Gulf Islands Natl Seashore Anti Drilling Campaign


State Director, Mississippi Sierra Club

Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 3:39 PM
Subject: Gulf Islands Natl Seashore Anti Drilling Campaign

Outgoing Governor Haley Barbour not only pardoned 198 criminals on his way out the door but blew a big kiss to BP and the rest of the oil and gas industry by reopening the administrative process of promulgating rules for offshore seismic and leasing of state waterbottoms. The proposal imperils the Gulf Islands National Seashore and two Congressionally designated wilderness areas. This fight has been revived from 2004 when Sierra Club helped create an atypical alliance of business, tourism, and municipal interests, which defeated this egregious proposal.

On Wednesday the Sierra Club joined the Gulf Restoration Network, Gulf Coast Attractions Association, and Gulf Islands Conservancy, in a press conference to release a report on the economic impacts of drilling to the coast’s tourism economy (link to report below). What follows is a compilation of press hits surrounding our kick-off event.

Environmental leaders protest drilling in the Gulf – WLOX Channel 13 (Lead Story)

Environmental Groups Oppose Gov. Bryant’s Push for Drilling Near Mississippi’s Barrier Islands

mississippi Public Broadcasting

Study: Drilling could hurt tourism – Sun Herald (Front Page)

Drilling by the Numbers, Again:

The Economic Impact of Gas Exploration Offshore of Mississippi

Report by Dr. Jeffrey Bounds Commissioned by Mississippi Sierra Club Chapter (January 23, 2012)

MDA should promote, not diminish, the value of our most precious tourism assets

Sun Herald Op-Ed by Louis Skrmetta, President of Gulf Coast Attractions Association

Critics say offshore oil and gas activity threatens tourism, economy on Mississippi Gulf Coast

Mississippi Press-Register

Louie Miller
State Director
Sierra Club Mississippi
601-624-3503 (mobile)

Status Report: Occupy Biloxi’s Support for Sierra Club’s Protest Against MS Power

by Thomas Baldwin, Ph.D.,  Biloxi, MS

January 25, 2012

Here is the message I sent to Steve Shepard of the So. MS Sierra Club for their meeting tonight.  I have been acting  in the capacity of Project Coordinator to assist in coordinating activities between Occupy Biloxi and the Sierra Club in the matter of attempting to put a stop to the Giant MS Power Kemper Coal Plant Scam!
Steve, since I may not be able to attend the meeting Wednesday night, here is a  brief report on Occupy Biloxi’s efforts to support the Sierra Club’s attempts to halt the Kemper Coal Plant.
1.  We did an Occupy MS Power protest at their headquarters on December 7, 2011.  Here is my blog reporting that. WLOX and MBP were both present to report;  the Sun Herald was not.
2. A small number of us traveled to Jackson for the Supreme Court Hearing on December 14.  Those who attended thought it was excellent.
3.  Flyers were prepared and distributed beginning the first week of January.  Our focus has been primarily on getting these posted in small businesses where they will be clearly visible to customers.  Will Watson, Derek Gipson and myself have been those primarily responsible for distribution. Anne Vasquez and Beverly Davis have also  made significant contributions in designing the Flyers and carrying the message. Here is my blog on that:
4.  We have discussed briefly a protest at Leonard Bentz’s residence in the near future, prior to the important PSC meeting in Jackson in February.  Nothing has been formally decided but I have discussed this with Louie Miller and in fact, he suggested it could be helpful.
5.  Two of our members, Will and Mippi, appeared in an interview on WLOX with Dave Elliott broadcast on January 15.  Few of us saw it and our repeated attempts to get it posted have failed. I just learned this morning they won’t post it.  Our original intent was to discuss the MS Power Kemper Coal Plant scam and we were told it couldn’t even be mentioned.  As it turned out that was not even discussed.  I’m pissed at  WLOX!
6.  We will be urging people to attend the PSC meeting in February when that date is announced, especially if the Sierra Club has another bus available.  We urge Sierra Club members to also help us distribute the Flyers.  The knowledge which the public have of this travesty is pitiful.
7.  Will has recently written a letter to the Sun Herald and the Clarion Ledger which  I have reproduced in a blog.  I will be planning to write similar blogs in the near future.

