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Illinois Commerce Commision Testimony Highlights

Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) Testimony Highlights: Docket 12-0560

Print version of abbreviated 1 page version of highlights, available here. 

NEW! Print version of extended highlights and full quotes available here.

Rock Island “Clean” Line (RICL) applied for public utility status in Illinois in October, 2012. The ICC is currently considering RICL’s application. Rounds of data requests and testimony are currently being exchanged. The hearings in Springfield are scheduled for December, after which there will be several more rounds of paperwork. The very earliest we could expect a decision from the ICC would be April, 2014. IF (and it’s a huge IF) RICL is granted public utility status, then eminent domain follows after RICL completes a list of procedures.

At this point, RICL is facing an uphill battle. Key testimony submitted the end of June, 2013 highlights major problems with the project. Key opposition includes the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Department of Ag, ComED, and the Illinois Landowners Alliance (ILA). The ILA is made up of more than 300 unified landowners across the route and represents a significant portion of properties directly in the path of RICL.

Abbreviated highlights below:   For extended highlights, click here. 

“.. this is a “spec”-like project that RI may not even try to build.” ComEd/Naumann, p. 3

“The Project is simply not developed enough for final regulatory evaluation.” ComEd/N aumann, p. 2

RI seems to have run through all of the investor’s money with no guarantee of more. ComEd/Lapson, p. 6

”RI’s financial resources are not currently sufficient to fund the construction ... At best, the information

provided regarding access to financing can only be described as “aspirational.”” ComEd/Lapson p. 5

“If there are still insufficient revenues to support the RICL Project…then RICL would be more likely to seek to

raise revenue through some sort of FERC-approve cost-based recovery mechanisim… as described by

RICL witness Skelly…..” That means they could ask us to pay for their project. ICC Staff/ Zuraski p. 35

“RI specifically told PJM that PJM should not assume that RI should be modeled as “a wind sourced injection.”

In other words, don’t count on us being wind-sourced. PJM is the East coast regional electric grid. Naumann, p. 8

“Listing the number of transmission projects that have successfully achieved financing….is tantamount to my listing the

members of the violin section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as evidence that I will certainly become a

member of the violin section of the orchestra if I follow the same regimen that they did. “ ComED/Lapson, p. 12

“… the reliability and financial risks they entail, including to Illinois deliver customers, are far to great to

warrant issuance of a CPCN at this time.” ComEd/ Naumann, p. 11

Electricity price “savings are likely to be short-lived benefits…..In effect, the supply side of the market will

react towards reestablishing an expectation of making normal returns on investment.” ICC Staff/Zuraski p. 22

“… the more impudent, inefficient, costly, wasteful RICL is assumed to be, the greater the “benefit” that

would be computed by Dr. Loomis’ model.” ICC Staff/ Zuraski, p. 14

“The cited increase in tax revenues at the State and local levels merely represent income transfers,

at best…. They do not represent a net increase in consumer welfare. Some portion of these tax

revenues could even represent a net increase in costs….. ” ICC Staff/Zuraski, p. 15

“I am skeptical of RICL’s ability to efficiently manage and supervise the proposed project.” ICC staff/Rashid, p. 4

“The direct testimony presented by RICL witnesses focuses only on certain alleged benefits of the

project. RICL has not compared the benefits to the expected costs.” ICC Staff/Zuraski p. 11

Illinois Landowners Alliance Testimony

Motion to Compel the Commission to Consult with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

No environmental impact studies have been done.

Add YOUR voice on the ICC Comment page for Docket 12-0560: