At our Occupy Biloxi/Gulfport meeting on Saturday, March 24 we discussed our project to support the Sierra Club in putting a halt to the construction of the MS Power Kemper Coal Plant. We decided it would be good to emphasize writing letters to the editors of newspapers in MS. Therefore, this blog will show you an example of one I have just written and give you the addresses and instructions to strongly encourage EACH of you to write one, too. If you sit on the sidelines in this matter, it could well cost you nearly $15,000 as you face increased prices for your electricity from MS Power. We have provided you with the email addresses you need at the end and Will Watson and I offer you help in drafting your letters, if you desire. And a special thanks to Will for editing mine, too! Tom Baldwin, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org Will Watson, Ph.D., email@example.com __________________________________________________________ LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
Congratulations to the Sierra Club for its initial victory over the Mississippi Power (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. Our experience with Occupy Biloxi/Gulfport has been that the Coast citizenry are poorly informed on this huge issue. Coverage by our local media—both print and television—has been totally inadequate.
For instance, MPC’s charges that the lawsuit has been a “scare tactic” are deeply misleading. The FACTS are these: 1) MPC spent at least $11 million to unduly influence the state legislature, former Governor Barbour and the Public Service Commission to approve a very risky project and bill residential ratepayers some $3 billion dollars to pay for it. That is approximately $15,000 each for their nearly 190,000 residential customers! 2) The plant design depends upon a “coal gasification” technology that has NEVER worked on a utility scale. 3.) The Obama Department of Energy has already invested nearly $245 million in Kemper, with more to come. Obama and DOE Secretary Chu are gambling on “clean coal” with your federal tax dollars.
Cindy Duvall and Jeff Shepard, spokespersons from MPC, have made false statements that only “extremists” and the “uninformed” oppose Kemper. I can state with certainty that they’re the ones who are uninformed. And, indeed, what could be more “extreme” than MPC’s plan to rip off ratepayers and pollute our water and air? We have people only too happy to debate them, in a public forum, about the reality of Kemper.
In the meantime, 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!” Tom Baldwin, Ph.D. Biloxi, MS, March 25, 2012 __________________________________________________________________ Addresses to contact newspapers: In your correspondence add your address and telephone number, not in your letter.
Clarion Ledger (Jackson) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun Herald (Gulfport-Biloxi) email@example.com
The Hattiesburg American has one dedicated page for all contacts with the public: go to the url and sort through the prompts. http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/section/CUSTOMERSERVICE03
The Mississippi Press firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star email@example.com
Tupelo Daily Journal firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurel Leader Call email@example.com