BREAKING NEWS: MIssissippi Power Continues its Boondoggle and Scam with Kemper Coal

Here are two dueling press releases this week on the giant scam being propagated by the MS Power Company with the MS Public Service Commission’s blessing.  It is outrageous behavior by two publicly elected officials, Leonard Bentz and Lynn Posey.  The MS Sierra Club has bravely and strongly tried to represent the interests of the public and has made important progress.  I am not a member of the Sierra Club but strongly support their position in this matter.  Read for yourself and learn!!  If you are an electricity  ratepayer in So. MS this could well cost you as much as $15,000 each.

Thomas Baldwin, Ph.D., Biloxi, MS

This is incredibly fast breaking news and before I could even get this published the following announcement appeared from Louie Miller, Director of MS Sierra Club:

Sierra Club Takes Latest PSC Flip-Flop To Court

Two Commissioners Can’t Really Decide What They Think About Dirty, Expensive, Unnecessary Plant

The entire statement from Louie will appear at the end of this blog, but this statement and quote from the attorney Robert Wiygul is very significant:

“The Sierra Club had presented the Commission with expert testimony and evidence that gas prices, now at historic lows, have rendered Kemper a disaster for ratepayers before it is built.  Bentz and Posey have consistently refused to consider whether Kemper still makes sense.

In the latest court filing Sierra Club has asked the court to let Mississippi Power assume the risk of building the plant while the appeal proceeds.  “If Mississippi Power thinks it is such a good idea to build this boondoggle,” said Robert Wiygul, the attorney filing the appeal on behalf of the Sierra Club, “the company should take the risk and build the plant on its own nickel.  Instead, Mississippi Power wants the citizens of the coast to take all the risk.”

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2012 

Contact: Jenna Garland, (404) 607-1262 x 222, (404) 281-6398

Louie Miller, (601) 859-1054 

PSC Votes to Rubber Stamp Kemper, Bailout Mississippi Power

Sierra Club Will Continue Opposing Dirty, Expensive, Unnecessary Plant 

Jackson, MS – The Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) has once again violated state law to approve the Kemper County coal plant, effectively issuing a bailout to Mississippi Power. The PSC held a meeting this morning to consider a proposed order from Mississippi Power asking to change language related to the mandatory cost-caps on the $2.88+ billion coal gasification plant. Following the precedent set in the March 30 meeting, the PSC again met for less than 5 minutes, and refused to hear from the public or counsel.  

“Commissioners Leonard Bentz and Lynn Posey just gave Mississippi Power yet another bailout at the expense of the ratepayer. They refused again to listen to the public or even consider the hard facts on Kemper,” said Louie Miller, State Director of the Mississippi Sierra Club. “Leonard Bentz just rubberstamped the changes. These guys are operating in a fact-free zone.” 

In a 133-page order, Commissioners Bentz and Posey reversed essentially all of the key findings from the Commission’s earlier orders on Kemper.  In April 2010, the Commission included a comprehensive list of findings on the risks to the ratepayer of the Kemper project, and concluded that the Kemper project was not in the public interest and could not be approved unless the cost was capped at $2.4 billion.  Today the Commission reversed that finding, and once again gave MPC an extra $500 million, without explaining how this new ruling could be squared with its earlier ruling. Commissioner Brandon Presley issued a dissenting opinion, saying that “re-opening the docket is appropriate.” 

Equally striking, the Commission refused to hear evidence that plummeting natural gas prices have rendered Kemper an even worse deal for the ratepayer.  The Sierra Club had presented the Commission with expert testimony and evidence that gas prices, now at historic lows, have rendered Kemper a disaster for ratepayers before it is even built. 

In a unanimous 9-0 ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court revoked Mississippi Power’s permit on March 15, saying that the PSC did not supply sufficient evidence to approve the proposed coal plant project. Since that time, the PSC has violated multiple state laws to protect Mississippi Power’s bottom line at the expense of ratepayers. 

“This decision is just circling the wagons,” said Glen Hooks, Senior Campaign Representative with Sierra Club. “The two Commissioners just went back and tried to figure out how to justify a decision they had already made.  Nobody benefits from this deal but Mississippi Power.” 

In two years since the Kemper County coal plant was initially permitted, the economics of coal and competing energy sources have changed substantially. Natural gas prices have fallen to historic lows, making the Kemper plant even more costly and economically unstable than in 2010. Three weeks ago the Sierra Club submitted extensive evidence and expert testimony to the Commission showing that Kemper has become even worse for the ratepayer since it was approved in 2010, and must be reconsidered.  However, Commissioners Bentz and Posey have consistently refused to listen to any evidence of new developments since the plant was approved in 2010. 

