Letter: Is the La. PSC out of control?

As a Louisiana native, resident and small-business owner I was shocked at the recent actions of the Public Service Commission to “overturn” the previously voted and approved energy efficiency program, as outlined in “PSC reverses energy vote” in The Advocate, Feb. 28. Yes, apparently at the February meeting there was a “re-vote” and “overturning” of a previously approved vote from the December meeting.

Equally as remarkable was how PSC Chairman Eric Skrmetta could justify not allowing supporters of the program the opportunity to voice their positions at a public meeting, after delaying placement of the issue on the meeting agenda until the last moment. Apparently Chairman Skrmetta decided to re-vote and overturn the formerly voted-on and approved energy efficiency program because the newly elected Commissioner Scott Angelle didn’t have an opportunity to vote on the issue, which had already been decided and approved by the commission.

Consider that 46 other states already have similar energy efficiency programs in place for consumers — consumers being individual homeowners as well as small-business owners who will all benefit from an energy efficiency program. The issue was studied for three years by an alliance of consumer groups, corporations and manufacturers.

Are we, the public, to expect that PSC Chairman Skrmetta will now be going back through the historic archive of issues to re-vote and overturn other previously approved and voted-on issues? Are these actions legal and is this commission out of control? Will the public need to have poll-watchers present at future PSC meetings? Is Louisiana going to be last in developing an energy efficiency program?

PSC Commissioner Clyde Holloway indicated, “We’re going to put another line item on the bill.” It feels like there is a hidden agenda here and it’s not about small-business owners being placed in an “onerous” position, as stated by Commissioner Angelle by a previously voted and properly approved energy efficiency program.

As members of the public that is supposed to be served by the Public Service Commission, we deserve an answer and the truth about the real reason the bill was overturned and re-voted.

Dan S. Collins

mineral consultant

Baton Rouge