LaPolitics recently sat down with Public Service Commissioners Craig Greene—the Baton Rouge orthopedic surgeon who won his first bid for public office last October—for a wide ranging Q&A on the PSC.
When asked about the biggest issues that will be coming before the PSC in the coming months, Greene says regardless of the specific issues, “our driver is always two things, reliability and affordability. Ultimately, I represent the ratepayer and I look at how do we maximize reliability and make the electrons as affordable as possible.”
Here’s more from the Q&A:
LaPolitics: Last week, we saw some fireworks in the PSC’s meeting over audits in electrical co-ops. This is something that you supported. You’ve actually called for a deeper look into co-ops across the state, even classifying it as a “co-op cleanup.” Why do you think these audits are needed?
CG: You know, some of them are quite large and others are smaller. I want to try to treat all of the co-ops the same. I think an audit routinely by the PSC is probably healthy, to know that there is going to be a standard that they are going to be to be held to. Nowadays, attention to detail and transparency are parts of the honesty gumbo. So, we’re looking to see that the ratepayers are getting their electrons for as cheap as possible.
LaPolitics: You spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club a few weeks ago about how you make a decision on voting for or against rate increases. What are the criteria that you look for when considering a rate increase?
CG: I don’t think they should get an increase just because it’s time. I think there has to be a clear need. If it means that you’re going to have a lapse in reliability (if we don’t have an increase), then that would justify a rate increase. On the other side of the equation, we really drill down on expenses. We don’t want the ratepayers paying for corporate jets. So we’re really looking at the accounting and then how does this fit into the vision and needs of the ratepayer.
LaPolitics: Moving on to something more personal, you and your wife welcomed a new addition to the family a few weeks ago, adopting a two-year-old boy from China.
CG: Yes, Boomer!
LaPolitics: What’s has it been like with Boomer in the house?
CG: He’s so great. He’s got Down syndrome and he is just as happy as can be. My wife, Kristen, and I have four other children, a daughter and three other sons, and they have been super as far as being the big brothers and sister. Our family time at night is now quite entertaining.
They said it: “I felt strongly someone needed to get the truth to CNN’s flailing audience.”—Attorney General Jeff Landry, on his CNN interview on the Affordable Care Act, in Parish News of Acadiana
Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.