According to a piece written by the Attorney General Jim Hood in the Clarion Ledger, in an op-ed filed by the CEO of Entergy Mississippi, he claims that the state’s Public Service Commission has already approved the charges for electricity purchased by Entergy. That is very misleading.
The Public Service Commission approves rates submitted by power companies which are to be charged prospectively on projected revenues and expenses. It does not approve the actual, after-the-fact, purchases of electricity on an individual basis. The PSC reviews the information provided by utility companies, which is expected to be truthful and accurate. However, it does not look behind the information they are provided to determine whether Mississippi customers are truthfully getting the lowest reasonable cost for power.
Since the monopoly compact is with the state, not the PSC, the Mississippi Constitution gives the attorney general the sole authority to represent the state of Mississippi. As attorney general, I also represent the Legislature and the PSC. However, when companies dupe the Legislature or a state agency and cheat the state. i.e. the citizens, I represent the interests of the citizens by asking a court to return their money and punish the conduct. The PSC regulates utility rates. The attorney general prosecutes corporate wrongdoers who take advantage of Mississippi’s consumers.
Entergy tricked our PSC into approving rates for 10 years, from 1998 to 2008, based on misleading and incorrect information. Historically, the PSC has not reviewed every electrical purchase. The PSC does not “approve” fuel adjustment clause charges. They only check the invoices provided by the utilities to see whether the invoices match the charges in the fuel adjustment clause and allow the utilities to flow them through to customers dollar-for-dollar. These significant charges have rarely, if ever, been scrutinized and found “prudent and reasonable” by the PSC, therefore, they remain subject to review, reduction, and refund.
Attorney General Jim Hood, Clarion Ledger