Court won't make AR, MS utilities pay to exit pact

Aug 14, 2012

A federal appeals court has rejected an effort by Louisiana utility regulators to make Entergy Corp. subsidiaries in Arkansas and Mississippi pay for ending an agreement with their Entergy counterparts in Louisiana and Texas.

The ruling Tuesday by an appeals court in Washington deals with an agreement requiring the separate Entergy utilities to offer roughly equal electricity rates. At times, this has resulted in Entergy Arkansas making payments to Entergy affiliates with higher production costs — causing Arkansas customers to pay more.

Entergy Arkansas will exit the agreement in 2013; Entergy Mississippi, in 2015.

Louisiana's Public Service Commission and the New Orleans City Council had argued federal regulators should force them to pay exit fees. The appeals court upheld a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision that such fees aren't required.