Louisiana Plant Closure May Force Arkansas Power Rates to Rise Sooner

MAY 16, 2006 - Posted at 8:01 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Louisiana officials say they want federal regulators to speed up equalization of that state's electricity rates with Arkansas's.  The call for faster action comes as an International Paper Mill at Bastrop, Lousiana, considers closing down because of $2 million in monthly electricity bills.

The action called for by Lousiana officials would raise electricity rates in Arkansas and lower them in Louisiana.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has determined that the rates Entergy's Lousisana customers pay must be roughly the same as the company's customers in Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi.  But the agency decided that Entergy, which supplies electricity, can wait until 2007 before realigning rates among states.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)