RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

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updated 08/23/18

In the June 7, 2018 election in Ontario, the Liberal party lost 87% of their seats becoming an inconsequential minority, largely due to their mismanagement of the energy portfolio that resulted in huge increases in utility bills.  Their mindset was that they had to save the earth from CO2 and somebody had to pay the price, their electric customers.
Ontario’s new Premier wanted to dump Hydro One’s CEO and board of directors.  They all resigned.
 
Due to this change in Hydro One’s management, the approval process of the Utility Commissions of Washington, Idaho and Oregon have been delayed.  Target date for decision was Aug 18 before these changes.  For Washington the target date for UTC decision is now Dec 14.  
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Hydro One has appointed a new board of directors, Chosen by the 5 largest stock holders other than the Province of Ontario.  Here is a list of big stock holders, click on the INSTITUTIONS tab– http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/owners/MajorShareholders.aspx?t=H&region=CAN&culture=en-CA
Both Avista and Hydro One claim to be actively pursuing this deal through the regulatory agencies.
Why?  The way the deal is written, if either party cancels the deal or fails to perform their role in getting the deal through the regulatory agencies they must pay the other party $103 Million if the deal falls through.
Also, if the deal does not go through, 13 Avista executives will not get to share a $50.1 Million severance package.
After repeated notification, to the Spokesman Review and local politicians, complete with links to the SEC filing describing the severance package for 13 Avista executives, no politician, no Newspaper, no TV station, no Radio Station has ever mentioned this fact motivating Avista management’s enthusiasm for and continued desire to complete this deal.  They, our leaders, our representatives, our news providers are following the ancient adage:  Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
For lots of information on this sale read the pages on this site and avistacustomergroup.org.
If you would like to donate to the effort to cancel this deal go to avistacustomergroup.org
1.  Since the public comment period is open again in Washington you can make a comment to the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission as described in the original July 16 message below.
2.  Appeal to your elected officials to tell the UTC that this deal is not in the best interests of the people they were elected to serve and represent.  See original message for addresses.
3.  Write a letter to your local paper opposing this deal.  Don’t mention the severance package for the 13 Avista executives or they won’t print it.

 

updated 07/10/18

Protests of this deal in Idaho have caused their Public Utilities Commission to schedule a meeting to take another look.  This is progress.

“”YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that the Commission will convene a technical hearing in this matter on MONDAY, JULY 23, 2018, AT 9:30 AM (MDT) IN THE COMMISSION’S HEARING ROOM, 472 WEST WASHINGTON, BOISE, IDAHO. The purpose of this hearing will be to take the technical evidence of the parties in this matter relating to concerns and issues raised in the public hearings and comments, and whether the proposed settlement is just, fair, and reasonable, in the public interest, or otherwise in accordance with law or regulatory policy, in light of those concerns. The Company, and if they desire the intervenors and Commission Staff, should be prepared to present live direct testimony at the hearing on these issues and the proposed settlement.””

6/26/18

Due to the large number of comments received by  the Idaho Public Utilities Commission the Idaho Deputy Attorney General has recommended that a technical hearing be held to address the concerns brought up at the public hearings in Moscow, Sandpoint, Coeur De’Alene and in the 370 comments they have recieved.  The recommended date is July 23.

Here is the June 20 Memorandum:

DECISION MEMORANDUM

TO: COMMISSIONER KJELLANDER

COMMISSIONER RAPER

COMMISSIONER ANDERSON

COMMISSION SECRETARY

COMMISSION STAFF

LEGAL

FROM: BRANDON KARPEN

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL

DATE: JUNE 20,2018

SUBJECT: JOINT APPLICATION OF HYDRO ONE LIMITED AND AVISTA

CORPORATION FOR APPROVAL OF MERGER AGREEMENT;

CASE NOS. AVU.E-I7-09 AND AVU-G.17.05

 

On July 19,2017, Avista announced that it had entered into a merger agreement with

Hydro One (“Applicants”). On September 14, 2017, the Applicants filed the above captioned

joint application for approval of the merger. Approval of the Application would result in Avista

becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of a Hydro One holding company. Idaho Forest Group,

Clearwater Paper, Idaho Conservation League (ICL), the Community Action Partnership

Association of Idaho (CAPAI), and the Washington and Northern Idaho District Council of

Laborers (WNIDCL) intervened as parties.

 

After multiple settlement discussions, on April 13,2018, the Applicants filed a Motion

for Approval of Stipulation notifying the Commission that all parties had reached a full

settlement, and requested that the settlement be processed by modified procedure. The

Commission granted that request, and issued notice of proposed settlement and set comment

deadlines.

 

On June 12-14, 2018, the Commission conducted well-attended public hearings in

Moscow, Sandpoint, and Coeur d’Alene. Additionally, to date, the Commission has received

approximately 370 public comments on the merger. The issues raised in those comments and at

the hearings include, but are not limited to, concerns regarding the Canadian location of Hydro

One, the Golden Share ring fencing provision, jurisdiction of this Commission after the merger

closes, ownership of Avista assets, the imposition of Canadian regulations in ldaho, the rate

impact of the merger, Avista ratepayer obligations related to Hydro One debt, and the effect the

merger will have on American waterways.

 

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Due to the remarkable public interest in the proposed merger, Staff recommends that the

Commission hold a technical hearing to address the concerns and issues raised by the public.

Staff recommends that the Commission convene a technical hearing at the Commission offices

on Monday, July 23,2018, at 9:30 AM (MDT). Staff further recommends that the Commission

direct the Company, and intervenors, if necessary, to prepare to present live direct testimony at

the technical hearing.

 

COMMISSION DECISION

Does the Commission wish to issue notice of the technical hearing as described in the

Staff recommendation?

Brandon Karpen

Deputy Attorney General