Nationwide, 168 new coal plants have been cancelled since 2001, and 107 plants have been scheduled for retirement. Coal is generating less power for Americans than ever before. Sierra Club continues to call on the Mississippi Public Service Commission to re-open the Kemper County coal plant case, accept new evidence and public comment, and accurately determine whether the plant is a good deal for ratepayers. 

Jenna Garland,Associate Press Secretary, Southeast and South Central,

O: (404) 607-1262 x 222 : (404) 281-6398 

Louie Miller, State Director, Sierra Club Mississippi

601-624-3503 (mobile), louie.miller@sierraclub.org

 _________________________________________________________

Press Release issued by Leonard Bentz following the PSC meeting on Monday approving the Kemper Coal plant AGAIN!  I urge everyone to oblige Bentz and call and write his office to express your extreme displeasure!!—-Tom 

http://media.sunherald.com/smedia/2012/04/24/16/27/3HGMg.So.77.pdf  

Mississippi Public Service Commission 

LEONARD L. BENTZ, COMMISSIONER, 1-800-356-6429 

MEDIA ADVISORY April 24, 2012 , FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 BENTZ GIVES DETAILS ON FINAL RULING OF KEMPER COUNTY IGCC 

Jackson, Mississippi – Today Commissioner Leonard Bentz, Chairman of the Mississippi Public Service Commission, announced that the Mississippi Public Service Commission has issued its Final Order on Remand regarding the Mississippi Power Kemper County IGCC project. 

The Commission continues to find, based on re-examination of the records in this proceeding, that the Kemper Project is the best overall alternative to meet the identified need, and to provide reliable energy and capacity at a low, stable-fuel price, provided by lignite, for the next several decades. “Fundamentally, the Order today has not changed from the previous Order and decision of the Commission to approve the IGCC Kemper Plant. What we did today was clarify our original decision, as requested by the Supreme Court. They asked us for more detail, and we gave it today,” Bentz said.“If for some reason this plant doesn’t work or does not perform as advertised, the Ratepayer will not be responsible. It is imperative to note, as defined in the Order on page 108, the operational costs and performance parameters assure that the Ratepayers will not pay for an under performing asset,” Bentz said.Any rate impacts projected at this time are purely estimations and are still subject to Commission ratemaking proceedings. That is to say, the rate impacts are what the Company expects or may ask; they are not necessarily the rates that will be approved.  

The estimates filed and expert testimony show, the estimated impact of the Kemper Project on rates WOULD NOT be the 45% that has been erroneously touted by the Sierra Club and others. “Anyone who is quoting a 45% increase is playing with the facts. Early on, the Sierra Club and some media outlets claimed that Kemper would lead to a 45% increase in rates. As stated in the Order, the Commission and legal staff can find no support for that anywhere in the filed documents or record,” Bentz added.  “This information can be found beginning on page 121 of the Order. It is a public document, so anyone can see for themselves.” “The bottom line is that even if Mississippi Power had asked for a rate increase of 45%, there is no way I would have approved it. I am against a 45% increase,” Bentz said. 

Consumers are encouraged to contact Commissioner Leonard Bentz’s office at 1-800-356-6429 for any questions or concerns.  Commissioner Bentz’ office may also be contacted via email to southern.district@psc.state.ms.us 

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release: April 26, 2012

Contact: Louie Miller, (601) 859-1054,  Robert Wiygul (228) 872-1125

Sierra Club Takes Latest PSC Flip-Flop To Court

Two Commissioners Can’t Really Decide What They Think About Dirty, Expensive, Unnecessary Plant

Jackson, MS – The Sierra Club has appealed the most recent flip-flop by two members of the Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) on the Kemper County power plant.  In a four minute meeting on April 24, Commissioners Leonard Bentz and Lynn Posey again refused to allow the public or opponents of the plant to speak, and without explanation reversed key findings of their original April and May 2010 orders approving the $2.8 billion dollar power plant.

In the April 24 order, key portions of which were drafted by Mississippi Power for the Commission, Bentz and Posey reversed their previous findings and stated that the plant is in the public interest, even if it costs the ratepayers more than Mississippi Power’s estimates.  While the Commissioners did keep the $2.88 billion dollar cap, they stated that it was not required by law, leaving the door open for Mississippi Power to try to bypass the cap later.

