The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 2/17/9

Attorney General Jim Hood’s lawsuit against Entergy and a seemingly renewed interest by the state Public Service Commission to aggressively regulate electric utilities has brought calls for reoganizing the process.

It would be a mistake to remove the checks and balances provided by having a professional utilities staff and an elected PSC.

Proposals to put the independent, professional staff under the elected PSC have been discussed. That would be a mistake because history has shown more checks and balances are needed to remove politics as much as possible from the process.

However, it is clear the PSC needs more resources.

A bill has cleared the House that would help by providing the PSC funding to hire an an expert to do independent audits. The audits can be extremely complex and expensive. This bill would require the audit be done at company expense.