Friday, October 23, 2015

Bob Stump engages reporter in war of words - facts trump Stump

Bob, Bob. Will you never learn? You may have APS dollars behind you but Laurie Roberts from acentral.com has the pen. The pen is mightier than the bankroll. You duel with her at your peril. To put it bluntly, Bob, if you keep playing this game, you are, as they say, screwed. (Actually, Bob, you already are.)

That's the advice I would have given Stump had he asked. But he did not and plowed ahead anyway.

"If only Ms. Roberts’s vocabulary were as rich as the irony of these two juxtaposed headlines:
"Roberts: Why won’t Bob Stump (or anyone) take on APS?
"Corporation Commission dismisses request to raise APS rooftop solar fees…"

Here is the reply to Stump from Laurie Roberts' on Stump and his cohorts on the Arizona Corporation Commission. (We could call them the Corporation Omission but it would not change their behavior.)

Oh, yes I see the irony. Just not quite the same way Stump sees it.

The Commission voted 3-2 in August to consider APS’s request to raise fees on its rooftop solar customers from $5 to $21. Stump joined Commissioners Doug Little and Tom Forese – surprise! – in doing APS’s bidding. This, despite an administrative law judge’s recommendation to dismiss the request, saying "it is not in the public interest" to consider the matter outside of a full rate case, when all financial factors can be considered.

Cue the ensuing backlash, including a formal request by a pair of former commissioners and a rooftop solar company that Forese and Little recuse themselves from the vote given widely held suspicions that APS secretly spent $3.2 million to get them elected. Including the likelihood that a lawsuit would have been filed had the commission proceeded, with all kinds of judicial subpoena possibilities. (Perhaps going where no commissioner has dared to go and forcing APS to open its books?)

Suddenly, APS wasn’t so keen on that fee hike request. In fact, APS last month asked that the commission dismiss its fee hike request and instead study the cost of serving solar customers.

Once again, the commission voted on Tuesday to do APS’s biidding. Two the commissioners – Susan Bitter Smith and Bob Burns – voted as they did in August, to dismiss the request.

Suddenly, the other three -- the ones who in August were keen to consider that rate hike -- raced to switch sides on the issue. Just as APS asked them to do.

Stump’s right. Oh, the irony.

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