AG Cox saves Detroit Edison customers $2.5 billion

Keith Loria Aug. 30, 2009, 1:16pm

Mike Cox (R)

LANSING Mich. (Legal Newsline) -Persisting in keeping costs lower, Attorney General Mike Cox has announced Detroit Edison customers would save a total of $2.5 billion in the years ahead, as he stopped a planned 40-year, $62.5 million annual rate hike.

"This is great news for Michigan consumers who are already struggling to pay for basic, everyday needs," the Republican attorney general and 2010 gubernatorial candidate said.

The case began in 2001 when Detroit Edison's parent company, DTE Energy Corporation, acquired MCN Corporation, the parent company of MichCon. DTE paid MCN a premium of $893 million above the book value of MCN's stock.

Detroit Edison then went before the Michigan Public Service Commission seeking to recover $590 million of the $893 million premium, plus interest, from its customers, which over 40 years would cost consumers $2.5 billion.

Cox opposed that rate hike and won in court, but in 2007 the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed that decision, forcing Cox to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court sided with Cox earlier this year, seemingly ending the rate increase request.

But that didn't stop Detroit Edison, which requested the $2.5 billion recovery as part of another rate increase case filed with the MPSC in January. Cox, ABATE, and MPSC staff again opposed this increase and asked an administrative law judge to strike the request from the current case, which was recently approved.

Detroit Edison has agreed not to appeal that ruling, bringing an end to more than five years of litigation.

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