Doubek: Are We Being Kept in the Dark by Our Power Regulator on Next Grid?

A consumer group and electric firm sue the Illinois Commerce Commission claiming repeated Open Meetings Act violations.

Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/124045052@N03/14059956708/">kathrinmusil</a> via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The government body that oversees utilities is drafting a plan for Illinois’ electric grid and market for the next few decades. But a public advocate and electricity firm claimed Monday too much of the power work is being done in the dark. 

What's at stake is how much we all pay for electricity — and how clean that energy will be.

Consumer advocate Illinois PIRG, a non-profit public interest research group, and energy firm GlidePath Development LLC filed suit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court saying the Illinois Commerce Commission repeatedly has violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act since launching its “NextGrid” project to identify, research and recommend options for improving Illinois’ electricity generation and delivery.

The suit says the ICC and chairman Brien Sheahan have failed to post meeting notices and details, denied the public opportunities to attend meetings, failed to post agendas in advance, failed to keep precise meeting records, stopped some people from participating in meetings, excluded comments from working group members in records, and included content in draft reports that had not been worked on publicly.

Read the rest at the Chicago Sun-Times.