The Energy Future New Orleans Coalition sent a letter the New Orleans City Council today urging the new Council to fulfill its commitment to take up in earnest a management audit of Entergy New Orleans, LLC.
In the wake of Hurricane Ida, which rendered much of the city powerless for a week-and-a-half, the Council voted on September 23, 2021 to adopt motion M-21-342. That motion directed the Council Utility Regulatory Office (“CURO”) to develop a request for qualifications (“RFQ”) for a firm to conduct the audit. CURO issued the RFQ on December 8, 2021, and it has now been two months with no further action. We understand now that the RFQ has failed to garner a single response, a worrisome confirmation that the audit services market does not believe the Council has shown serious commitment to this effort.
The record before the Council documents the multiple Entergy failures and misplaced priorities that warrant prompt action on the audit. Get up to date on the full story in our letter to the Council.
The record before the Council documents the multiple Entergy failures and misplaced priorities that warrant prompt action on the audit. These failures include:
Entergy continues to find new ways to demonstrate its contempt for the people of New Orleans and the Council as its regulator by following a philosophy of profit over people. Entergy’s actions are seldom based in innovation and resilience, but rather in avoiding the clear direction of the Council at the expense of the people of New Orleans. Most recently, Entergy has crawfished on a much-ballyhooed commitment to the City to construct an electrical substation to power the Sewerage and Water Board, potentially delaying or stranding a critical infrastructure project. While the Council has communicated its intent to make this project whole through other means, the fact remains that Entergy Corporation distributed $202 million in shareholder dividends mere days after Entergy New Orleans announced its withdrawal. Quite simply, Entergy has serious problems with its management priorities and execution. New Orleanians deserve better.
The lack of any response to the RFQ is unacceptable, and responsibility rests with the Council. It will take courage and competence to undertake the audit and confront the toxic management environment at Entergy. The Council must reissue the RFQ and proclaim unanimously its support for the process and its intention to use the audit results to create real change. Entergy’s long history of bad behavior and deeply-rooted problems warrant a healthy budget and a commitment of assistance from CURO and the Council, including data production assistance.
The prior Council took decisive action in the wake of Hurricane Ida, acting as a prudent and determined regulator, including making the commitment to a management audit of Entergy. Many of you who now occupy seats on the Council ran your campaigns on pledges to hold Entergy accountable. We urge you to keep your word, and to take up where the prior Council left off in the best interest of New Orleans’ overburdened ratepayers.
Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance
Program Director of Policy Implementation and Development
Greater New Orleans Climate Reality
350 New Orleans
Senior Policy Director
Extinction Rebellion New Orleans
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
Assistant Director of Law and Public Policy
Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association
Delta Chapter, Sierra Club
Ex Com Member-at-Large
New Orleans Group of the Delta Chapter, Sierra Club
Democratic Socialists of America, New Orleans Chapter
Alliance for Affordable Energy
Logan Atkinson Burke
Jesse S. George
New Orleans Policy Director