New Electric Smart Meters in Mississippi Can Be Removed or Blocked

Use the letter below to forbid smart meter installation (or modify the letter to demand the meter be removed).

From:
Energy Customer’s Name
Street Address
City State Zip

To:
Energy Provider
Street Address
City State Zip

Date of letter

NOTICE OF NO CONSENT TO TRESPASS AND SURVEILLANCE, NOTICE OF LIABILITY

Dear (Energy Provider) and all agents, officers, employees, contractors and interested parties,

If you intend to install a “Smart Meter” or any activity monitoring device at the above address, you and all other parties are hereby denied consent for installation and use of all such devices on the above property. Installation and use of any activity monitoring device is hereby refused and prohibited. Informed consent is legally required for installation of any surveillance device and any device that will collect and transmit private and personal data to undisclosed and unauthorized parties for undisclosed and unauthorized purposes. Authorization for sharing of personal and private information may only be given by the originator and subject of that information. That authorization is hereby denied and refused with regard to the above property and all its occupants. “Smart Meters” and digital meters violate the law and cause endangerment to residents by the following factors:
1. They individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy.
2. They monitor household activity and occupancy in violation of rights and domestic security.
3. They transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behavior and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.
4. Data about occupant’s daily habits and activities are collected, recorded and stored in permanent databases which are accessed by parties not authorized or invited to know and share that private data by those who’s activities were recorded.
5. Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants.
6. Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, corrupt law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.
7. “Smart Meters” are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate Federal and State wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviors without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.
8. It is possible for example, with analysis of certain “Smart Meter” data, for unauthorized and distant parties to determine medical conditions, sexual activities, physical locations of persons within the home, vacancy patterns and personal information and habits of the occupants.
9. Your company has not adequately disclosed the particular recording and transmission capabilities of the smart meter, or the extent of the data that will be recorded, stored and shared, or the purposes to which the data will and will not be put.
10. Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency energy contamination from smart meters exceeds allowable safe and healthful limits for domestic environments as determined by the EPA and other scientific programs.

I forbid, refuse and deny consent of any installation and use of any monitoring, eavesdropping, and surveillance devices on my property, my place of residence and my place of occupancy. That applies to and includes “Smart Meters” and activity monitoring devices of any and all kinds. Any attempt to install any such device directed at me, other occupants, my property or residence will constitute trespass, stalking, wiretapping and unlawful surveillance and endangerment of health and safety, all prohibited and punishable by law through criminal and civil complaints. All persons, government agencies and private organizations responsible for installing or operating monitoring devices directed at or recording my activities, which I have not specifically authorized in writing, will be fully liable for a fee of $100,000.00 for any violations, intrusions, harm or negative consequences caused or made possible by those devices whether those negative consequences are provided by “law” or not.

This is legal notice. After this delivery the liabilities listed above may not be denied or avoided by parties named and implied in this notice. Civil Servant immunities and protections do not apply to the installation of smart meters due to the criminal violations they represent.

Notice to principal is notice to agent and notice to agent is notice to principal. All rights reserved.

Signature

Smart Meter

Smart Meter (Photo credit: Duke Energy)

 

Mississippi Power and Entergy Named in Lawsuit

This may come to a surprise to some and not to others. AVENT v. MISSISSIPPI POWER & LIGHT COMPANY

GLEN AVENT, APPELLANT, v. MISSISSIPPI POWER & LIGHT COMPANY (ENTERGY MISSISSIPPI, INC.), APPELLEE.

 No. 2010-CA-00865-COA.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         December 6, 2011.

