The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on February 19, 1948 · Page 9
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 9

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 19, 1948
Page 9
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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1!M8 BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS Showdown Near In Power'Battle' Arkansas Regulatory Agency Clashes With FPC in Washington WASHINGTON. F; b. 19. (UP) — ; Chairman Charles C. Wine- of the rkansas Public Service Commis- inn said yesterday that trie Fcd- •ral Power Commission is trying to j 'oust" tlic state i:omii!ission from • urisdictioil over the Arkansas Pow- ?r and Light C: > Wine said a Federal power Com- l^ion order for the company to "take adjustments of SG.OCO.OOO in i'.s accounts would be "hi conflict with and -Aould ciirec-i the company to ] violate" a previous order by the Arkansas Slate Commission. Wine testified before the Federal Power Commission which is hearing the company's objections to its orrier. Wine said the Arkansas commission, after six years of itivrsliis'i- tion, had ordered the company dispose ot $8,546.519.03 on its accounts. He said the company Jlfls | complied. He said Hie ijate tommissioii authority ovt'^the company and tile federal commission does not. Wine said ttie Arkansas commission, under the state law, has a uniform system of accounts which is "substantially the same" as that prescribed by Hie Federal Pcnvi" Commission. He said the Arkansas commission "fixed the reasonable earninc.s" of the company for establishment of its rate base. FPC Seeks Explanation Federal commission lawers asked the company to explain why some accounting records "disappeared just about the time state and federal regulation loomed on the horizon." Hamilton Moses, canpany president, said tile company could not comply with the Federal Power Commission order without incurring "rather heavy penalties" from the state of Arkansas. ."The statues of the state of Arkansas provide penalties for anj «L-son or public utility refusing l(. idc by the orders of the stau commission," Moses said. Moses said his company conic not carry out any disposition of tin fund "different from those madi by the 'Arkansas) commission without proposing !o violate the Arkansas penal statues." Moses said his company could hot. have acquired the properties without paying more than their original cost. Howard Wahrenbrock. commission counsel, said the company has refused to make adjustments of S6,- OCO.OCO under the uniform accounting regulations of the commission because "certain books and records are missing." "The company must show those records or show why they disappeared about the time state and federal regulation loomed on the horizon." he said. Wahrenbrock made the statement as the commission opened hearings on long-fought differences between Little Rock and the commission. Since 1037 the company has car- ftfed its objections to commission ac- "ounting orders to three courts. Some Adjustments Made Also since that time, Wahrenbrock said, the company has made the required adjustments in disposing of about S15.COO.OOD which the commission classified as "write- ups and other Inflationary items." Wahrenbrock said that Arkansas' power rates, \vhich are based on original cost, arc "of large econom- 1 ic significance to customers in all surrounding states." Although Arkansas 1 properties are located within the stale, he said, it has "major" connections with companies in Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. HoweU Purdue, commission la'.v- yer, said the commission is not "trying to intrude" in the company's affairs. He said the commission, in requiring the adjustment, "is merely carrying out the powers and duties given it by Congress." Accounts, he | said, are the "essence of fixing proper and just rates." 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