|Voter's Guide, 2020 Fall Elections, Louisiana
|Position ||Public Service Commission, District 1 |
|Profession||Attorney at Law|
|Present Employer / position||Public Service Commissioner, District 1 (State of Louisiana) & Attorney at Law (self-employed) |
|Length of residence in Jurisdiction||22 years|
|List of educational institutions and degrees||- Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, BS |
- Southern University Law School at Baton Rouge, Juris Doctor
- Tulane University Law School, Masters of Maritime and Admiralty Law, LL.M
|Prior elected and appointed positions||Commissioner, Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, 2006|
Judge Ad Hoc, First Parish Court for the Parish of Jefferson, Traffic Court, 2008
Commissioner, Louisiana Public Service Commission, District 1
- Elected District One November 2008. Serving January 1, 2009 – Date
- Re-Elected District One, December 2014
Chairman, Louisiana Public Service Commission 2013-2014, 2014-2015, partial 2017, 2018
Vice Chairman, Louisiana Public Service Commission partial 2017
Board Member, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) 2020
Vice-Chairman, NARUC Washington Action Committee 2020
NARUC President’s Liaison to the White House 2020
Member, NARUC Disaster Recovery Task Force 2020
President, Entergy Regional States Committee, 2015- 2018
Committee Member, Entergy Regional States Committee 2011- 2018
Director, Board of the Organization of MISO States 2014- Date
Committee member, MISO Advisory Committee, 2016
Council member, New Mexico State University Center For Public Utilities, Advisory Council 2015-Date
Committee Member, NARUC Committee on Natural Gas
Committee Member, NARUC Committee on Electricity
2nd Vice-President Elect, Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
|Civic involvement and affiliations||-Former Member, Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens Academy|
-Former Executive Board Member, Boy Scouts of America, Southeast Louisiana Council, (10 Years)
-Shriner, Jerusalem Shrine of Louisiana
-Knights of Columbus Marquette Council 4th Degree
-Past President – South Sena Drive Civic Association
Questions specific to the position
|1. What goals do you want to accomplish as a Public Service Commissioner?
||- To continue the success that I have achieved in bringing us from the 26th highest residential electricity rates in the country to the lowest residential and industrial electricity rates in the nation.|
- To gain legislative support to grant the LPSC jurisdiction of broadband infrastructure, as noted by the Federal Communications Commission. I have tried in 2010, 2015 and 2017 and was blocked by lobbyists each time. I believe that our citizens now realize the importance of local control of broadband infrastructure and the next legislature will help in this matter.
- Small water private sewer companies, numbering in the hundreds, continue to be a challenge for the district, and I am working on a plan to eliminate sewer discharge into Lake Ponchartrain.
- To expand industrial scale solar generation in the state. Currently we have over 20 large solar generation facilities under development. I have directed the LPSC staff to develop a long-term plan to replace expensive coal fired power plants in Louisiana (approximately 6 in number) with hybrid solar/natural gas generation facilities. I have a long-term goal to establish 2,000 megawatts of industrial scale solar generation as soon as economically possible in Louisiana
|2. Now that working from home and virtual classrooms have become normalized, in what ways would you expedite efficient, high speed access to the internet for all Louisiana residents, regardless of geographic location or neighborhood demographics?
||- The problem with expansion of Broadband is a case of jurisdiction. No state agency has jurisdiction over the subject matter. While I attempted to secure jurisdiction three prior times (2010, 2015 and 2017) was to no avail. The lobbying effort against the proposal was insurmountable. I think the 2021 legislative session may provide a new opportunity with the focus of our citizens on the increased need for broadband services.|
- Fiber based broadband is not the only source of service. In fact, it is a diminishing technology as currently, 70% of the bandwidth for broadband is used through portable cellular broadband devices. And there appears to be a growing demand. Studies show that with 15 years or less that 90% of broadband will be consumed through portable devices. Our goals should be to expand fiber-based tech as necessary and to encourage necessary cellular broadband expansion.
|3. What priority will you give renewable energy resources, such as energy efficiency programs and solar and wind installations, in the mix of energy supply for customers? Do you plan to promote any? Discuss with regard to residential and large commercial installations.
||- I currently aggressively promote energy efficiency programs in Louisiana. The LPSC has a program providing $30 million annually for such purpose. I am constantly looking at ways to expand the use of the program in the most economically viable way. In the last three years I have granted nearly $9 million to local governments in my district. This allows them to invest in energy efficiency projects which reduces government costs and their need to raise taxes. |
- Unfortunately, Louisiana does not have any wind fields that can provide for energy from that source. Solar facilities are readily recognized as the closest economical renewable resource that may provide Louisiana with a component for renewable energy in its overall energy mix. We are expanding industrial scale solar generation in the State. Currently we have over 20 large solar generation facilities under development. I have the PSC staff now working on plans to take a long-term approach to replacing existing coal fired power plants in Louisiana (approximately 6 in number) with hybrid solar/natural gas generation facilities. I have a long-term goal to establish 2,000 megawatts of industrial scale solar generation as soon as economically possible in Louisiana.
|4. Should the Public Service Commission have a major role to play in requiring companies to ensure storm-hardened transmission lines?
||Yes. The PSC already does so. Transmission lines and towers that are greatest at risk in coastal zones are regularly upgraded and hardened to withstand hurricane force winds. Utilities are encouraged to improve and secure all infrastructure for the benefit of the public, but companies are on notice that they must be able to justify all costs and actions to the commission or they may be disallowed.|