Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Arkansas Public Service Commission Paul Suskie led his 3-member group on a fact-finding mission last week to learn more about Entergy Arkansas’ proposed separation efforts from its parent company. Currently, the planned departure is in year 5 of an 8-year process.

As we reported last week, the inquiry had a Congressional inquiry atmosphere to it. In short, Suskie and Entergy Arkansas President Hugh McDonald discussed and debated how “independent” decisions are made by local company officials.

McDonald explained that a four-member group – consisting of McDonald and three New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. executives – are the primary decision-making panel for state decisions.

This led Suskie to express skepticism about how Entergy Arkansas could make independent decisions apart from its parent firm. McDonald defended the process and said he felt comfortable that decisions were being made in Arkansas' best interests.

Suskie was my guest on Talk Business this past week. At the heart of our conversation, I asked Suskie if there was a reason for his aggressive line of questioning.

“I think we just wanted to get answers to our questions,” he said, noting that all three commissioners are former trial lawyers.

When asked if he thought Entergy should be conducting its affairs differently, Suskie responded, “I would say any concerns we have, the commission will address soon in the form of an order or two.”

You can watch the bulk of our interview on our YouTube Channel at this link.