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:
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.
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
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.
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”!