Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 38 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/5/21

Louisiana Black-out: Not an Act of God, an Act of Entergy

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   5 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Greg Palast
Become a Fan
  (67 fans)

The darkness, the misery and death you are witnessing in Louisiana is not an act of God, it's an act of Entergy Inc.

Hurricane Ida
Hurricane Ida
(Image by NASA)
  Details   DMCA

I was hired by the City of New Orleans to investigate why their power company, Entergy, simply can't keep the lights on while citizens' electric bills soar. That was in 1986.

In 35 years, nothing has changed my official conclusion: Entergy is a racketeering enterprise parading as a power company.

This week, Entergy lost 2000 miles of high-voltage power lines. I've worked on power systems worldwide and you won't see that type of disaster in Bangladesh after a typhoon.

Why? To Entergy, hurricanes have become a profit center.

Here's how they did it after Katrina. Entergy wouldn't get the city's lights back on for over a year. Not that they didn't act swiftly: Just three weeks after the hurricane - Entergy took emergency action"by tossing its New Orleans subsidiary into bankruptcy. It was a nice trick to duck liabilities for its negligence and avoid fronting the cost of repair.

Yet, immediately after Katrina, Entergy posted a breathtaking 24% jump in profits for the quarter that it attributed to "weather." But you don't need a weatherman to know that this story blows: With New Orleans drowned, Entergy sold off the city's electricity allotment elsewhere at a huge profit.

There is nothing new under the Louisiana sun. In 1986, Entergy's New Orleans system was going broke because of the eye-popping cost of buying wholesale power, four times the national norm, from a company called "Middle South Utilities." Middle South was 100% owned by -you guessed itEntergy.

But those were the days of government regulation, and the government regulators who had hired me, ordered an end to the shell game.

But then came George W. Bush who, in 2001, "deregulated" the wholesale market, and the siphoning resumed with a vengeance.

Busy shuffling loot from pocket to pocket, Entergy had neither the concern nor funds to harden their system against a hurricane.

(Image by   Details   DMCA

It's been more than a decade since the Infrastructure Security Office (yes, there really is such an office) at the US Department of Energy issued its report, "Hardening and Resiliency U.S. Energy Industry Response to Recent Hurricane Seasons," which forced power companies to prepare for Category 3 winds (the power monopolies refused the admonition to prepare for Categories 4 or 5) with extra guy wires on transmission towers, mobile generators and transformers, protected communications, and more.

That takes money. Entergy got the money from the ratepayers of New Orleans Louisiana and Mississippi. But where was the investment? Where were the mobile generators to keep the water systems on?

I reached Brod Bagert, Jr. on his cell phone in New Orleans. It was Bagert's dad, Brod Bagert Sr., who hired me to investigate Entergy 35 years ago (it never ends, does it?).

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 4   Supported 3   News 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Greg Palast Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Greg Palast’s investigative reports appear in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and on BBC Television. His latest film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election, is available on Amazon. Palast is Patron of the (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

UAW Files Charges Against Romney for Auto Bail-Out Profiteering

Placebo Ballots: Stealing California From Bernie Using an Old GOP Vote-Snatching Trick

Aaron Swartz Died For Piers Morgan's Sins

TrumpCare dies, XL flies -- and the secret winner is...

The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis

GREECE'D: We Voted 'No' to slavery, but 'Yes' to our chains

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend