Brent Bailey announces candidacy for Mississippi Public Service Commissioner
CANTON, Miss.—Brent Bailey, 43, of Madison County has announced his candidacy on the Republican ticket for the central district seat on the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
“My primary goal is ensuring transparency in all proceedings at the Mississippi Public Service Commission and encouraging utility customers to get engaged by understanding how decisions made by the commission impact family budgets,” said Bailey, a Mississippi State University biological engineering graduate and former member of the Bulldog football team.
The Carthage, Mississippi, native plans to keep utility rates low by fostering the expansion of energy efficiency programs. Since 2010, Bailey has been a driving force in the adoption of MPSC rules that require utilities to develop and offer these programs for all customer classes.
“As commissioner, I will help lower the utility bills that households and businesses actually pay. I will embrace energy diversification that ensures reliability, affordability and safety while recognizing the economic contribution of conventional energy resources,” Bailey said. “My other passion is using Mississippi’s energy and natural resources wisely. I will continue to support and expand the opportunities for energy efficiency and alternative energy technologies that create jobs, build resilience in infrastructure, and unlock economical solutions that lower customer costs.”
Many issues are currently pending before the MPSC, and many other regulatory challenges and opportunities will present themselves over the next few years. The complex situation surrounding the Kemper County coal-fired plant deserves particular consideration, Bailey said.
“While hindsight may be the clearest view, the recent Supreme Court ruling has elevated the importance of a transparent process, and we must move forward with a fresh, bold approach to managing the financial impacts of this project,” he said.
“The utility customers of the 22 central district counties, as well as all Mississippians, deserve committed, rational leadership to help guide the state into a new era of energy production, conservation and use. The utility of the future, whether it’s electricity, natural gas, water, sewer or telecommunications, must be ready to adapt to new challenges while continuing to provide reliable, accessible and affordable services,” said Bailey, who pledges to be a full-time public servant and accessible to all utility customers.
“Furthermore, I intend to create a collaborative environment where all regulatory and non-regulatory utility matters can be thoughtfully examined,” said Bailey, “and build positive relations with utility providers whose rates are not directly regulated by the MPSC.”
Bailey currently serves as state activities coordinator with the 25x’25 Initiative, working with a broad cross-section of Mississippians and Southeastern stakeholders to mobilize support for energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions and to convey agriculture and forestry’s role in a new national energy strategy.
A fifth generation Mississippian, Bailey has lived in Madison County with his wife Rhonda for the past 13 years. A graduate of Carthage High School, he also attended East Central Community College before transferring to MSU. Before joining the 25x’25 Initiative, he has worked at private companies and nonprofit organizations, including Pickering, Inc. and Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
Bailey is a member of the Mississippi Farm Bureau, Barnett Reservoir Foundation, and National Rifle Association, and he is active with numerous state and regional initiatives focusing on natural resource conservation. He received the MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Achievement Award for contributions to the economic viability of the state agriculture and forestry sectors.