MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — We are five days away from election day and one race out of the many that will be on your ballot Tuesday will be for Alabama’s Public Service Commission president.
The PSC is the regulatory agency for utilities. Current PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat and attorney Laura Casey.
“She is complaining because she wants the green new deal,” Cavanaugh said.
Casey says for 40 years, the PSC has set utility rates behind closed doors.
“A lot of the issues we have with the commission did perceive the incumbent, but the incumbent has certainly perpetuated them,” Casey said.
It’s a stark contrast in the way the two candidates see this role and if utilities are affordable for Alabama families.
“We use more electricity, it’s not the actual price, and we have seen that we are below the national average.”
“We pay the highest power bills in America and so often when I say that, that basic fact is not in the public domain, and the only reason we are paying more is because we don’t have a functioning commission,” Casey said.
Last month, PSC voted to allow Alabama Power to continue charging for rooftop solar and to raise its fee. Cavanaugh says the charge is only for people who have both Alabama Power and solar.
“If they chose to hook up with Alabama Power when their solar is not producing like today when it’s cloudy and not producing and they want to receive power. They need to pay just like everyone else does for their power,” she said.
Casey is making clean energy and solar a key part of her campaign.
“We are blocking solar energy residential solar energy in Alabama. I won’t tell people I have the answers, but I will say we are being locked out of the process and it’s coming out of our wallets,” she said.