Bills would strip PSC’s investigative powers

Twin bills before the Mississippi Legislature aim to strip the Public Service Commission of its powers to investigate public utilities.

One, Senate Bill 2322, may be considered today by a committee chaired by Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo.

Brandon Presley, Northern District commissioner, said the legislation seeks to prevent the PSC from correcting problems like those which arose in 2011 within the North Lee County Water Association.

“This bill is a misguided attempt to stop us from doing our job to protect the public,” said Presley of Nettleton. “Monopoly corporations should not be left to their own devices … without any competition.”

The bills seek to amend state law to deny the PSC subpoena powers and jurisdiction over “the governance, management and internal affairs of public utilities.”

State law gives the PSC authority over intrastate business and property of public utilities, but the amendment would strip its ability to investigate or “interfere” with how they are managed.

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
1/30/13