Monday’s (March 28th) Louisiana Public Service Commission decision to allow the Cleco/Macquarie purchase to take place is a prime example in how not to create good public policy.
Despite Macquarie’s new promises made, the fundamental flaws of the deal for the foreign investment firm to purchase Louisiana’s oldest utility are still present. The Alliance for Affordable Energy, Administrative Law Judge Valerie Seal Meiners, the Commission staff, all other intervenors and the Commissioners themselves determined just one month ago, on Feb. 24, that these risks were grounds for rejecting the new ownership.
The last-minute nature of the package, released by Macquarie on the day of the LPSC special session (03/28/2016), means more questions left answered. Intervenors had no opportunity to fully analyze the merits of the newest offer, and the Commission’s decision will kick off a series of fights over the unresolved issues.
Ratepayer protections are about more than just pushing for one-time windfalls. While the promise of upfront credits to customers may feel good for now, the details of the deal leave the future of Cleco at risk.
Unfortunately, for the good people of Louisiana, this deal remains a goldmine for shareholders and corporate insiders at the expense of the customers.
To read more coverage about the Cleco/Macquarie sale, click here.