Friday, February 21, 2014

Pence Names Two Utility-Controlled Attorneys To IURC

Leaving no doubt that Gov. Mike Pence is in the back pocket of the utility companies, he announced his latest two appointees to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, both attorneys with ties to the utility industry. Ice Miller's Angela Weber, who currently does compliance work for the North American Regulatory Electric Corporation ("NERC") and formerly worked as an administrative law judge for the IURC, as well as performing other consulting work for utility companies in the past, is one of his choices. Weber has the added twist of having something in common with Lee Harvey Oswald. She was a former Russian linguist in the Army. Yep, she's a graduate of Indiana University where the CIA does a lot of its recruiting. The other is Carol Stephan, who currently works as Assistant General Counsel for the IURC. Her husband chaired the committee that nominated IURC members three years ago; he's a vice president at IU. Consumers should be prepared to bend over and take more of the same up the butt that we've been getting for decades under the leadership of the most corrupt public utility commission in the United States. Naming women instead of men to do their dirty work for them doesn't ease the pain of their rusty pole in the least bit.

UPDATE: Here's the Indianapolis Star's tamer description of these two appointees:
Angela Weber is a lawyer at Ice Miller, one Indiana’s largest law firms. Ice Miller’s clients include Indianapolis Power & Light Co., Vectren Corp. and Citizens Energy Group. Those companies often bring regulatory matters, worth millions of dollars, to the commission for approval.
Weber previously worked as an administrative law judge at the IURC, where she assisted commissioners in hearing utility cases and ruling on evidence and testimony. She was also a staff attorney for the Indiana Department of Education and was a deputy prosecutor in the Marion County prosecutor’s office.
Carol Stephan is an assistant general counsel for the IURC, where she advises commissioners on legal matters. She previously served as general counsel for the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, a state office that represents utility consumers before the IURC.
Stephan is the wife of William Stephan, a vice president at Indiana University who chaired a committee that nominated candidates for the IURC three years ago.
Note that an earlier version of this post mistook part of Stephan's bio for that of Carol Drake, another finalist for the two vacancies. Apologies for any confusion.

1 comment:

Flogger said...

There was a significant Coal Ash Spill in NC from a Duke Facility. A part of the article: "Federal prosecutors have broadened their criminal investigation of state environmental regulators after a massive coal ash spill Feb. 2 that contaminated the Dan River in North Carolina, issuing 20 more subpoenas demanding documents about communications and possible payments and gifts."

Further- "The subpoenas, disclosed Wednesday, require the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to produce records of any payments or "items of value" received from or provided to Duke Energy, the giant utility whose coal ash containment basin spilled as much as 82,000 tons of toxic coal and 27 million gallons of contaminated water into the river."


One more piece - "Clean water advocates have long complained that state regulators are too cozy with the polluters they regulate. But they say that coordination and cooperation has become even more overt since the January 2013 inauguration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a pro-business Republican who worked at Duke Energy for 28 years."

" Since his unsuccessful first campaign for governor in 2008, campaign finance reports show Duke Energy, its political action committee, executives and their immediate families have donated at least $1.1 million to McCrory's campaign and affiliated groups that spent on TV ads, mailings and events to support him.

After winning in 2012, McCrory has appointed former Duke employees like himself to key posts, including state Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker."

At least what I have read concerning this spill, was the initial underplaying of the magnitude of the spill, and then the stories of the cozy relationships with Duke. Sound familiar??