Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bush aide: No Entergy bailout

Officials still pushing for bankrupt utility
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
By Keith Darce
Staff writer
New Orleans Times-Picayune

This will be a huge story when Arkansas ratepayers are called upon to foot the bill for a half billion dollars in infrastructure losses along the Gulf Coast.

The pius sanctimonious whining from the White House about not bailing out a private company is mighty shallow. First of all, anybody can figure out that electric utilities perform an essential public service and has until recent years, been exempt from competition. Electricity is so important that there was a massive federal program to extend service to all of rural America. After 911, the Bush administration was not in the least bashful about offering handout to friends in the airline industry.

Of course, the federal government has not been shy about awarding massive no-bid contracts to political favorites on the Gulf Coast and there have been allegations about Mississippi's Governor. Who knows?

The point is that, without sufficient infrastructure, New Orleans will never be rebuilt. It may be that this is the purpose of administration policy. That would kill, once and for all, a city crawling with poor folks, racial minorities and Democrats. I can not believe that even George W. Bush is so cruel, calculating and unprincipled.

As the New York Times has editorialized, it is time for an honest New Orleans policy.

This is of more than passing interest to Arkansas customers of Entergy.

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