Open Letter to the Corporation Commission regarding APS

As a constituent of yours and an APS ratepayer, I hope you will vote against their massive rate hike request.

I understand that APS claims that its financial position is untenable without this increase and its bonds will be downgraded to junk bond status, thereby hurting ratepayers, unless the Corporation Commission approves its request. But the reality is that without fundamental managerial change, this bailout by the ratepayers will only be a temporary fix.

At a minimum, rate increases should be a non-starter until the overpaid top management at APS/Pinnacle West is replaced. News reports recently indicated that Bill Post made $7.5 million last year and Jack Davis made $5.5 million, all for doing nothing more than running a monopoly utility into the ground. Even as the energy sector has enjoyed excellent stock growth recently, Pinnacle West’s stock price has been stagnant.

In addition, before any rate increase is agreed to, APS should be required to drastically cut its lobbying and political contributions budget. APS has allowed itself to become distracted from its core business by focusing on matters having nothing to do with providing power efficiently, to the detriment of its ratepayers. Bloggers have revealed that APS has given money to Planned Parenthood and other left-wing groups, and APS sends Marty Schultz and his small army of lobbyists out to lobby and get involved in all kinds of issues that are totally unrelated to the power business.

If Post and Davis want to pursue an extreme left-wing agenda on their own dime that is their right. But it is wrong to permit them to continue to do so on the backs of ratepayers who disagree with ratepayer money being spent this way. Incidentally, though I am pro-life I don’t think APS should be giving money to Arizona Right to Life either because I see no benefit to the ratepayers by them spending money to take sides on this issue either way.

I will not bore you with a long rendition of APS/Pinnacle West’s managerial incompetence. But from the substation fires to their underfunded pension to the downgrading of Palo Verde’s safety rating, it is clear that real change is needed, starting with relieving Post, Davis and the lobbying team of their jobs. Instead of simply getting back to focusing on providing power, APS’ idea of “change” is another infusion of cash from the ratepayers. This is nothing more than a band-aid solution, on the backs of the ratepayers, to cover up for continued managerial incompetence.

Even school districts have now weighed in on this issue, opposing APS’ request because it will hit them so hard. And the money has to come from somewhere, meaning that in order for schools to pay the bills that support the bloated salaries of Post and Davis, the lobbying and support for left-wing causes, and the general managerial incompetence, schools will have to cut programs for kids.

Clearly no rate increases should be permitted until these fundamental changes are made. Maybe if APS managed its money more wisely it wouldn’t have to come hat in hand asking for the Corporation Commission’s acquiescence in another raid on the wallets of its ratepayers.


Comments

  1. Great idea Ted.

    The ACC doesn’t get a lot of attention, so a few emails may make quite a difference.

    Here are the commissioner’s email addresses:

    Kris Mayes : mayes-web@azcc.gov
    Bill Mundell: mundell-web@azcc.gov
    Mike Gleason: gleason-web@azcc.gov
    Gary Pierce: pierce-web@azcc.gov
    Jeff Hatch-Miller: hatch-web@azcc.gov

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