Louisiana Goes for Last Place Again
On Feb 27 the Louisiana Public Service Commission vacated the state’s energy efficiency rule that had been adopted at their December meeting. The rule had been carefully crafted over a three year period in which testimony was taken from stakeholders and interested parties. The Louisiana rule had been modeled after the Arkansas rule which was widely considered to be a reasonable solution. There are 46 other states that have energy efficiency rules that require power companies to establish incentives for residential and commercial energy conservation. Louisiana was late to the game but now is not in the game at all.
The Feb 27 meeting was an example of Louisiana politics at its worst. The energy efficiency rules had been passed by the commission back in December. Now with one new member (Angelle), Commissioner Skrmetta, the new LPSC chair put reconsideration of the rules on the agenda late on Friday before the Tuesday meeting. When the item came up last on the morning agenda new Commissioner Scott Angelle complained about cost to small businesses and stated some numbers not even relevant to small businesses. All of us who were there to testify were denied the opportunity to say anything or to question Angelle’s assertions. Commissioners Foster Campbell and Lambert Boissiere spoke in favor of the energy efficiency rules and objected to the reconsideration. Without hearing any testimony from the public, Chairman Skrmetta called for a vote which went 3-2 with Skrmetta, Hollaway and Angelle voting to vacate the previous approval of the rules. This reversal has violates any sense of due process and has netted another big negative for the image of Louisiana. See this article in Forbes: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/03/forbes_columnist_blasts_l...
The saying is you get the government you deserve. Hard to believe we deserve this.
We thank our friends at Alliance for Affordable Energy and Jordan Macha with the Beyond Coal Campaign in Sierra Club for their leadership on this issue. This is not over. We will let you know when your involvement can help the cause.