Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Power Move

In a strong policy and political play, Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed papers charging federal regulators with abuse of authority with respect to the pending power auction.

From Crain's:

(AP) — The Illinois Attorney General says federal regulators violated their own administrative rules when they met with officials from ComEd and parent company Exelon Corp. last year before approving the utility's controversial power auction proposal.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office on Monday filed documents with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requesting the agency review its Dec. 15 decision to allow ComEd to buy power from Exelon.

State lawyers say FERC commissioners violated federal administrative rules by meeting several times privately with executives from ComEd and its parent company, Chicago-based Exelon, before making their decision.

"Exelon and ComEd have not been playing by the rules, and we have taken action today to make sure that they don't benefit from their misconduct at consumers' expense," Madigan said Monday.
However it plays out, this is a confident move that will keep the pressure on this whole issue. It also has the potential to gain some big legs if it grows into a story about relationships between the energy lobby and federal government officials. Should be interesting.


At March 14, 2006 at 11:43 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Rep. Fritchey,

Give us your thoughts on Phelp's words in the press the past week. In my opinion Mr. Phelps the singing Congressman made have sang his' last song and have people take him seriously. That smells like a threat of political discrimination on his part.

At March 15, 2006 at 9:42 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

I know and like Dave Phelps from the brief time we served together. On one hand, his comments are a reflection of what has historically gone on in politics, namely the winning party trying to help out their allies.

That being said, I'm sure that he wishes that he wasn't so blunt about saying it. If a passing comment like that were the worst problem we had in Illinois politics though,we'd be doing okay.

I guess the lesson is that sometimes overexuberance may lead to excited utterances.

At March 16, 2006 at 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Fritchey,

Today's suit by Madigan and the Will County States Attorney is a better power move.

As you know, it is extremely difficult to get an administrative agency to reverse itself and just has hard to convince a court to do so. Administrative law is not friendly to reversals. Even if by some miracle the suit succeeds, the FERC will immediately reconvene and ratify the earlier action.

Today's suit is better because it hits Exelon in the only place it feels pain, in the pocket book. In addition, nothing gets the attention of the public like problems at a nuclear power plant.

At March 17, 2006 at 10:26 AM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Do we allow his excited utterance to be admissable in the court case against him?

At March 20, 2006 at 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you post soon after the election and give us your analysis on what happened, the good, the bad and the ugly.

At March 20, 2006 at 9:35 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

I look forward to getting back to posting. This pneumonia has really gotten the better of me for the last 3 weeks.

At March 21, 2006 at 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anon 9:31 said...

I just voted for you this morning, so hopefully that will make you feel better. Get well soon.


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