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The state’s utility regulators didn’t vote Wednesday on an effort to quit a regional transmission authority.

Public Service Commission Chair Craig Greene, R-Baton Rouge, announced the five elected commissioners would put off the vote, adding that only one regulator seemed to support the idea of leaving the MidContinent Independent System Operator, called MISO and pronounced “My-So.”

MISO connects the energy grids built by local utilities in 15 states from Canada to the Gulf. Regional Transmission Organizations, called RTOs, allow multi-state movement of electricity by facilitating sale of power from its maker to the utilities that need some more.

Last month, PSC Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, R-Metairie, recommended Entergy Louisiana and Cleco Power begin the process of withdrawing from MISO. Skrmetta’s comments launched widespread efforts by environmentalists and renewable energy advocates to stop that termination.

“We’ve gotten a lot of noise around that,” said Greene, who on the October afternoon that Skrmetta initially made his comments said he didn’t support leaving MISO.

“Participation in the MISO market has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars of benefits to Louisiana utility customers over the last seven years by expanding access to more resources,” Greene said Wednesday after announcing there would be no vote. “The more resources are available, the better for customers. I don’t support walking away from an organized market that provides opportunities to attract private investment to the state. There has been no cost benefit analysis conducted indicating we would somehow be better off without MISO.”

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Greene said Skrmetta was the only commissioner pushing to end Louisiana’s relationship with MISO.

At issue is MISO’s recommendation of 335 new projects – $3 billion worth – to upgrade aging infrastructure and address generating plants slated to be closed. The initial MISO proposal sought payment from all the utilities in the organization’s footprint, even though most of the projects are in Minnesota and other northern states.

Under the rules, customers of Louisiana utilities would have to chip in to pay for the improvements – something the PSC opposes, arguing that the improvements will have little benefit in Louisiana. MISO will be filing its response in December.

Skrmetta said the complete plan carries a cost of about $30 billion and could easily escalate.

“That’s a monumental element that would attack our rates like we’ve never seen,” Skrmetta said. “There are alternate markets available if MISO does not prove to be the economic value to the citizens of the state.”

Skrmetta said he wants PSC staff and consultants to talk to officials with other RTOs and learn about their structures.

Email Mark Ballard at mballard@theadvocate.com.