Archive for February 2009

Jim Hood: “Jump!” – PSC: “How High?”

February 11, 2009

The Mississippi Public Service Commission and Attorney General Jim Hood have been demanding an independent audit of Entergy Mississippi.  Well, the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff did one. Hood and the PSC  responded with a demand the Utilities Staff report directly to the PSC so their reports would better reflect the perspective of the commissioners. Oh yeah, and back in August 2008 the PSC – not the Utilities Staff – commissioned another reportfrom an industry expert, Walter Drabinski of Vantage Consulting. Last week, the PSC released the report to no fanfare. Y’all Politics picked it up calling “much ado about not much.” Apparently, there was very little criticism of the utility. Certainly the most obvious thing to come out of the report was the dog that didn’t bark. The PSC released it and had no comment.  The Attorney General had no comment. If there was anything damning in the report, certainly both the PSC and the AG would have jumped all over it. They didn’t.

Entergy Mississippi released a statement that the audit found they were working in the best interests of the customers.

Jim Hood couldn’t stand it. He has ordered the PSC (his little, or not so little, buddy Brandon Presley) to respond. He said in a statement, “The PSC will likely be issuing documents tomorrow which will totally expose Entergy’s mis-representations.” The PSC better not fail to jump high enough. They have their orders. They are to refute Entergy.

This brings us back to the independence of the Public Utilities Staff.  They audit Mississippi’s utilities. But the Public Service Commissioners are elected politicians jumping when Democratic leaders like Jim Hood tell them to do so. Why would taxpayers or customers ever want to sacrifice independent regulation to political manipulation?