DANA J. SWAN, Attorney for Appellant.
JOHN H. DUNBAR, KATE MAULDIN EMBRY, Attorneys for Appellee.
EN BANC.
GRIFFIS, P.J., FOR THE COURT:
¶ 1. This case considers whether the circuit court was in error to dismiss Glen Avent’s complaint against Entergy Mississippi, Inc. for failure to prosecute under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 42(b), or to grant summary judgment in favor of Sheraton Tunica Corporation under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 56. We find no error and affirm.
FACTS
¶ 2. Avent was employed by Andy Bland Construction Company. On July 3, 1994, Avent was working at a construction site in Tunica County, Mississippi. He operated a man-lift that became stuck in wet sand. There was an effort to free the lift and pull it out of the sand. The lift came into contact with an overhead electrical line. As a result, Avent was injured.
¶ 3. Sheraton owned the property that was the construction work site. Sheraton contracted with W.G. Yates and Son Construction Co., as the general contractor. Entergy had installed the electrical line. Andy Bland was a subcontractor of Yates.
¶ 4. On November 8, 1996, Avent filed a lawsuit. The complaint named several defendants, including Mississippi Power & Light (now known as Entergy Mississippi, Inc.) Yates, Sheraton, and several John Does. After the defendants were served, they responded to the complaint, and the parties engaged in discovery.
¶ 5. Sheraton filed a motion for summary judgment on May 21, 1997. Avent promptly responded to Sheraton’s motion.
GRIFFIS, P.J., FOR THE COURT:
¶ 1. This case considers whether the circuit court was in error to dismiss Glen Avent’s complaint against Entergy Mississippi, Inc. for failure to prosecute under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 42(b), or to grant summary judgment in favor of Sheraton Tunica Corporation under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 56. We find no error and affirm.
¶ 6. The circuit court entered an “Agreed Scheduling Order” on April 18, 1997, requiring all discovery completed by August 30, 1997; plaintiff’s experts to be designated by June 15, 1997; defendant’s experts by July 30, 1997; and all motions filed by September 30, 1997. On August 28, 1997, the circuit court entered an “Agreed Amended Scheduling Order,” requiring all discovery completed by November 30, 1997; plaintiff’s experts designated by August 30, 1997; defendant’s experts by September 30, 1997; and all motions filed by December 30, 1997. On November 13, 1997, the circuit court entered another “Agreed Amended Scheduling Order,” requiring all discovery completed by March 30, 1998; plaintiff’s experts designated by December 30, 1997; defendant’s experts designated by January 30, 1998; and all motions filed by April 30, 1998.
¶ 7. Yates filed a motion for summary judgment on May 1, 1998. After the circuit court heard the summary-judgment motions, the court granted Sheraton’s motion, which was filed on May 21, 1997, and dismissed Sheraton as a party on October 6, 1998. A week later, the circuit court granted Yates’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed Yates as a party.
¶ 8. Several filings were entered on the docket from the time of the final judgment through August 10, 1999, when the clerk filed a letter from Entergy’s counsel that gave notice that the name of his law firm had changed. None of the filings were significant.
¶ 9. For almost six years, according to the clerk’s docket, this case was dormant.1 The clerk’s docket sheet does not indicate that any further pleadings were filed or action taken until February 14, 2005, when the plaintiff’s attorney filed a designation of experts.
¶ 10. Almost another year passed with no action on this case. On January 11, 2006, Avent filed a supplemental response to Entergy’s interrogatories. After this, the docket indicates the parties’ filings as follows:
March 29, 2006: Avent mailed a letter to Entergy, investigating whether the case could be disposed of through mediation.
April 5, 2006: Entergy responded by mail to Avent’s March letter.
April 10, 2006: Entergy sent a follow-up letter to Avent regarding mediation.
April 12, 2006: Avent set mediation for May 30, 2006.
April 12, 2006: Entergy confirmed mediation dates, but questioned the value of mediation due to the length of time that the case had been dormant.
April 18, 2006: Entergy filed a notice of service of its third set of interrogatories.
April 25, 2006: Entergy sent a letter to Avent cancelling mediation, requesting a new deposition, and expressing concern about the likelihood of finding crucial witnesses given the age of the case.
May 9, 2006: Avent sent Entergy a letter with potential deposition dates.
June 6, 2006: Entergy filed its motion to dismiss based on want of prosecution; at the same time, Entergy filed an affidavit explaining its inability to locate witnesses.
More HERE

Kemper County Coal Power Plant Posing Transportation Problems

by MBJ Staff

Published: October 31,2011

KEMPER COUNTY — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is informing motorists of the upcoming transport of extremely large loads to Kemper County for the construction of Mississippi Power’s new power plant.