The blog here represents the latest letter Will Watson has sent to the Sun Herald (Gulfport-Biloxi) and the Clarion Ledger (Jackson). I jazzed it up a bit with some photos!

by Will Watson, Ph.D., Long Beach, MS January 24, 2012 Although people always say Occupy Wall Street (OWS) lacks clear cut goals and policy ideas, its overall goal is to end “corporatism”. T…
Other reports which should be added to this include:
From  WlOX:
Extraordinary White Paper on Kemper  by Will Watson and Julia O’Neal:
Phone: 2283486651

Corporatism, Mississippi Style

by Will Watson, Ph.D., Long Beach, MS

January 24, 2012

Although people always say Occupy Wall Street (OWS) lacks clear cut goals and policy ideas, its overall goal is to end “corporatism”. That’s how OWS describes collusion by government and corporations against the public interest. Let’s take a local example of corporatism: Mississippi Power (MPC) and its Kemper County Coal Plant boondoggle.

To pay for the Kemper scam, residential ratepayers and small business owners–not the big corporate customers–may see their power bills go up by over 11% next month, and as much as 40% in 2012. By its own admission, MPC spent $10+ million lobbying the legislature to pass new laws so they can bill ratepayers in advance for the costs of building Kemper. Those costs include the lobbying.  So ratepayers will pay the tab not only for the Kemper plant itself, but for lobbyists and legislators to party at posh Jackson watering holes while conspiring to raise your rates. Now that’s corporatism!

Further, although MPC execs say they don’t know if the new technology will even work, state laws guarantee power companies a 12% profit on new plants ruled ” convenient and necessary” by the Public Service Commissioners. Mississippi Power has none of its own capital invested in this risky, experimental plant, so if it doesn’t work, all losses will be dumped on ratepayers and the federal government.

And, again, that’s corporatism: insiders take the profits and the public takes the risks. Mississippi Power shareholders will transfer more of your income into their pockets, while the government assures that you assume all financial risk for Kemper. That’s how corporatism works, right here in South Mississippi. Unhappy ratepayers should call Southern District Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz at (800) 356-6428. He judged Kemper to be “convenient and necessary”.  As a public servant, he should hear your concerns.

Occupy Biloxi protests at MS Power headquarters in Gulfport, MS
Text of this document submitted as Letters to the Editor of the  Sun Herald and the Clarion Ledger.   Top picture  compliments  of  Tracy Knauss and was used in a previous  blog.  Bottom picture by member of Occupy Biloxi.
Will Watson and Julia O’Neal co-authored a substantial White Paper on this MS  Power Scam in 2010 and it has been reproduced here:

Occupy the Courts (by Occupy Biloxi) in Gulfport

(Photo:Occupy Biloxi protestors at Federal Bldg. in Gulfport, Age 2-83 yrs.)

by Dr. Tom Baldwin

On Friday, January 20,2012, Occupy Biloxi participated in the national day of protest to Occupy the Courts.  This day commemorated the two year  anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision on the Citizen’s United Case which both gave corporations “Personhood” status and also ruled that Money equals Free Speech.  

Numerous serious legal opinions generally regard this decision to be one of the worst in the history of the Court and as a severe blow to our Democratic Republic. It basically means corporations can give unlimited amounts to political parties and campaigns and, by hiding their contributions in entities known as Superpacs, can even remain unknown or anonymous in their actions to support candidates.  The situtation was bad before but it has been made even much easier for corporations to “own” a public official.

One remedy to this gross injustice has been to promote a Constitutional Amendment which, of course, could take years to accomplish even if Congress were so inclined.  But so many people in Congress are “on the take” they are not even interested in supporting an amendment.  It is clear, however, that several methods must be used to address this injustice and inequity and this blow to our Republic.  Occupy Biloxi intends to make the corporate abuse of power in our political system as a high priority, consistent with that of Occupy Wall Street. That corporate abuse of power is one of our primary concerns in the Mississippi Power Kemper Coal Plant decision by the Public Service Commission which is destined to greatly increase electricity rates and represents a huge environmental risk.

