Friday, February 14, 2014

A Look At Your IURC Finalists

Looking over the list of six finalists nominated for the two vacant positions to be filled by Gov. Mike Pence pretty much gives you an idea there's no hope for either appointment to be someone who puts consumers' interest ahead of the powerful utilities. Here are the choices from which Gov. Pence will make his picks:
  • Carol Drake--She's a lawyer and, until recently, a partner at the law firm of Parr Richey Obremskey & Morton. I don't know whether she practiced utility law there, but other attorneys at that firm do. Larry Wallace, who died this past year, served as chairman of the IURC before working as a utility lawyer at this law firm. Word is that Drake is very good friends with Mike and Karen Pence. Drake was in the news lately after her fellow partners at the firm fired her because of a real estate dispute she had with Duke Realty, a client of the law firm. She's suing Duke Realty for interfering with her business relationship with the firm.
  • Robert Hartley--He's a partner at the law firm of Frost, Brown, Todd. According to his law firm bio, he has represented suppliers of electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunication services.
  • Michael Musa, Jr.--He's Cuban-born and formerly worked as an executive for Ameritech where he was president of the international long-distance group. Suffice it to say, he's had dealings with the NSA. Jim Atterholt, who chairs the IURC, worked as a lobbyist for the same public utility before Gov. Daniels named him to the commission.
  • Jim Ray--He's a former IURC director of resource planning who worked for Bechtel Corporation for many years, a company with strong ties to the CIA, which built Hoover Dam, the Alaskan pipeline and numerous projects for Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the CIA. More importantly, Bechtel constructed Duke Energy's Edwardsport coal gasification plant that has experienced large cost overruns.
  • Carol Stephan--She's currently working for the IURC as Assistant General Counsel. I'm not sure where she worked prior to joining the IURC, but I suspect it was one of the big law firms in town since the big law firms which represent public utilities pretty much dictate who gets to work at the IURC.
  • Angela Weber--She's an attorney at Ice Miller who formerly worked as an administrative law judge for the IURC. Her past work as an engineer includes work for telecommunications companies. Her work at Ice Miller includes advising the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), an agency that controls the electric grid on behalf of utility companies, on compliance matters.
In short, we're screwed regardless of which two people Gov. Pence chooses from this list.

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