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Surviving the Mississippi shakedown

Surviving the Mississippi shakedown

By: Magnolia Tribune - April 23, 2011

Jim Hood will certainly be campaigning on his actions as the state’s attorney against big bad business interests (and avoiding why he hasn’t pursued his campaign contributors). One of his marquee attacks has been against Entergy Mississippi (where he brought in no-bid, contingency-fee trial lawyers to sue for cash).

You’ll remember a few years ago, natural gas prices skyrocketed (to over $13 – now it’s about $4) pushing electricity rates up and so Hood claimed Entergy Mississippi was not charging customers fairly.

Typically the Public Utilities Staff audits utilities in Mississippi. But this time those attacking Entergy wanted independent audits. This month the press reported on the fifth of those audits: “Audits show Entergy’s pricing, purchasing practices OK.” Five audits; five independent studies affirming Entergy Mississippi’s energy purchase and pricing. The audits show that all of their fuel purchases withstood scrutiny and showed that the company makes the effort to buy the most reasonably priced power to make sure bills are lowered.

Audits are paid for by the utility being audited. The utility then passes those costs on to ratepayers.

Legal fees are paid for by the utility being sued. The utility then passes those costs on to ratepayers.

So who is paying for Jim Hood’s crusade against big business claiming the exact opposite of what the audits prove? Everyone in Entergy’s service area who pays an electricity bill.

When politicians throw around baseless accusations it might be good for their campaigns, but it makes it more difficult than it already is for people to make ends meet, it drives up expenses for small business, and it distracts the legal system from going after the real bad guys in Mississippi.

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Magnolia Tribune

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