Moore’s Bacon Seeks ‘Level Playing Field’ In Power Line Fight

Feb 2 2010 | 9:50am ET

When it comes to the power line proposed for his enormous Colorado ranch, Moore Capital Management founder Louis Bacon and the two utilities that want to build the line don’t agree on much.

A lawyer for Bacon yesterday told a Colorado Public Utilities Commission administration law judge that it should toss the application for the power line because representatives of Xcel Energy and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association improperly met with members of the commission without a representative of Bacon present.

“We believe we’re entitled to a level playing field and a decision by an impartial tribunal,” Timothy Flanagan said.

Meanwhile, Bacon also challenged the merits of the project, which would build a 140-mile power line across Bacon’s 250-square-mile Trinchera Ranch in southern Colorado. Bacon bought the ranch from the Forbes family two years ago for $175 million.

Trinchera says there is a better route that would both cost less and deliver more power.

Not so on both counts, say the utilities. Trinchera’s proposal would nearly double the length of the power line and increase its $180 million price tag by tens of millions of dollars. They also dismissed Bacon’s claim that they are improperly trying to sway the CPUC, calling the claim a diversionary tactic. David McGann, a lawyer for Xcel Energy, said such meetings between the CPUC and utilities such as itself are permissible.

A ruling on Bacon’s dismissal bid is expected this week.

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