Lawsuit Filed against Governor Markell, Public Service Commission

DOVER, DE – Cause of Action, a Washington D.C.-based legal advocacy group, has filed suit today in US Federal Court, District of Delaware, against Governor Jack Markell and five members of the Delaware Public Service Commission.

The Caesar Rodney Institute (CRI), a Delaware-based non-partisan think tank, has challenged the merits of utilizing high-cost solid oxide fuel cells to produce electrical power for sale to ratepayers of Delmarva Power, Delaware’s largest energy utility provider.  CRI was the sole entity opposing the contract between Delmarva Power and Bloom Energy at the Delaware Public Service rate hearings in October of 2011, on the basis the economic impact on Delaware’s economy would be negative because of the contract.  CRI is also concerned about the constitutionality of the contract.

In an attempt to make the public aware of the issue at hand, CRI funded expert testimony in support of  John Nichols, an engaged citizen, who challenged Bloom Energy at a hearing before the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, as to whether Bloom Energy had the right to build its Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology in lands that were considered protected for wildlife.  The Board voted to deny Mr. Nichols standing, which allowed Bloom Energy to begin building its Fuel Cell technology in the Coastal Zone.

Since CRI and Mr. Nichols were not able to convince the Public Service Commission and other government regulatory bodies to change their views on either the economic or environmental impact of the permit application, Mr. Nichols opted to take his case to Cause of Action using information CRI provided during testimony. He was joined by Fuel Cell Energy Energy, Inc., a company which makes fuel cells and feels they were denied the opportunity to do business in Delaware because of the government’s decision to not open the bidding process to outside companies. Cause of Action opted to intervene in the matter based on constitutional issues that could be adjudicated.

Caesar Rodney Institute 

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