Beginning tomorrow night, there will be two transport vehicles moving extremely large loads from Big Bee Valley along Highway 388 to U.S. 45, then to Highway 16 west to Highway 493, and then south on Highway 493 to the power plant construction site in Kemper County. These loads will contain large “wind boxes” that are over 20 feet wide and will require each vehicle to occupy two lanes of highway along the designated route.

Beginning Thursday night, there will be two transport vehicles moving more wind boxes over the same route.

Beginning Sunday night, there will be two transport vehicles moving extremely large loads from Holly Springs along Highway 7 to Highway 311, all the way to Highway 78, then to U.S. Route 45 Alternate to U.S. Route 45, from U.S. Route 45 to Highway 16, and lastly to Highway 493 south to the power plant construction site in Kemper County. These loads will contain large “lower mixers” that are also over 20 feet wide and will require each vehicle to occupy two lanes of the highway along the designated route.

Jones County Residents Face Higher TAXES and ELECTRIC BILLS Come 2012 0

Jones County may pay higher taxes, on top of their higher electric bills during our economic crisis.   Are Jones County city offices, schools, hospitals, local businesses, and so on including the secret 2012 electric rate increases in their projected budgets?  The confidential rate increase revealing itself, without adequate warning for planning, would be detrimental. 

Our Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz was so very wrong when he concluded America’s economy would be fully on the mend so ratepayers could easily afford the big hike in their electric rates in 2012 to pay for the experimental Kemper County Cap and Trade Coal Plant.  Others know the concealment and postponement was actually to assist his re-election by hiding the rate increase until after the election.  Got’ta keep the crooked politicians in power.

It was Public Service Commissioners Leonard Bentz and Lynn Posey whose votes forced the entire state of Mississippi to comply with the Cap and Trade regulations even though our Government failed to successfully pass Cap and Trade.  Mississippi is the first to invite infinite REGULATIONS and a pathway for Obama’s REDISTRIBUTION of WEALTH through ECONOMIC JUSTICE.  If we build it (Cap and Trade) they will come, and now all of America will know it was Mississippi who led the way.

Leonard Bentz is proud to say; “Mississippi is leading the way in energy!”  It’s like saying Mississippi is leading the way for another phase to destroy America with over regulation.   The Obama’s agenda will now have an example in Mississippi to be able to place Limits on CO2 emissions from all American coal plants that will also lead to Carbon trading options on the Stock Exchange.  Now who does that benefit?  Wall Street?  Let’s remember CO2 makes plants grow, our food comes from plants and plants give off Oxygen. We can’t live without plants. Carbon Dioxide is NOT A POISON until contained in high concentrations like we are about to do with Carbon Capture.

We believe the United Nations is very pleased that Obama was able to find fools actually willing to comply with the nonexistent Cap and Trade scheme. Perhaps they are laughing that Mississippi even found a way to make the people unknowingly pay for Carbon Dioxide Storage in their electric bills so there is no risk to the investors.

Disgrace is upon Commissioners Bentz, and Posey, for succumbing to the pressure letter from Obama’s Energy Czar, Steven Chu. And shame on Gov. Haley Barbour for passing out favors to the Obama administration to prop up his futile presidential run out of the wallets of his own people. Coincidentally, Barbour directly profits from the building of the Kemper Power plant, so please do not lose sleep regarding Barbour’s wallet.

Thank you to Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley for accurately predicting the harm in Cap and Trade being paid for by Mississippi ratepayers at this time.  We appreciate Presley for not betraying the trust of Mississippians. You were the only genuine advocate for the people. And this gratitude is coming from conservative Constitutional Republicans, Libertarians, as well as sensible Democrats.