At the Occupy event, we were greeted by a person who identified himself as representing Homeland Security and another (in the picture below  on the right) as a U.S.  Marshall, Matthew Dell, who explained his responsibility for protecting the Federal Building where we were protesting.  Another person identified himself as the minister of the church across the street and he explained he was fully supportive of what we were doing!  The only negative experience was from an attorney entering the building who began an argument with us, walked quickly away, and then complained he was being “victimized” by people “yelling” at him in public setting!  

Will Watson talks with U.S. Marshall Dell about our protest.  Julia and Derek are on the left.  

In this photo, Glen Sandberg, who was very instrumental in assisting with this protest at Occupy the Courts steps away from the sign he just erected from Pogo. Unfortunately, Glen has this habit of putting up signs which have to be taken down for some ridiculous bureaucratic reasons!


by Jill Dalton, NYC

January 6, 2012

Reproduced from recoveringarmybrat

I believe Barack Obama was put into office to do what no Republican could ever have gotten away with.  Obama has extended the wars, created new wars, extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, given additional bail out money to the banks, allowed the health insurance industry to write the healthcare bill, extended the Patriot Act and signed the NDAA.

Under his watch not one member of the Bush Administration has been held accountable for leading us into wars built on false evidence and lies; not one banker has been held accountable for the fraud and corruption that brought down the global economy.  And the final nail in the coffin, Mr. “Slim Shady” signed the NDAA bill on New Year’s Eve while most American’s sipped champagne and sang Auld Lang Syne.  The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) makes America the battlefield and allows indefinite detention of U.S. citizens suspected of ‘terrorist” leanings without due process.

But why be so negative you might ask?  Here are a few things Obama did manage to do.  He extended unemployment benefits because they’re no jobs as his stimulus package was too small.  He also managed to cut payroll taxes, which is a back door way to defund Social Security, He helped cover up the BP oil spill in the Gulf by allowing Coexit, a toxic disbursement not allowed in other countries, to break up the oil which then dropped to the bottom instead of just cleaning it up.  In other words, allowing them to hide the body. 

Obama hates truth tellers such as Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and whistleblowers like Bradley Manning who’s been held in detention for almost two years for, according to Obama, exposing state secrets aka a horrendous war crime.  That is if Manning is the alleged leaker who gave the “Collateral Murder” video to WikiLeaks showing 12 civilians murdered by American soldiers.  What is the difference between the “Collateral Murder” war atrocity and the 1970 My Lai Massacre and the Court-Martial of Captain Ernest L. Medina? What is the difference between the Pentagon Papers and Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning? I mean isn’t this evidence we’re now living in a corporate/fascist/ military/police state?

Now look I know they’re still plenty of Obama supporters among us but I find it very difficult to understand why so many people still love, honor and support this guy.  I voted for this guy too.  I fell for his smooth talk, cool demeanor and wide open smile.  I’ve always been a sucker for tall dark and handsome but if he wasn’t lying then he’s lying now and I for one am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

 Iknow it’s hard to admit you made a mistake.  I get it.  You really believed this guy was “the one” and he is the one for the 1%: Wall Street, the too big to fail banks, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, big oil, big pharma, i.e. the corporate fascist state he’s so gingerly locking into place.

We looked the other way when he said he’d put on comfy shoes and march with the unions and then when the unions had their bargaining rights withdrawn, Obama like the good corporate shill he is, remained silent.  We made excuses for him when he remained silent as the police brutalized, beat, pepper sprayed and shot projectiles at peaceful demonstrators.  Obama, unlike Robert Kennedy who had the balls to stand up to the racists down south and brought in the National Guard to protect those fighting for their civil rights, is a coward.

