Monopoly Regulated Utilities

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. 

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What Can't Go On

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.

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When Politicians Direct Capital

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. 

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Utility Varieties and Rates

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.

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PSC Faces Confidentiality Issues

The Kemper Plant was designed to maximize capital investment so as to maximize the company’s rate of return on capital from ratepayers in the form of rate hikes. Confidentiality of certain key documents played a major role in the plant clearing several early regulatory hurdles. Changing the process by which documents are kept out of the public eye will be essential to preventing another Kemper like disaster from happening again.

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