“There is really no choice but to appeal the latest flip flop,” said Louie Miller, State Director of the Mississippi Sierra Club. “Bentz and Posey’s latest decision basically parrots everything Mississippi Power says.  The Kemper plant is already a financial disaster for the ratepayer, and these two just won’t admit it.”

In April 2010 all of the members of the Commission voted unanimously that the Kemper plant as proposed by Mississippi Power could not be approved because it was too risky for ratepayers. Commissioners Bentz and Posey, however, said that the project could proceed if it did not cost more than $2.4 billion.   Less than a month later, and without explanation, Bentz and Posey voted to allow Mississippi Power another $480 million in cost overruns. Sierra Club challenged this decision, and the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Sierra Club in a March 15 decision.

Commissioners Bentz and Posey also refused to hear any evidence that the Kemper project is turning into an even bigger disaster for ratepayers, as natural gas prices reach historic lows.  

The Sierra Club had presented the Commission with expert testimony and evidence that gas prices, now at historic lows, have rendered Kemper a disaster for ratepayers before it is built.  Bentz and Posey have consistently refused to consider whether Kemper still makes sense.

In the latest court filing Sierra Club has asked the court to let Mississippi Power assume the risk of building the plant while the appeal proceeds.  “If Mississippi Power thinks it is such a good idea to build this boondoggle,” said Robert Wiygul, the attorney filing the appeal on behalf of the Sierra Club, “the company should take the risk and build the plant on its own nickel.  Instead, Mississippi Power wants the citizens of the coast to take all the risk.”

Nationwide, 168 new coal plants have been cancelled since 2001, and 107 plants have been scheduled for retirement. Coal is generating less power for Americans than ever before. Sierra Club continues to call on the Mississippi Public Service Commission to re-open the Kemper County coal plant case, accept new evidence and public comment, and accurately determine whether the plant is a good deal for ratepayers.

Note: Commissioner Brandon Presley’s Dissent Order can be found here.

The Great Myths of MS Power’s Kemper Coal Plant

The Great Myths of Mississippi Power’s Kemper County Coal Plant

This post is a nearly exact reproduction of one made earlier regarding the Mississippi Power Company and permission to reproduce this was granted by the MS Director of the Sierra Club, Louie Miller!  And additions such as comments or images are noted and my responsibility alone and intended to further educational content.

Tom Baldwin—Biloxi, MS—April 5, 2012

Issue Summary:

Kemper County Coal Plant 

The Kemper County Lignite Plant is planned to be built in the Chickasawhay flood plain, meaning that any runoff from the project will impact the Pascagoula River system.  What Mississippi Power wants to do is dig a 100-foot hole in the ground to extract lignite, a wet, woody, low-energy coal and then burn it in a 500-megawatt plant to be built next door.  20,000 acres of prime forest land and small farms will have to be eliminated from existence in order to build this plant and dig the giant hole in the ground. 

 The Kemper County area where the electricity is generated is not in Miss. Power’s service area, so the electricity will be supplied to that county and surrounding areas while the citizens in the 26 counties served by Miss. Power will actually have their rates increased in order to pay for the construction of the plant– even if the plant does not generate a single kilowatt of electricity! This will be the first plant ever built in MS to be paid for by rate increases before it is put on line.

 The technology to derive electricity from this wet, fossil wood called lignite is experimental.  As a result, Miss. Power has already charged ratepayers to send the plans to China where a pilot project is underway to build a plant and see if it can generate more electricity than the power consumed in its operation.  Miss. Power claims that if this technology works it can sell it around the world, but if China is developing the pilot project, it seems obvious that China will be selling the technology around the world, not Miss. Power.

 This plant will at least triple the rate electricity costs in the 26 coastal counties since the plant will cost at least $4 billion dollars.  This cost is applied to citizens and small business only, since shipyards, casinos, refineries and other large businesses have been guaranteed to have no rate increase as a result of building this plant.

 The rate of electricity will have to go up considerably higher than Miss. Power projects because average citizens will likely switch to using more natural gas and other alternatives if the rate is increased.  This should eliminate any “all electric homes” from our service area. 

 Our Public Service Commission is going to decide by May 1 if rates can be increased in order to build this plant.  If it is approved, the Sierra Club and concerned citizens may go to court to continue trying to stop this boondoggle from being built.  We also hope to convince the DOE that this is not a suitable project for receiving government financial assistance as currently planned.