It could be battered spouse syndrome.  I know there are people hospitalized with a broken jaw or collarbone and they won’t press charges against their attackers.  I can’t explain why victims protect their abusers but they do and not only do they protect them, they go back to them over and over only to be beaten again and again.

Or maybe it’s the Stockholm syndrome whereby victims fall in love with their captors.  It happens.  No need to beat yourself up over it.

To me Obama’s like the bad boyfriend.  He lies to you, cheats on you, forgets to call, but you just keep taking him back and making excuses.  “Well, he can’t help it.  He has to stand up to those mean Republicans.”  Right?

And, therefore, I feel it’s my duty to do an intervention.  For those of you still deluding yourselves, who still can’t face reality I suggest therapy or better yet maybe pick up a copy of “He’s just Not That Into You.”

I know it’s hard.  I told you I voted for him too.  I sent him money.  I believed him.  But let’s be honest this guy is lying, cheating, warmongering, opportunist who serves the 1% so he might get reelected.  He’s in bed with Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobile, GE and whoever else will pay him for his services. 

He does throw us the occasional bone like the recent appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  And studies show even rats will keep going back to find the food pellet over and over again even if it only shows up very rarely.  But there comes a time when one must admit they were wrong, cut their losses and move on. 

Not to worry they’re other fish in the sea.  Jill Stein of the Green Party has a very sane 5-point program.  I know she may seem boring as we all love our bad boys but really a psychopath who murders innocent civilians and destroys countries using drone attacks will eventually turn on you.  Didn’t you see “Sleeping With the Enemy?”  Hello!  And there’s also Anderson of the Justice Party.  So don’t despair you’ll find somebody new.  Maybe not right away but you won’t have to sleep alone forever.

Believe me the Obama brand is collapsing just as the Bush brand before him became so craven even the most deluded had to recognize the fraud that had been perpetrated upon the American people. 

For those of you who still don’t see it you’re sort of like the Bushies who believed in the Iraq war and defended the honesty and integrity of their fearless leader no matter how many lies he told.  I guess it may prove the old adage.  Love really is blind.


Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the HBO film, “Too Big To Fail.” Her articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, RSN, OpEdNews & Progressive Activists Voice. She is currently writing a screenplay.  View all posts by recoveringarmybrat


KEMPER COAL FLYERl–Rev. 2-20-12 (If you click on this link you can download the Flyer.  Please make copies and circulate to your neighborhood businesses, churches and others!)

In January, 2012, Mississippi Power asked the Public Service Commission for permission to increase your electric bill by 11.66 %. By the end of 2012, this increase could reach as high as 40%. Why?  Because in May 2010, the MS Public Service Commission gave MS Power permission to build the $2.88 billion Kemper County Lignite Coal Plant and its attendant 45-square mile strip mine as well as a five hundred acre dump for the toxic coal ash that will be created by this plant. 

And the cost for the Kemper County Coal Plant will and is coming out of your pocket.  The MS Power Company spent $11 million to change the law to allow the cost of this plant to be shifted from its stockholders to its customers, even if the plant is never put into service.  And by customers, they mean individual users and small business owners only, as shipyards, casinos, refineries and other large businesses have been guaranteed to have no rate increase as a result of building this plant. 

The attendant strip mine will adversely impact the Chickasawhay Creek, the Okatibbee Reservoir and the Pascagoula River as well as surrounding wetlands.  It will pollute the Mississippi Sound and, if the clean coal process does not work as planned it could become a major source of air pollution under the federal Clean Air Act. 

The Kemper County Coal Plant.  Bad for your pocketbook.  Bad for the environment. 

Stop Kemper Now.  Call, e-mail or write: 

Public Service Commissioner Central District                   Lynn Posey  (800) 356-6430 

Public Service Commissioner Southern District         Leonard Bentz  (800) 356-6429 

Public Service Commissioner Northern District         Brandon Presley  (800) 356-6428 

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

MS Power Company Media Relations Coordinator              Jeff Shepard  (228) 864-1611                                                                       

Information provided by Mississippians for Affordable Energy