Does Alabama have a Public Service Commission (PSC) or a Utility Service Commission (USC)? A PSC represents the citizens while a USC represents large utility companies.
Several facts indicate that we have a USC. The Commission has sat quietly for decades. A furor began when Commissioner Dunn suggested hearings be held on Alabama Power. They have not had a services audit of their rates and profits in 30 years. They have been allowed a guaranteed return on equity that is 30 to 40 percent higher than the national average. This means Alabamians pay some of the highest bills in the country. These rates affect us all, but they hurt the elderly and poor surviving on small fixed incomes.
When we ask who is at fault, we have to admit we (citizens) are to blame. We haven’t been paying attention and didn’t know how dysfunctional the Commission has been. In addition, we have repeatedly elected people to the Commission from a political party that is openly committed to favoring large businesses and corporations, with little concern for the people.
Our eyes are open and now we see. It is time to break up the love nest that has been the PSC and elect people to serve who will represent the best interests of all Alabamians.
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.people-for-the-christian-way.org