The Senate has passed a bill that reauthorizes the Mississippi Public Service Commission to be the first place that electric utility issues would be discussed.
Entergy Mississippi, Inc. thanked the members of the Mississippi House Public Utilities Committee for the passage of Senate Bill 2295. The bill includes “fairness language” which clarifies that the MPSC is the proper forum to first address state law claims against electric utilities. The bill has already passed the Mississippi Senate 51-1.
“On behalf of our 2,200-plus Mississippi employees, I commend the members of the House Public Utilities Committee for passing the ‘fairness language’ in SB 2295 and for the bi-partisan support the bill has received thus far in the legislative process,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO.
Fisackerly said that the attorney general improperly bypassed the MPSC and filed this lawsuit in the court system. SB 2295 protects our employees and customers by ensuring regulators with the proper knowledge and expertise are the starting point for reviews of the state’s utilities. Entergy does not want to avoid transparency, only that there first be some wrongdoing determined by our regulators before any court action. This is as current law provides – and SB 2295 clarifies.
Fisackerly said that he is proud of the company’s reputation for integrity in business practices, proven by decades of clean audits of our operations by the MPSC.
“After passing such audits, it is only fair that when claims are later made against the same electric utility – like those made by the attorney general against Entergy Mississippi – that those claims first be addressed as part of an open hearing of the MPSC. SB 2295 does not make the MPSC the only place to dispute electric utility issues; it simply makes it the first place.”
He added that all citizens, including attorneys general, can challenge an MPSC decision in court.
“Our company has had our operations validated by the MPSC and unfairly maligned by the attorney general at the same time,” Fisackerly said. “Sadly, this discrepancy has resulted in a legal dispute that has taken away resources that our company otherwise could have invested in Mississippi and Mississippians, and exposed our customers to the potential of having to pay millions in unnecessary legal costs. SB 2295 provides a solution to this problem. A court would have to decide if the passage of this bill would impact the attorney general’s lawsuit against Entergy Mississippi, but there is no doubt that the bill would provide needed clarity to future disputes between state entities on the regulation of electric utilities.
“Entergy Mississippi believes that what we support is only fair for our customers and for our employees, and we respectfully ask the Mississippi House to pass SB 2295 when it is before them for consideration.”
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