Mississippi High Court Justices Seek Reasons why PSC Reversed Itself to allow Kemper Co. Coal Plant

JACKSON, Miss. — Three Mississippi Supreme Court justices asked repeatedly Wednesday where the state Public Service Commission laid out its reasoning when it modified its decision to allow the construction of a Kemper County power plant last year.

The Sierra Club is trying to get the Supreme Court to derail the $2.7 billion power plant, now under construction in Kemper County’s Liberty community. The environmental group argues the PSC broke the law by failing to lay out its reasoning clearly when it eased the financial terms under which Mississippi Power Co. could build what it calls Plant Ratcliffe.

A lawyer for Mississippi Power said the commission didn’t have to provide such reasoning, though. He said judges could find reasons to support the decision in the 30,000-plus pages of testimony and records submitted as part of the appeal.

Mississippi Power says rates will go up about 33 percent to pay for the plant. However, Sierra Club lawyer Robert Wiygul told the court Wednesday that confidential documents he has reviewed show rates would rise as much as 45 percent. The Mississippi Business Journal reported the same amount in August 2010, citing documents obtained through a public records request.

A unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., Mississippi Power would buy lignite mined nearby, turn it into a synthetic gas, and burn the gas, capturing byproducts such as carbon dioxide and selling them. The technology is supposed to allow coal to be burned more cleanly and cut emissions of carbon dioxide, which scientists say contribute to global warming. Mississippi Power says the plant is needed to provide more electricity for its 193,000 customers scattered from Meridian to the Gulf Coast.

The Sierra Club opposes the project, saying that the technology behind the plant is unproven and that it’s undesirable under any circumstances to build new coal mines and new coal-fired power plants. The environmental group says it would be cheaper for Mississippi Power to build a natural gas plant or buy power from independent natural gas generators.

“The law requires the Public Service Commission to choose the cheapest and most reliable technology and power plant,” Louie Miller, executive director of the Mississippi Sierra Club, said at a pre-hearing news conference. “This is neither.”

The PSC originally voted in April 2010 to cap at $2.4 billion the amount that Mississippi Power could charge ratepayers for the plant. The company is also getting about $300 million in federal assistance. Commissioners also said the power company couldn’t charge ratepayers for the plant before it started operation.

Mississippi Power said it couldn’t build under those conditions and asked the PSC to reconsider.  (Previously suggested most corrupt in MS) Lawyer Ben Stone  said Wednesday that it needed wiggle room for cost overruns, and wanted to charge ratepayers early to cut the interest customers would pay on money borrowed for the project.

"Uncle Ben Stone", Haley Barbour, and Steven Palazzo

"Uncle Ben Stone", Haley Barbour, and Steven Palazzo

“We could not go to the financial markets without some relief in both of those areas and finance the plant,” Stone said.

If this scheme had any merit it could have found investors.  With a negative credit score and historical pattern of Lignite Coal plant failure, Investors know Mississippi Power and Southern Company’s Kemper Coal Plant is a money pit with no intention of making money. It will be fined, regulated with fees, and taxed right out of any possible profits.  Among other costs to run problems they will encounter.  The profit comes in when MS power can charge a percent of its overall costs to the ratepayers.  Criminal and truly un-American, isn’t it? 

 A month later, commissioners voted 2-1 to give Mississippi Power what it wanted, raising the cost cap by 20 percent, to $2.88 billion. The commission must still agree that company spending is “prudent” for it to collect any money, even below $2.4 billion. It also allowed Mississippi Power to start charging before the plant’s scheduled start in 2014. Under state law, Mississippi Power can keep the money even if the plant is never completed.

It is not prudent to charge ratepayers for an experimental CO2 capturing mechanism that fails to produce any electricity, and  is founded on global warming science fraud, and a cap-and-trade system not yet in adopted. 

The key issue in Wednesday’s case is not whether the plant is a good idea, but whether the PSC adequately laid out its rationale for what Miller labeled a “flip-flop” by commissioners Leonard Bentz and Lynn Posey, who voted for the amended conditions.

The Sierra Club said the PSC didn’t adequately explain. “That’s going to require some evidence you can see and really get your arms around,” Wiygul said.

He said judges shouldn’t have to pick and choose reasons from the overflow of material submitted with the appeal, and the three justices sitting Wednesday seemed sympathetic to that argument.

“I did not see and still do not find anywhere where the commission explained to the court why this was now not too risky,” said Associate Justice Randy “Bubba” Pierce. “I want to know what happened between April 29 and May 26. What additional facts were submitted to the record?”

Stone said the new facts were contained in Mississippi Power’s motion to reconsider and its post-hearing briefs. “It’s very obvious to us that all those matters are supported,” he told the justices.

More importantly, though, he said the PSC was not required to summarize its reasoning for court review. Stone said that a prior court case says that as long as the court can find the reasoning in the record leading to the decision, the court must let the PSC’s decision stand.