Southern Company (MS Power’s parent) is a major client of Haley Barbour’s lobbying firm.  Haley Barbour’s history with the Southern Company includes aiding Cheney in going back on W’s promise to cut emissions (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Haley_Barbour ).  More recently, the lobbying firm arranged to have federal funds from a similar IGCC plant that was planned in FL and canceled, to be transferred to MS Power.  They brag about it on their web site (http://www.bgrdc.com/clients.html–the second bullet under “Successes”), but transfer of funds to a project before the Environmental Impact Statement is approved is illegal.  The Sierra Club intends to file a lawsuit.  (That was done and it was decided in a 9-0 decision in favor of the Sierra Club on March 15, 2012!)

For reference  purposes, here is an image of the Mississippi Power Company’s service area:

Unnecessary, Expensive and Dirty

MYTH #1: MPCO argues that South Mississippi will run out of electricity if this plant is not built.

REALITY: Mississippi currently has power plants that can supply almost three times the amount of power the entire state requires at peak times.

Specifically, Mississippi has twelve natural gas-fired power plants already built which sit idle 85% of the time but can provide up to 7993 megawatts of power (Source: Mississippi Public Service Commission website/electric service>merchant generation plants). MPCO’s proposal would produce only 585 megawatts of power. Therefore, just one of the twelve existing natural gas plants could easily meet and exceed the state’s future electricity demands and needs that MPCO has identified.

The fact that these twelve plants were built with private investor dollars is also noteworthy since MPCO’s proposal requires consumers to foot the bill for this $2.4 billion plant, even if they never use the electricity.

MPCO also assumes that the only way to reasonably meet demand for electricity is to build new power plants. Yet the company has never fully utilized readily available ways to reduce demand through conservation. One simple way to accomplish this is by “weatherizing” or retrofitting new and existing homes and buildings with energy efficient doors, windows, insulation, appliances and heating and cooling units.

Weatherization programs help grow our economy because they create manufacturing jobs to produce energy efficient goods and new jobs for installing these products. In fact energy conservation could produce far more jobs than would be created by the Kemper coal plant. A recent study by American Council for a Energy Efficient Economy concluded that energy conservation initiatives could create 569,000 new jobs nationwide by 2020, with 5,100 jobs right here in Mississippi.

Serious conservation efforts could actually eliminate the need to build new power plants. In fact it could save over four times what Kemper could generate. A recent study by Georgia Tech concluded that energy savings for Mississippi could equal the amount of energy consumed by 343,000 households!

Saving energy also means less pollution. While the Kemper coal plant will be cleaner than the coal plants of the past – at least on paper – not using dirty fossil fuel energy in the first place is the cleanest alternative.

Just as important for consumers, saving power can create a permanent savings on electric bills, and less money on electric bills means more money for other things a family needs, like education and health care.

MYTH #2: This proposal will not raise the bills of MPCO’s customers.

REALITY: The price tag for the Kemper coal plant is $2.4 billion — and rising. This represents by far the largest capital expenditure ever put into an electric utility’s customer rate base in the history of our state.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission’s (MPSC) own expert has concluded: “The Kemper IGCC facility is an expensive new facility and, if its costs were allowed to be put into rates, then Mississippi Power’s rates would increase substantially as compared to rates of today”. The expert goes so far as to say that the “rate increase caused by the IGCC plant itself could actually reduce peak demand and energy use and, thereby, obviate the need for some or all of the plant”. (Source: Testimony 2009 UA-14 Craig Roach redacted p. 35).

MYTH #3: Despite its $2.4 billion plus price tag, the Kemper coal plant is going to save customers money.

REALITY: MPCO will not even make public the basic facts supporting their claim. If this plant is better for customers than using existing power plants and energy conservation measures, MPCO should be transparent in supporting their claims so they can be independently verified.

The old adage “Actions peak louder than words” also applies, since MPCO spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying the state legislature to change the law to allow the up-front risk of financing this plant to be shifted from its stockholders to its customers, even if the plant is never put into service. If this plant is such a great financial deal, MPCO and its shareholders should be willing to accept the risk of building it.

MYTH #4: The Kemper coal plant is “clean coal”.

REALITY: MPCO’s proposal involves digging up 45-square miles of Kemper County for strip mining, which would displace hundreds of residents while destroying valuable streams and wetlands. Five hundred acres will be used as a dump for toxic coal ash from the plant. The plant itself will be classified as a major source of air pollution under the federal Clean Air Act.

