Alabama's utility regulators are supporting coal and opposing federal efforts to limit fossil fuel emissions.
Alabama Public Service commissioners Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Jeremy Oden and commissioner-elect Chip Beeker spoke at a news conference Monday ahead of hearings on new federal rules to limit coal.
The say the changes could cost jobs and result in higher utility bills.
Al.com quotes Beeker as saying God created coal in Alabama, and no one has a right to push a policy that runs against God's plan.
Challenger Chris "Chip" Beeker Jr. has upset incumbent Terry Dunn for the Republican nomination for Place 2 on the Alabama Public Service Commission.
With 86 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, Beeker has 59 percent to Dunn's 41 percent.
The winner has no Democratic opposition in the general election Nov. 4.
Beeker was making his second run for the state's utility regulatory board. He drew support from some business and coal groups who were upset with Dunn calling for formal rate hearings for Alabama Power.
Customers of Alabama's largest natural gas distributor are going to see a reduction in their rates starting in the fall.
The Alabama Public Service Commission voted unanimously Tuesday for Alabama Gas to refund $16.5 million to its customers through lower rates between Oct. 1 and March 31. PSC members timed the lower rates to coincide with winter heating bills.
The Alabama Legislature has agreed to end the ability of landline phone customers to call the state's utility regulatory board with service complaints. The Alabama Senate voted 33-0 Thursday to approve a bill that does away with the Public Service Commission's authority to handle landline phone complaints. The bill passed the House earlier and now goes to the governor for his approval. The state's largest phone company, AT&T, pushed the legislation.
Customers might no longer be able to call the state's utility regulatory board to complain about phone service.
A bill moving through the Alabama Legislature would complete the deregulation of home and business phone service by ending the Public Service Commission's ability to handle customer complaints about landlines.
The state's utility regulatory board has refused to reconsider its new rate structure for Alabama Power Co.
The Public Service Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to reject a request by AARP to reconsider the rate plan. The vote was the same as the PSC's decision in August to approve the rate structure. The PSC's top attorney recommended rejecting AARP's request and said the organization for older Americans had not presented any new issues.
Alabama Power Co. predicts that its rates will remain level through 2014, despite the forecast of consumer savings when the state's utility regulatory board approved a new rate plan.
The Public Service Commission voted 2-1 last month to revise its rate stabilization plan for Alabama Power. Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh forecast the change would result in annual savings for consumers of $30 to $110.
The state's utility regulatory board has scheduled three public meetings to discuss the rates of Alabama Gas. The Public Service Commission says the first meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 5 at the PSC hearing room in Montgomery. Meetings are also planned for Sept. 25 and Oct. 9.
The PSC previously held hearings on rates for Mobile Gas and Alabama Power Co. Those meetings resulted in changes to the companies' rate structures. PSC members say consumers should see savings with their bills starting January.
Mobile Gas is going along with the Alabama Public Service Commission's adjustment to its rate structure, which will allow the new rates to go into effect in December.
The PSC voted in July to lower the range of return on equity for the natural gas utility that serves southwest Alabama. The range had been 13.35 percent to 13.85 percent, and the PSC lowered it to 10.45 percent to 10.95 percent.
Alabama's utility regulatory board has approved a new rate plan for Alabama Power Co., but commissioners disagree on how it will affect customers.
The state Public Service Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to base Alabama Power's rates on weighted cost of equity, rather than return on equity, which has been used for the last 31 years.
PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh says customers should see annual savings between $30 and $110, depending on their usage. Commissioner Jeremy Oden says residential customers and small businesses should save between $30 and $45 a year.
Alabama Power is defending its rate structure before the state's utility regulatory board.
Officials of Alabama Power told the Public Service Commission on Wednesday that its rates are below the national average. Officials said the total annual electric bill for the average Alabama home is above the national average because of hot, humid summers and because Alabamians tend to use more electricity and less of other energy sources, such as natural gas and fuel oil, than other Americans.