- Urgent Action Alerts
CUB Action Alert - AB 214 and SB 194 Would Undermine Sound and Lawful Decisions
by the Public Service Commission
Stop AB 214 and SB 194!
AB 214 and SB 194 would undermine the ability of the Public Service Commission to make sound and lawful decisions in contested case proceedings, such as utility requests to change electric rates, or to get permission to build new power plants or transmission lines.
A contested case proceeding, which is used for utility cases typically involving hundreds of millions of dollars of ratepayer money, has formal rules so that a record of the case is created in a transparent manner. Any party to the case can review and challenge any of the testimony and evidence presented by other parties. The commissioners and other staff involved in the decision-making process are required by law to make decisions based on the record.
AB 214 and SB 194 would change the rules regarding the conduct of parties in contested case proceedings. The bill would allow parties to have unilateral conversations (“ex parte communications”) with PSC officials, including executive assistants to the commissioners, who may be involved in the decision-making process.
The motive behind these unilateral conversations may be to influence the decision in the case. These unilateral conversations won’t become part of the record, and other parties will not know what has been discussed, and will have no formal opportunity to inspect or challenge any of the issues raised.
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Citizens Utility Board (CUB) is Wisconsin's only consumer advocacy group fighting for reliable and affordable utility service on behalf of residential, farm, and small business customers of electric, natural gas, and telecommunication utilities before regulatory agencies and the courts.
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