Arkansas Energy

Entergy Arkansas says a projected decrease in the fuel costs would help offset the cost of a requested 8 percent rate increase before the Arkansas Public Service Commission

The utility issued a statement Monday saying its "fuel and purchased power cost" adjustment that will be filed in March will mean residential ratepayers get a $7.11 break for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours they use.

white bluff entergy power plant coal energy
Arkansas Business

Arkansas officials are evaluating what steps to take in response to the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halting a federal rule limiting carbon emissions at power plants.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined the lawsuit with 26 other states challenging the Environmental Protection Agency rule, commonly known as the Clean Power Plan or section  111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The plan was a key piece of President Barack Obama's policy platform to combat climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to temporarily block President Barack Obama's plan to cut power plant emissions is good news.

Arkansas is one of 27 states suing to halt implementation of the Clean Power Plan. The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to block enforcement of the plan while the litigation is pending.

Motorists in Arkansas and the rest of the nation should get used to filling up their tanks for less after the U.S. Department of Energy forecasted on Tuesday that average pump prices for regular unleaded should remain on average below $2 per gallon throughout 2016.

In the near-term, a GasBuddy analyst said the bloated wholesale market for gasoline could also push pump prices in some parts of the U.S. below the one dollar a gallon mark in coming weeks, a level not seen since 1999.

Editor’s note: Each Friday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Energy In-depth,” a round-up of energy and regulatory news. 

white bluff entergy power plant coal energy
Arkansas Business

Arkansas Department of Environment Quality Director Becky Keogh and Public Service Commission Chair Ted Thomas submitted final comments to federal environmental regulators on Thursday, providing a snapshot of how the state intends to move forward to comply with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Natural Gas Drilling Mt. Vernon in Faulkner County
Arkansas Times

Southwestern Energy Co. said Thursday it is laying off around 1,100 workers companywide with 600 of those jobs to cut in Arkansas. The Texas driller’s Fayetteville Shale operations in Arkansas had more than 1,500 workers a year ago.

“Natural gas prices have continued to decline over the past year, creating conditions where cash flow to fund projects will be significantly lower that it has been the past few years,” said company spokeswoman Christina Fowler. “This has led to a need to reduce the company’s overall workforce.”

The state Public Service Commission on Tuesday heard hours of testimony offering near-unanimous support for a proposed deal to lower Entergy Arkansas Inc.’s pending rate request by some $43 million.

One by one, a long list of witnesses testified and entered thousands of pages of documents and exhibits into the public docket to support the proposed deal first announced in April 2015.

Angelsharum / Wikimedia

The Arkansas Public Service Commission will meet Tuesday to consider a settlement with Entergy Arkansas over a rate increase.

The agreement could result in an 8.3 percent increase to the monthly bills of the utility's customers. Entergy says the rate hike would allow it to improve its electrical infrastructure and purchase one-fourth of the Union Power Station natural gas plant near El Dorado. 

Little Rock-based Southwest Power Pool is one of the regional transmission organizations participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing Grid Modernization Initiative that’s central to the Obama Administration’s initiative to improve the resiliency, reliability and security of the nation’s electricity delivery system.