Beebe Asks Arkansas Electric Companies to Keep Prices Low

OCTOBER 5, 2005 - Posted at 7:58 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe has asked the state's electric companies to avoid rate hikes.

Beebe asked Entergy Arkansas to reconsider a six percent rate increase that started Saturday.  Entergy says it needs the money because of higher fuel prices, Arkansas Nuclear One maintenance and refueling and reduced coal shipments to its Arkansas coal plants because of railroad track damage.

Beebe says Entergy can seek other relief from the coal costs in court.

Entergy Arkansas officials say they want to keep rate hikes low and that their attorneys were working with railroad officials to resolve the coal issue.

Entergy is the state's largest electric utility.

Other electric utilities that Beebe notified Tuesday include the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, Southwestern Electric Power Company, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company and the Empire District Electric Company.  Beebe wrote similar letters last month to Arkansas gas utilities CenterPoint Energy, Arkansas Western Gas and Arkansas-Oklahomas Gas.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)