Bryant moves quickly to replace Bentz on PSC

JACKSON — Gov. Phil Bryant is naming former Chevron Corp. executive Steve Renfroe to the Public Service Commission.

Renfroe takes over for Republican Leonard Bentz representing the southern district.

Bentz left the utility regulator last month, becoming executive director of the South Mississippi Planning and Development District.

Renfroe could face thorny votes over the power plant Mississippi Power Co. is building in Kemper County. The plant, an associated mine and pipeline is currently projected to cost $4.7 billion. Atlanta-based parent Southern Co. has agreed to pay about $1 billion, and another $1 billion is supposed to be financed by bonds that customers will repay without profit for Mississippi Power.

But the PSC must approve Mississippi Power’s spending, and opponents want commissioners to reject much of it.

Commissioners make $78,000 per year.

 

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