Regulated monopolies are largely protected from competition and are great for their shareholders. Not so great for their customers though. Especially if the regulator (the Public Service Commission) has its thumb on the scale for the monopoly.
What’s wrong with how Mississippi regulates electricity rates? The short answer: No one in the process represents only the customers – the everyday Mississippians who pay their electric bill.
This version of Stein’s Law could be about lots of long running Ponzi schemes. But this is about Mississippi Power’s Kemper County Lignite Plant’s big brothers — two nuclear power plants (Vogtle) under construction in Georgia and their Southern Company daddy. And about regulatory systems that prop up an archaic business model that puts interests of utilities and their shareholders ahead of customers.
What do small ratepayers in Mississippi and the New Orleans Saints have in common? Bad officiating. Bad things often happen when politicians direct capital. This is about the PSC. It’s not doing its job. And about the Mississippi Legislature which makes the rules (laws) about how the PSC works – or doesn’t work.
What if you went to court and were told your attorney would have to represent both you and your opponent – even though your opponent had a whole army of his own attorneys? That’s basically the setup for the state agency that regulates how much you pay for electricity and other utilities.
What you pay on your monthly electric bill is determined by who is your supplier. The only choice for the customer is to move to an area serviced by a provider with lower rates.