I have requested permission from Louie Miller, MS Director of the Sierra Club to distribute this report and been granted permission from Jenna Garland, Press Secretary and author to release it as a blog. It is entirely consistent with the blog I wrote (Barbour’s Love Affair) , not as a member of the Sierra Club, on Thanksgiving 2012. Please pay attention!!
Thomas Baldwin, Biloxi, MS 12/12/12
A SPECIAL REPORT FROM THE SIERRA CLUB
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 10, 2012
Contact: Louie Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, (601) 859-1054, Cell: (601) 624-3503
Haley Barbour Fails to Disclose Lobbying Ties to Southern Company, Kemper Plant
New Sierra Club Report Details Barbour’s Lobbying Gains
JACKSON, MS – A new report from the Mississippi Sierra Club has revealed that former Governor Haley Barbour has failed to disclose his financial ties to corporate giant Southern Company, parent company of Mississippi Power (MPCO). In recent public statements the former Governor has lent his support to the experimental and controversial Kemper County Coal Plant. Two weeks after his term as Governor ended in January 2012, Barbour rejoined his Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith, and Rogers (BGR), and resumed actively lobbying for Southern Company again. According to filings with the United States Senate Office of Public Records, the company has already paid Barbour $150,000 dollars in 2012. Barbour founded BGR in 1998.
Further inquiry showed that Barbour’s son, Haley Reeves Barbour, Jr., was listed as a lobbyist in 2011 for Southern Company when his father still held the office of the Governor of Mississippi. Southern Company paid BGR Group $200,000 dollars for lobbying services in 2011 and $2.6 million total since hiring the firm in 1999.1
“Governor Barbour should admit that he is on Southern Company’s payroll while he is out publicly trying to blame the Sierra Club for the failure of the Kemper project,” stated Louie Miller, State Director of the Mississippi Sierra Club. “From 2008 to 2012, the years that Kemper has been on the front burner, BGR Group has received almost $1 million doing the bidding of Mississippi Power and Southern Company. Funny how the Governor forgot to mention this in his recent Op-Ed and public statements attacking the Sierra Club.”
Barbour’s attacks on Sierra Club, and his vigorous, fact-free defense of the Kemper plant have recently appeared in almost every state newspaper, apparently in response to the massive budget troubles encountered by the Kemper plant.
Recent Independent Monitor reports of the Kemper project found that Kemper is $400 million over budget and rising, and only 41% complete. With current capped costs of $2.88 Billion and uncapped costs of $744 Million, Kemper’s current price tag to state tax payers and Mississippi Power customers is $3.62 Billion.2
“The reality is that Mississippi families and businesses – not MPCO – will be forced to shell out billions to pay for a plant that is already hundreds of millions over budget and is not guaranteed to work on day one.3 Once Mississippians start to pay, they will be paying for 40 years, even with vastly cheaper and cleaner energy options are available,” added Miller.
The Mississippi Sierra Club will continue working to protect Mississippi families and businesses from the Kemper boondoggle.
View the Report Online: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1dk6uYv0lc2NDN6T2lQNlR3VWc
- Center for Responsive Politics, http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/summ.php?disp=I, 11/27/2012
- URS Independent Monitor Report; September 2012
- Mississippi Power Vice-President Testimony, Mississippi Public Service Commission Hearing, 6/22/2012
My blog (Baldwin) on this subject from 11/22/12: