Friday, September 14, 2007

The TP continues to block for Entergy

Read this Article first:

Electric bill shocks likely to ease

This of course didn't get anywhere near the front page. What the headline should have said was the end of the first sentence: "New Orleans had the highest electric bills in the state". The article then goes on to blame high energy rates on multiple issues including....get this: the fixed costs of generating and supplying electricity -- such as operating and maintaining the Michoud power plant -- are spread among fewer customers.

So we're paying to operate and maintain the Michoud power plant? Do we have a vested ownership stake in that power plant? What about the new plant they want to build, if we finance it through our bills do we get to reap profits when we sell the energy to other areas? Also, in terms of kWh's....what happened to the law of supply and demand? Fewer people in the city should require less amounts of energy being generated from the plant, no? Does the plant only supply energy for New Orleans?

Now look at this article posted yesterday:

Utililies panel to open Entergy N.O. inquiries: Official says company's been forthright on rates, plant plans

Look at this paragraph:

Midura has long been a critic of Entergy New Orleans, though her dealings with the company were often tempered by Oliver Thomas, the former chairman of the committee who resigned from the council last month after pleading guilty to federal charges of accepting bribes.

"Tempered"???? Does the councilwoman need to be tempered? Midura is leading the charge, they should have referred to it as Thomas, the bribe-taking councilman, was trying to hold her back from doing her job.

Once again this got nowhere near the front page...we're potentially getting fucked by our utilities company and that doesn't warrant front page news?

Now keep in mind the TP posted an editorial back in April saying that the city council regulatory body on Entergy should be disbanded. Now that same committee is calling for formal investigations on multiple issues including: Joint Account Purchases with Arkansas' Entergy branch, the development of a new nuclear plant which we New Olreanians will essentially pay for but don't need, and inflated fuel charges.

Think the TP may have an agenda?

Also there is this article which is by far the most balanced of the three:

Panel votes to begin Entergy inquiry

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you find it as bizarre as I do that the New Orleans businessman Larry Flynt, dba The Hustler Club, 225 Bourbon Street, seems more devoted to cleaning up corruption in Louisiana than the Times Picayune does? Flynt obviously employs much better investigative journalists than the Picayune.

matter said...

hey man, this is "anonymous said..." - you blogged my earlier Entergy comment.

I think you are on the right track with this Entergy stuff, there is plenty of shady dealing going on.

But let me point out some things in the linked article that can put you on more of a bloodhound kind of trail. You with me?

Check this part in particular:

"When Entergy New Orleans declared bankruptcy, many suppliers of electricity didn't want to do business with the company, leaving it with fewer cheap resources for power."

and

"some companies are still hesitant to do business with the utility because of its recent bankrupt status."

These comments suggest some Enron-style power scam games. Entergy generates power, but they can also buy power on the open market. But the obvious question here, is why can't Entergy's corporate parent guarantee its wholesale purchases?

How about Entergy's other divisions? Couldn't they sell some power within the company?

Entergy's holding company was able to use its "separate company" status to basically sever responsibility. This is all about maintaining their profits in all other divisions. Keeping the quarterly numbers up for Wall Street.

Follow the money. The way that power is bought and sold on the wholesale market is a big part of it. The Michoud plant should be run on standby.

Now, to be fair, I may be wrong on some of the specifics. But the whole issue of wholesale power, availability of wholesale power vs. artificial shortages, (see: Enron California power scam) and so on. Look at the corporate structure of Entergy.

Want to see something real funny? Get a copy of their annual report, then try and find out how much they paid in taxes.

Southern Leftist said...

Matter,

That is exactly what the investigation being opened by Midura's Utility Committee is suggesting. Those are the questions being posed. Big Entergy should be able to back up ENO with their credit rating and guarantee any loans or purchases on the open market. As Entergy likes to remind us, they are our only Fortune 500 company. So on one hand, we should be grateful that such a big and powerful company chooses to remain in New Orleans and support the local economy, yet on the other hand they are too weak to do anything to help ENO lower rates for New Orleans consumers.