Lawsuit filed against Governor Markell, Public Service Commission

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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 at the behest of the Caesar Rodney Institute.

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 was 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 an engaged citizen’s challenge 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 the citizen activist standing, which allowed Bloom Energy to begin building its Fuel Cell technology in the Coastal Zone. At that point CRI decided to pursue the matter further.

Since CRI was 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, discussions were initiated with Cause of Action to pursue the matter further. Based on the information and analyses CRI presented, Cause of Action accepted CRI’s request to intervene in the matter based on constitutional issues that could be adjudicated.