Louisiana Public Service Commission Blasts Energy Companies
During a relatively heated Public Service Commission meeting in Shreveport today, the idea of taking monopoly status away from electric companies in the state was floated.
Electric company representatives were grilled over the the size of electric bills in the state, their lack of planning for alternative power sources, and the pay of their leadership. The answers being provided by the company representatives did not seem to satisfy Public Service Commissioners.
"You guys have had your dukes up like this instead of saying come on in. And now we find ourselves in a hell of a mess because 85% of these bills are natural gas and we wouldn't have had that had y'all been open and more forthcoming saying, 'Hey we need all of them. Wind if we can by it. Solar if we can do it.' I hear what you're preaching, but I'm just not on the same page. If your company really wants to do something to help prices, you got yourself in a bad situation, because you're depending on natural gas for 85% of your electricity"
Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell unloaded on representatives from power companies. But the concerns over alternative power sources wasn't the only thing he went after. The pay of Entergy President Leo Denault came under fire as well. One of the pay concerns that the Commission had over the pay, was a one million dollar raise that just went into place. Campbell said:
“I figured it out how much you are paying your president per hour, $8,000 an hour you paying that man, that is more than some people make in north Louisiana, he makes more in one hour than some people make the whole year"
The representatives from Entergy pushed back, saying that their President is competitively paid, but the Commission didn't seem satisfied with the responses they were getting. Not just on the pay, but across the board. Campbell really drove home the seriousness of the situation, where he talked about breaking up power company monopolies in the state:
“Do a real study with qualified people that will come in and say this is what happens if you deregulate monopolies, because you have it going all your way"
The best that Entergy could offer in response to the concerns was that they are waiving credit card fees, and some late fees, for customers.