PUC says no to NV Energy juice bill

I've seen some odd news releases in my time, but never have I seen one like the one Sens. Kelvin Atkinson and Mark Hutchison put out this afternoon attacking the Public Utilities Commission.

No, not because the headline on the release was: "Senator's Atkinson and Hutchinson" (find the two errors). But because the PUC had the temerity to take a stand against a bill that de-emphasizes regulation, Atkinson had a conniption, as the Sun's Cy Ryan reported and is evident in the release I have posted below.

This is nothing short of comical for a bill that essentially has the imprimatur of the anti-coal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, was jammed through Atkinson's committee with very few questions and now has quietly raised the ire of many larger users (read: gaming). So now the folks (the PUC) who know more about the issues than anyone on that committee raise objections and it ticks off Atkinson?


Read this and laugh (or wince):

Statement from Senator's Atkinson and Hutchison

on PUC Involvement in Legislation


“The Public Utility Commission of Nevada (PUCN) is charged by law with the oversight and regulation of public utilities in Nevada.  The PUCN has historically performed this duty with competence and care.  The PUCN, however, has no authority for establishing energy policy in this state.  That important responsibility is entrusted to duly elected legislators. 


During the course of an on-going and fluid examination of SB 123 by the legislature, the PUCN voted on the merits of this bill and expressed its opinion concerning terms that are not final and on which the legislature has not acted.  The PUCN’s action was unexpected, unprecedented, and unfortunate.   


The PUCN’s focus on power rates alone ignores the legislative mandate and public policy expressed through the Nevada legislature for many years to establish a clear and forward-looking energy policy for Nevada.  


The legislature—including its committees charged with evaluating SB 123 – will continue to carefully consider SB 123 and pursue an energy policy that is right for Nevadans now and in the future.”