Louisiana PSC Questions Entergy CEO’s One Million Dollar Raise
Energy is big business. Here in Louisiana, we know that more so than a lot of places because our economy has been based and built on energy for the past century or so. While we understand there are costs, sometimes exorbitant costs are associated with harnessing the energy and providing it. We the people of Louisiana are not blind to things that look to be out of place.
One of the issues that have "things looking out of place" is the recent action of Entergy. Entergy is a well known and respected power supplier for thousands of customers in Louisiana. That company took a huge hit during the hurricanes of 2020 and 2021. They did suffer billions of dollars in damages and it's only fair that we, the people of Louisiana help shoulder some of the responsibility.
Let's be clear costs to restore power service after a major storm usually falls on the consumer. In this case, it is estimated that Entergy will be passing along some $4.5 billion dollars damage costs that we will be paying over a period of several years. Most of us in Louisiana understand this and don't mind it.
What we do mind is when we are placed on the hook for $4.5 billion in damages and the company that wants us to pay has just awarded $3 billion dollars in dividends to its stockholders and they've given their CEO a one million dollar raise. Or is it actually more?
Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is very outspoken about this issue and I think Foster may be on to something. If Entergy can afford to pay their stockholders and their CEO they should be able to pay some of the repair costs they want to saddle Louisiana citizens with.
Commissioner Campbell is proposing Entergy pick up at least 20% of restoration costs. Campbell seems to believe there is enough support from the Public Service Commission to make that a reality too. Don't be surprised if you hear that the PSC has called a hearing or special meeting to discuss that idea.
Is Campbell's idea fair to Entergy and to the people of Louisiana? Obviously, we don't know because we don't have all the financial information necessary but at least as far as Entergy is concerned it's not the best look for a company that is pretty well respected. I'd hate to see the reputation of a strong company be besmirched because of appearances. But we won't know the reality of the situation until the PSC looks into it.
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