Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Entergy and Attorney General Jim Hood put out dueling press releases today about the company's claim that an audit has found that Entergy's practices are in the state's "best interests." The Entergy release is below verbatim, followed by Hood's response.
"Independent Audit Finds Entergy Mississippi's Fuel Practices in Customers' Best Interests: Utility welcomes results, pledges to review findings
Jackson, Miss. – An independent audit commissioned by the Mississippi Public Service Commission shows many of Entergy Mississippi, Inc.'s fuel procurement and adjustment practices are sound and in customers' best interests. Entergy Mississippi regards the report as an important assessment of the company's business practices and pledges to review it carefully. The report was conducted by noted independent energy expert Walter Drabinksi, president of Vantage Consulting, Inc. and a 27-year veteran of the energy and utility industry.
"Overall, we're encouraged by the findings," said Dorman Davis, manager of regulatory affairs for Entergy Mississippi, Inc. "The way we project fuel costs and true up fuel cost recoveries, provide the commission with sufficient fuel filing data and plan for Mississippi's future energy needs were all noted as practices that serve our customers well."
"We'll pay careful attention to the report's critique of our method for recovering fuel costs," said Davis. "Matters like these are under consideration at the commission and we'll continue to fully support their review."
Davis added that Entergy Mississippi views inquiries into its practices as an opportunity to demonstrate its level of commitment and compliance to the regulatory process.
"This report shows the importance of review and analysis of the business practices of Mississippi utilities, as is conducted by the independent experts on the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff, as well as the commissioners," he said.
Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 433,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $13 billion and approximately 14,300 employees.
General Hood's response to Entergy press release today: "Entergy is at it again, issuing press releases that are not true. The report itself states that Vantage Consulting did not review any
procurement decisions and did not make any judgment as to the prudence of any purchase. In fact, the audit recommended additional audits because they found Entergy's accounting was "likely to be innaccurate". The PSC will likely be issuing documents tomorrow which will totally expose Entergy's mis-representations. We will have a true court ordered audit one day. We will find exactly the same thing as the audit in Louisiana; that Entergy overcharged customers."
Attorney General Jim Hood, State of Mississippi