MPCO proposes to capture and sell 65% of the carbon dioxide emissions from the plant, which is far better than existing coal plants. What the public isn’t being told, however, is that the company does not yet have anyone to buy this carbon dioxide, and that until a buyer is secured, MPCO will not commit to this reduction in the air permit. That means if the market for carbon dioxide doesn’t materialize, consumers will likely bear the cost of disposing of it, making the proposal an even more expensive venture for the public.

Why not use conservation and existing natural gas fired plants, which will get more environmental bang for the buck with less risk to ratepayers?

Finally, the Kemper coal plant will also emit as much as sixty-three pounds of mercury per year, even after pollution control technology is used. Over time that’s enough toxic mercury to contaminate thousands of waterbodies and million of pounds of fish. When whole river systems in Mississippi are already so contaminated with mercury that the fish pose a danger to pregnant women, why allow more contamination when there are better alternatives? 

Call or E mail the PSC Commissioners:

Lynn Posey (800) 356-6430, central.district@psc.state.ms.us

Leonard Bentz at (800) 356-6429, southern.district@psc.state.ms.us

Brandon Presley at (800) 356-6428, northern.district@psc.state.ms.us 

GET MORE INFORMATION: Louie Miller, Sierra Club, (601) 624-3503

You may also contact the publisher of this blog at doctom2010@yahoo.com

 

The People of Mississippi vs the PSC and MS Power’s Kemper Coal Plant–April 4, 2012


KEEP UP THE PRESSURE TO HOLD PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER BENTZ ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS ‘OWN’ ACTIONS…CALL NOW!!! 1-800-356-6429 :just say NO! to the Dirty Expensive and Unnecessary Kemper Boondoggle and the subsequent 45% rate hike…  (from Louie Miller at Sierra Club)

AND PLEASE DOWNLOAD, PRINT AND DISTRIBUTE THIS FLYER:  stop-kemper-coal-flyer-revised-APRIL 3, 2012  (from Tom Baldwin and friends at Occupy Biloxi/Gulfport)

FROM THE CLARION LEDGER IN JACKSON:

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20120404/OPINION02/204040307/Kemper-plant-overpriced-?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Letters|s

Julia O’Neal,Ocean Springs 

David Schlissel, a consultant who has worked as an economic and technical evaluator on legal issues with utilities for 38 years, provided an affidavit to the Mississippi Public Service Commission. (This document, dated 3-19-2012, is available on the PSC’s web site, www.psc.state.ms.us ; go to “Search Case Files” and enter year 2009, type UA, #014.)

Mississippi Power’s natural gas price estimates throughout its petition for a certificate of necessity to build the Kemper plant have been significantly higher than any realistic projection, even accounting for the fact that they were made two years ago, when prices were a bit higher than they are now.

As we have heard from T. Boone Pickens over the last few days, the United States is considered the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” and switching vehicles from gasoline (made from refined oil) to natural gas would involve huge savings to truckers and motorists. Why not huge savings in electricity generation?

Patently ridiculous natural gas prices were used to justify a plant that is much more expensive than traditional natural gas generation, and which involves a huge strip mine for a low-grade of coal.

At the same time, ratepayers are on the hook to pay for this plant, not Mississippi Power or its parent, Southern Company. Instead of shareholders bearing the burden of an overpriced plant that uses experimental technology, we in the 23 southern counties that have no choice but to buy our power from Mississippi Power will pay the price.  

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20120404/OPINION02/204040309/-Stop-Kemper-coal-now-?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Letters|s  

Tom Baldwin, Biloxi 

Congratulations to the Sierra Club for its initial victory over the Mississippi Power Co. (MPC) Kemper Coal scam! By a 9-0 decision on March 15, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Kemper permit had been improperly issued.

MPC’s charges that the lawsuit has been a “scare tactic” are deeply misleading. The facts are these:

•MPC spent at least $11 million in a campaign to promote a very risky project and bill residential ratepayers some $3 billion to pay for it. That is approximately $15,000 each for their nearly 190,000 residential customers!

•The plant design depends upon a “coal gasification” technology that has never worked on a utility scale.

•The Obama Department of Energy has invested nearly $245 million in Kemper, with more to come. Obama and DOE Secretary Steven Chu are gambling on “clean coal” with your federal tax dollars.

Citizens should call their public service commissioners immediately. Call Leonard Bentz at 1-800-356-6429 and Lynn Posey at 1-800-356-6430 and tell them to “Stop Kemper coal now!”