JEFF AMY  Associated Press

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About Mississippi Coal
Welcome! It is an honor to have a moment of your day. We are in favor of all forms of energy. We care about the future of this great Nation and seek to expose the corruption behind the Kemper County CO2 capturing experimental Lignite coal Demonstration unit. Our Chief complaint is that the rate payers pay for it in their electric bills. The CO2 capturing does not produce electricity so therefore serves no purpose for the ratepayers. It is a money scam for Mississippi power and Southern Company. Mississippi is first in following the (United Nation's Agenda 21) Kyoto Protocols for the regulation of carbon dioxide, a gas we breathe out of our lungs, by forcing the people to pay for it through energy bills and taxes. Through the process of investigating the Kemper County Coal Plant issue, we feel criminal acts have been committed and that soon FCC violations will be added to the offenses. People are being lied to, deceived, or misled and therefore are fully cooperating with this Lignite experiment. "This blog or any content may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of political pathways, Constitutional infringements, democracy, science, and other issues. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is compiled and distributed without profit. This blog does not always agree with certain personal views or agendas of the published authors, but we will overlook such views many times in order to present facts, conclusions, and connections for knowledge or clarification. We hope you gain from this critical subject matter of the article/op-ed."

3 Responses to Mississippi High Court Justices Seek Reasons why PSC Reversed Itself to allow Kemper Co. Coal Plant

  1. Those in favor of MPC charging ratepayers to build this Kemper County power plant apparently don’t mind that the ratebuyers are getting raped. MPC is a “for prorfit” company despite being a regulated public utulity, who should be required to obtain a loan to build this plant. Obviously shareholders would not go along with them making a loan for this venture. Does anyone want to build a factory, etc., have someone else pay for it, then begin charging for the product the factory produces? This is a rip off of the highest degree. Additionally, natural gas has come way down in price, about 1/3 of its’ previous price now. Why not utilize NG to produce electricity? It is better enviromentally as it burns a lot cleaner than coal. Something is drastically wrong with this picture, and I believe I smell a rat!

  2. Dr. Will Watson says:

    Why is the Sierra Club so strongly opposed to the Kemper plant? They’ve filed suit to stop it, and are spending money for attorneys and court costs. A bus load of them attended the hearing, riding three-four hours from the Gulf Coast. They even had a full page ad in the Sun Herald condemning MS Power for foisting rate increases on the public to pay for Kemper.

    Since the SC obviously accepts that manmade global warming is real–all the big environmental and scientific organizations do–you would think that the SC would be in favor of any and all “clean coal” experiments like this. I mean, isn’t the Sierra Club on board with Agenda 21 like all the other big green organizations? Something is amiss.

    • Thank you Dr. Watson for your Question.
      I am not the Sierra club but this is what I was told by the experts in Agenda 21. The Seirra club is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) for the UN. Provable fact. An NGO has applied for this position to work to move forward the programs supporting the United Nations Kyoto Protocols.

      What I’m about to say next may or may not be true about our situation with the MS Sierra Club in Mississippi, I am watching this carefully to see how it unfolds.

      At first I was excited about the litigation with MS Power and the Sierra Club thinking justice may be carried out. Until I found out this…The Sierra Club plays a very Critical role to pass legislation to compromise our rights, our property rights. They do this through litigation. They are very heavily funded (though UN connections) to higher attorneys and pay staff… to litigate and to then “settle.” As a result of the settlement or the result of the litigation, a law is now in the books that is a compromise our American Rights, nudging laws.

      I did a quick google search for “Sierra Club sues” and over 610,000 results come up. It is what they do, and it is a very important role in pushing the Agenda of the UN.

      Now for the sad news. The Sierra club is an environmental group made of of people who truly care about the environment but the UN Agenda 21 is not really about environmental issues, that is just the means to the end. They want control, totalitarianism. It was genius of the UN to invent a common enemy for the world to unite against, and that is POLLUTION. So many many well intended individuals, industrial leaders, and groups join the fight with the UN thinking they are doing something good, and they are being USED. Agenda 21 is about Property rights and reducing your rights to own property.
      The extreme fringe environmentalism of the UN is founded in a religion called Gaia. HERE I think most Americans who read about this religion would never support it. GAIA is why the falsified science behind global warming is A-OK and that it is a non-discussable non-negotiable issue in many circles. Even if every email is released exposing the intention to deceive the public concerning green house gasses, man made global warming, and CO2… The case is closed and their false science is final and not discussable or debatable, like with the EPA. It is the opposite of what SCIENCE is. If you can’t repeat the experiment over and over and get the same results what does that mean in the science world? The science world is putting their right foot down calling out this fraud against the world and it is gaining momentum since newly released findings and data from credible independent scientists fully discredit the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC. The EPA following the IPCC is currently under an IG investigation.
      Does this help answer your question? Never a simple answer.

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