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The Breakdown: Entergy New Orleans sues City Council…again

Whether that $1 million fine gets paid will be decided by a judge.

NEW ORLEANS — There’s a million dollars on the line and Entergy is taking it to court for a second time.

Let’s get up to speed:

In 2019, New Orleans City Council fined Entergy $1 million for repeated power outages between 2014 and 2017.

A month later, Entergy sued the city, arguing that there were no reliability standards in place for those years.

In June of 2022, a judge vacated the million-dollar fine, finding that it was imposed, “improperly, arbitrarily, and unlawfully.” The judge then handed the matter back to the Council.

So, in February of 2023, the Council adopted solid reliability standards. And in April, it retroactively re-imposed the $1 million fine on Entergy.

But Entergy won’t go quietly. The company says Council is just reimposing the exact same find that was deemed unlawful. A spokesperson wrote in a statement to Eyewitness News,

“In light of these actions, Entergy New Orleans has asked the Court for judicial review. Entergy New Orleans’ reliability performance has consistently improved and has met, and continues to meet, the Council’s newly developed reliability rules.”

But Council says Entergy is trying to make this a more expensive process and ratepayers are ultimately burdened.

Council President JP Morrell says the legal action isn’t surprising. He wrote in a statement, “At some point, Entergy New Orleans’ continued avoidance to do right by its ratepayers must end so that accountability may begin.” 

Now, whether that $1 million fine gets paid will be decided again by a judge.

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