Warwick Sabin’s Jan. 18 column, “Empowered,” addresses net metering and the electric rate increase in North Little Rock.

Sabin relies upon a Network for New Energy Choices report that significantly mischaracterizes the record and makes inaccurate statements about net metering requirements in Arkansas.

The article questions the compensation utilities pay for the electricity generated by net metering customers. Consistent with state law, the commission requires utilities to credit net metering customers at the full retail rate for all electricity up to those customers’ full monthly needs. Contrary to the article’s suggestion, the commission rejected the utilities’ arguments regarding cross subsidies and lost revenue. The commission established a significantly greater value for the electricity credited to net metering customers than the rate suggested by the utilities and the amounts utilities pay for electricity from other customer-owned generation.

The article questions the lack of compensation for electricity generated in excess of net metering customers’ monthly requirements. Act 1781 of 2001 defines net metering as “measuring the difference between electricity supplied by an electric utility and the electricity generated by a net metering customer and fed back to the electric utility over the applicable billing period.” The act states that the electricity from a net metering facility “is intended primarily to offset all or a part of the net metering customer requirements for electricity.” The intended benefit associated with net metering is offsetting a customer’s monthly usage, thus it is not intended to be a resource to the utility. Under the act, net metering customers benefit from a credit, at the full retail rate, for all electricity generated up to the customer’s full monthly needs.

Under state law, the commission does not have jurisdiction over the rates or service provided by the North Little Rock municipal electric department or any other municipal utility.

The commission understands the effects of utility rates on customers and takes very seriously its obligation to ensure that customers receive safe and reliable utility service at a reasonable price. The commission works diligently to ensure that utility rates are not higher than required by law.

Sandra Hochstetter, chairman, Arkansas Public Service Commission

Daryl E. Bassett, commissioner

Randy Bynum, commissioner

Texas doesn’t care

In your Jan. 18 edition, Jim Harris wrote, “...He (Broyles) sounded generally giddy, as if the Hogs had just beaten Texas.”

The thing is, no one in Texas cares when the Longhorns play Arkansas. Only people in Arkansas care.

Tony Tabor

Little Rock

Pryor and Gonzales

Don’t you find it ironic that U.S. Mark “Judas” Pryor, who supported Alberto Gonzales for attorney general, now finds the “legal” yet political actions of the attorney general — in appointing a U.S. attorney in Little Rock without going through a Senate confirmation — unacceptable?

Pryor knew that Alberto Gonzales spearheaded the Bush administration’s legal justification for spying on American citizens, kidnapping individuals and shipping them to other countries for confinement and torture. To Pryor, those issues should not have been a reason to object to, or vote against, his appointment as attorney general.

Why would Pryor be surprised that a person who supported the violation of international treaties, the violation of the Bill of Rights and Constitution, and simple common Christian behavior, performed a “legal” action but one that goes against protocol and tradition?

Pryor knew what he was doing when he voted for cloture and supported Gonzales’ nomination. Pryor — and all alleged Democrats who supported Gonzales — should stop throwing a tantrum and remove the man from office for this and a long, long list of betrayals of his ethical and legal obligations.

Rev. Jos. Cooper

Sherwood, Arkansas

From the Internet

Again this week, we offer some of the mostly anonymous comments we receive in comments posted to articles on our website.

On Mike Huckabee’s destruction of computer hard drives as he left the governor’s office:

Anonymous said: “Assuming I was a state employee, if I was to leave my current position and I took it upon myself to destroy the hard drive in my state computer would I be subject to possible criminal prosecution? Why is Huckleberry above the law?”

On a new Little Rock Film Festival in May:

Mystery Shopper said: “Sounds great, but are they overlooking including the theaters at the Aerospace Education Center? A great venue, close to downtown with both the IMAX and new Episphere projection rooms.”

On the proposal to fill a wetland on the Arkansas River near Maumelle:

Aporkalypse said:I’m not really an environmentalist and I supported filling in Dark Hollow to put in the Shoppes at North Hills development in North Little Rock. That said, I just can’t fathom destroying scenic wetlands like that to build a parking lot for heavy equipment that would be visible from the interstate.”

Shawn Porter said: “I think the corps of engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are entirely within the law to enforce the Clean Water Act on this property. Requiring a 404 permit for a project simply says that it must meet certain standards for design, construction, and usefulness to the public. No one is preventing Mehaffy from using the property, but certain standards are higher for a property such as this, the loss of which would be seen and felt throughout the LR-NLR river corridor. Mr. Mehaffy should seek to protect this land. Conserving a wetland such as this is a legacy worth remembering, and appreciating.”

“More to come” said: “What if Teddy Roosevelt hadn’t protected and enacted our National Parks System? We’d have a parking lot and shopping center with Jackson Hole as the centerpiece or Hot Springs to get closer to home. Enough is enough. That goes for the mall in North Little Rock, too.”

On the cover story about LISA Academy:

Margie Davis said: “Our son attends LISA Academy and it was the last stop before private school. We have been the magnet and public school route since kindergarten and have worked very hard with our volunteer hours. If you want horror stories of what goes on in the public schools, we have them. We shadowed LISA and it quite frankly blew our socks off. I remember being in the hallway and when the bell dismissed the class, the teachers got up and left their desks and stood in the hallway observing the students and interacting with them. How wonderful that was!”

On Max Brantley’s column about the Murphy Oil promise of college scholarships to El Dorado High School graduates:

Elizabeth W. Etheridge said: “Murphy Oil has a long history of support to higher education. I graduated from EHS in 1952 (our 55th reunion is planned for this spring). I worked as a summer employee for Murphy for five summers, which allowed me to attend Henderson State, graduating in 1956. I’m pleased, but not surprised, to hear of Murphy’s continuing commitment.”

Ernest Dumas’ column on President George W. Bush’s health insurance plan:

Mel wrote: “If you don’t make enough money to itemize tax deductions, then you can’t take a deduction anyway. Hillary’s plan is still the right thing to do.”


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