by Max Brantley
LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued the following statement today related to Entergy Arkansas Inc.'s pending rate case before the Arkansas Public Service Commission:
"Last week, I was disappointed to learn that the Public Service Commission would not approve the settlement agreement reached by my office, the PSC staff, Entergy and numerous other industrial customers.This agreement offered the best possible outcome for Entergy's Arkansas ratepayers and it troubles me that the PSC chose not to accept it.
"I believe that our State must maintain competitive industrial utility rates in order to recruit and retain jobs. At the same time we must ensure that the burden placed on residential ratepayers is fair. I believe this settlement accomplished both goals and I disagree with the Commission's decision to reject it.
"I joined members of my staff and the other parties over the weekend in a last-minute attempt to settle this matter and meet the PSC's deadline today. Unfortunately, a new settlement could not be reached.
"On Wednesday, attorneys from my office and other parties to this matter will begin presenting their case to the PSC. I firmly believe that a negotiated solution is a better alternative. However, the PSC has left the parties with no choice but litigation. I cannot predict what decision will be made by the PSC, but my office is prepared for the hearing. We will present a strong case to ensure a fair outcome for everyone."