The AG’s office DID appear at the hearing and oppose both the original bill and the delete-all amendment. Kudos to Lori Swanson.]