FROM THE MISSISSIPPI BUSINESS JOURNAL: Bentz: MBJ’s Kemper coverage inaccurate

Home > Mississippi Power CompanyMississippi Public Service Commission > Bentz: MBJ’s Kemper coverage inaccurate

http://msbusiness.com/magnoliamarketplace/2012/04/03/bentz-mbjs-kemper-coverage-inaccurate/

April 3rd, 2012 Clay Chandler  

The Mississippi Public Service Commission held its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning, and it was more noteworthy for what happened afterward than what happened during it.

The good news: Southern District Commissioner Leonard Bentz finally spoke with a reporter about Mississippi Power’s lignite coal-fired generation plant in Kemper County. The bad news: It was a brief conversation.

“Y’all haven’t printed one thing that’s accurate,” Bentz said, referring to the Mississippi Business Journal’s coverage of Kemper from the PSC’s 2010 approval of the $2.8 billion plant to the Mississippi Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the Commission’s decision to grant a certificate of public necessity and convenience was not based on “substantial evidence presented.”

Bentz wouldn’t say what he felt was inaccurate. “Just quote that,” he said, walking away and pointing his finger at a reporter. “Quote that.”

Bentz joined Central District Commissioner Lynn Posey in 2010 in granting the certificate for the Kemper plant. Northern District Transportation Commissioner Brandon Presley dissented.

The Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club challenged the project in Harrison County Chancery Court, which ruled in favor of MPC. After the Sierra Club appealed, the state’s high court ruled 9-0 that the PSC would have to revisit the facts that led to it approving the project. Last Friday, the PSC voted — with the same split – in a 45-second hearing to temporarily authorize MPC to continue construction on the project.

Posey has not spoken with the media since the court’s decision, either.

Presley has said repeatedly that while he’s not against the use of coal to generate energy, he would rather MPC pay for the project itself, rather than passing the cost through to its ratepayers via increased power bills.

An MPC spokesperson said after last week’s hearing that the company has spent $1.1 billion on the project, most of that paying for the installation of underground utilities. 

Categories: Mississippi Power CompanyMississippi Public Service Commission Tags:

My brief comment on the record of this report for MBJ:  (Thomas  Baldwin)

This is an excellent, if brief, report.  Clay should continue to get Bentz and Posey on the record even if all they do is point their finger and tell you to “quote them”!

 

 


STOP KEMPER COAL!! AND STOP PSC COMMISSIONERS BENTZ AND POSEY

DOWNLOAD, PRINT AND DISTRIBUTE THIS FLYER:  stop-kemper-coal-flyer-revised-APRIL 3, 2012

AND STOP PSC COMMISSIONER LEONARD BENTZ!! 

On Friday, March 30, the MS Public Service Commission met in what they had declared an “emergency” session for ONE MINUTE and permitted the Mississippi Power Company to continue its construction of its 3 billion dollar boondoggle in Kemper County.  They literally spit in the face of a unanimous 9-0 MS Supreme Court decision on March 15 which ruled they had not given sufficient reasons to justify this corporate scam. There are serious legal issues with what they did.   And Leonard Bentz from the PSC Southern District is directly responsible. He must be stopped NOW! 

Mississippi Power spent millions lobbying state legislators to shift the cost of this highly experimental, $2.88 billion power plant from its stockholders to its residential customers. Besides being expensive, the Kemper plan’s also dirty. It includes a huge strip mine and coal ash dump that will pollute the Pascagoula River, its headwaters and wetlands and even the Mississippi Sound. And if the experimental “clean coal” process doesn’t work, Kemper will be a major source of air pollution. Finally, a new plant is unnecessary: there’s already more than enough unused generating capacity in the MPC service area. Natural gas fired plants have 12 times the capacity proposed at Kemper! The Kemper plan will make windfall profits for Mississippi Power but hand all the expense, and the risk, to residential ratepayers, who could pay $15,000 per ratepayer!! 

Kemper Coal: Bad for your budget; Bad for our water; Bad for our air.

We, the people of Mississippi, need to tell Leonard Bentz and Lynn Posey to HALT THEIR ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR, REVERSE THEIR DECISION, STOP ACTING LIKE CORPORATE FASCISTS, OR FACE EFFORTS FOR REMOVAL FROM OFFICE IMMEDIATELY!!                  Call, e-mail, or write:

Public Service Commissioner Southern District Leonard Bentz  

(800) 356-6429         southern.district@psc.state.ms.us  Public Service

Commissioner Central District Lynn Posey

(800) 356-6430        central.district@psc.state.ms.us 

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner’s Office            Woolfolk Building   501 North West Street   Suite 201A   Jackson, MS   39201