Entergy, The Company Behind The Super Bowl Blackout, Has A Shady History

A tale of $1 billion in misused corporate subsidies sheds light on last night's debacle.

Like many New Orleans residents, my parents own a diesel generator, which they purchased after Hurricane Isaac last fall left them without power for several days. As the rest of the world is now well aware, following last night's Super Bowl, it would be foolish for New Orleanians to rely solely on the city's electric company, Entergy.

Entergy and its local subsidiaries have been the target of class action suits stretching back over a decade. In the suits, the company is accused of price-gouging and violation of anti-trust laws. After Katrina in 2005, the company declared bankruptcy and received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds, combined with 6 to 10% surcharges on customers' bills, for a total of over a billion dollars in extra cash to rebuild and come back stronger. But a new class action filed after Hurricane Isaac last August alleges that they failed to use the money to prepare adequately for the next storm, and then failed to respond to the storm properly when it came, leaving 769,000 customers without power, many for over five days. To add insult to injury, during the years since Katrina, Entergy, the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in New Orleans, has been busy moving white-collar jobs out of the city.

Entergy is blaming the 34-minute Superbowl blackout last night on equipment maintained by the stadium staff. (The Superdome reopened in 2011 after a $320 million renovation and was renamed the "Mercedes-Benz Superdome.") But pointing fingers won't help. Until we figure out better ways to build resilient cities without corruption, more cities like New Orleans are going to measure infrastructure failures in lost investment, lost tourist dollars, and in public embarrassment.

[Image: AP/Gerald Herbert]

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  • Walter Webb

    2013 SUPERBOWL BLACKOUT WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE FEW FLAWS OF THE SUPERBOWL. ENTERGY ENERGY (ETR) IS THE ENERGY UTILITIES COMPANY WHO PLAY A  MAJOR ROLE IN RESUMING ELECTRICITY TO THE DOME CROWD. IN RANKING THE ENGERGY COMPANIES THIS YEAR THIS MAY HAVE SOME IMPACT ON WHERE THE ENERGY COMMISSION PLACES ENTERGY. RIGHT NOW JERRY RICHERSON AND DUKE ENERGY (DUK)  ARE LOOKING AT NUMBER ONE. DUKE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB SUPPLYING ENERGY UTILITIES TO THE NFL'S CAROLINA PANTHER STADIUM. IN THE MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON D.C. A E S ENERGY (AES) HAS A HUGE NATIONAL PRESENCE, BIG SOUTH AMERICA CONTRACT AND STRONG ARMED FORCES RECOGNITION. IN OKLAHOMA CHESAPEAKE ENERGY (CHK) NEW APPOINTED LEADER WILL HAVE THE BEST OF FEBRUARY WITH HIS ENERGY AND BLACK WALL STREET'S TULSA ENERGY LEADERS ON WALL STREET. IN FLORIDA THE DOMINANCE OF JUNO FLORIDA'S FPL GROUP (FPL) HAS MADE A BIGGER MONOPOLY BOARD WITH ITS MERGER WITH NEXTERA ENERGY.  IN THE REVIEW AREA OF PRINCETON NRG ENERGY (NRG) IS DRUMMING UP A LOT BUSINESS. DRUM MEANING OIL. NRG IS IN A GREAT POSITION THE WORK WITH NEW YORK'S DISASTER RELIEF OIL COMPANY HESS (HES) OIL
    IN SUPPLYING MUCH NEEDED HEATING OIL TO THE GARDEN STATE . IN CALIFORNIA SEMPRE ENERGY (SRE) HAS BEEN A GREAT COMMODITY CONTRIBUTOR TO A STATE NOT WELL PUBLICIZED FOR ITS ENERGY ASSETS. SEMPRE ALSO HAS A "COKE" SYSTEM IN PLACE AND USES IT AS A SPECIALTY OF THE COMPANY. TEXAS THE OPPOSITE OF CALIFORNIA, IT KNOWN ALL OF THE GLOBAL WORLD FOR ITS ENERGY PRODUCING ASSEST. DALLAS CROSSTEX ENERGY (XTXI) MAY GET INCREASE PUBLICITY FOR ITS HUGE NATURAL GAS LIQUIDS PROJECTS. COLD CLIMATE AREA XCEL ENERGY (XEL) HAS MINNEAPOLIS COVERED WITH ABOVE FREEZING ENERGY MANUVERS FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS. HAS FOUR OWNED SUBSIDIARIES, AND JOINT VENTURED FOR ENERGY, GAS, AND UTILITIES WITH A MINIMUM OF NINE OTHER STATES IN BRINGING NATIONAL ENERGY RESOURCES TO THE UNITED STATES. THESE ARE ONLY A FEW OF THE MANY
    WHICH WILL SEE SOME TYPE OF 2013 ENERGY RANKING.

    WALTER WEBB-FREELANCE WRITER
    JANUARY 20113