Citizens Action Coalition v. Duke Energy Indiana - 6/25/14

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Wednesday  June 25, 2014 
1:00 PM  EST

1 p.m. 93A02-1305-EX-394. Krannert Center for Executive Education, West Lafayette. In November 2007, Duke Energy Indiana, Inc. ("Duke") received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ("IURC") to build an "integrated gasification combined cycle" power plant ("Plant") at Duke's Edwardsport facility in Knox County, Indiana. As allowed under Indiana Code section 8-1-8.5-6, the IURC ordered semi-annual reviews of the Plant's construction progress. During each six-month review, and as permitted under Indiana Code chapter 8-1-8.8, Duke asked the IURC for permission to timely recover "reasonable and necessary" constructions costs and financing costs through customer utility rates. In the instant action, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Inc., Save the Valley, Inc., Sierra Club, and Valley Watch, Inc. ("Joint Intervenors") appeal from the IURC's order in its ninth semi-annual review. On appeals, the Joint Intervenors present the following issues:
   Whether the IURC committed reversible error by authorizing inclusion of 100 percent of Duke's requested financing costs (under Indiana Code section 8-1-8.8-12) in retail customer rates without making any findings of fact or conclusions thereon regarding Joint Intervenors' argument that Duke cannot recover financing costs for a three-month delay in construction; and
   Whether the IURC committed reversible error by unconditionally allowing Duke to declare 50 percent of the Plant to be "in service" without making any findings of fact or conclusions thereon, and despite Duke's admission that the Plant had not reached its "In-Service Operational Date" as that term was defined in the Settlement Agreement to which Duke was a party.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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