If you have read something here you have evidence to the contrary, please let us know.  We want the truth to be told.

mississippicoal@mail.com

Posted: Aug 09, 2011 4:11 PM CDT Updated: Aug 09, 2011 4:53 PM CDT

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) – Jones County supervisors are struggling to make tough cuts for the upcoming fiscal year.

Supervisors have asked all department heads to cut 5 percent out of their projected budgets. Officials said the county has seen a 3 1/2 percent decrease in car sales and property taxes.

Meanwhile, The Jones County School Board is not seeking more money in 2012 but is requesting the same amount as last year.

Supervisors said they believe that request could cause taxes to increase by a mil.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.

Alarming Kemper Coal Plant Update 1

Alabama Gets Kemper County Electricity?

Kemper Power Lines may be heading to Alabama

It has been reported by a reliable Kemper Co local source, that the High voltage lines placed to carry the electricity from the Kemper Power plant,  are running exclusively North and EAST!!!!

This is significant since one of MS Public Service Commissioners, Leonard Bentz, assured ratepayers not one KWH would go to Alabama or Arkansas.  It’s looking like the company was built specifically for Alabama and it’s Southern Company.  I will find out the truth because we the people have a right to know what is happening to our state and our nation. IMHO there should be ZERO High Power Lines running to Alabama if Mississippi ratepayers are paying for the plant.  If this is true, it is criminal for Mississippi ratepayers to buy the plant for Alabama and the Southern Company.

What is North needing the other 1/2 electricity produced?

Coal Plant CEO on Obama’s Carbon Capture Process

Why Obama Wants Your Electric Bills to go up

Lignite Coal TAR – Additional 47% in Possible Tariffs Taxes and Regulation Fees Undisclosed

coal tar – China Customs duty & Tax coal tar Import tariff, page 1.

Want to tell you about an issue about the Kemper County Lignite Coal NO ONE is talking about, the TAR.  Whatever we do the TAR will be costly and has not been disclosed.  Lignite coal tar may have expensive tariffs, taxes, duty, and regulation according to this article.  No mater what we do with it, TAR will be regulated and MISSISSIPPI ratepayers and taxpayers will be responsible for these additional confidential – undisclosed costs.  Perhaps that is part of the Southern Electric’s/Obama’s phase 2, hit them with more money expenditures.  Some states openly expressed wishing they had not begun their Lignit Coal Ventures just for the unforeseen undisclosed costs that keep mounting.

The first example I found was if we want to ship the Lignite TAR to China there is 47% for various importing fees involved.  Even if we keep it local, it will still cost to store transport process regulate and monitor…

To see issues not addressed discussed and planned for exposes Kemper Coal Plant as a money mining project to bankruptcy or just complete federal government dependency.

Van Jones, Obama, DOE Dr Chu, PSC Leonard Bentz, PSC Lynn Posey, Gov Hayley Barbour, Mississippi Power, Southern Company,  and the most criminally involved manufacturing company KBR should be so very proud of their smooth operation past the blind people of Mississippi.

 

HS : 270600**

Description : Tar distilled from coal, from lignite or from peat, and other mineral tars, whether or not dehydrated or partially distilled, including reconstituted tar<<

 

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

crude tar ,ethylene tar ,high temperature coal tar <<

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT
2011
2010 1% 30% 17%

 

(End of sample for better viewing see original site)

http://tariff.e-to-china.com/tariff-coal-tar-d_3-t_1.html

 

HS : 6807

Description : Articles of asphalt or of similar material (for example, petroleum bitumen or coal tar pitch):

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

articles of coal tar pitch ,articles of asphalt ,articles of petroleum bitumen >>

HS : 270600**

Description : Tar distilled from coal, from lignite or from peat, and other mineral tars, whether or not dehydrated or partially disti… >>

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

crude tar ,ethylene tar ,high temperature coal tar <<

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT Consumption Tax
2011
2010 1% 30% 17%

HS : 380700**

Description : Wood tar; wood tar oils; wood creosote; wood naphtha; vegetable pitch; brewers, pitch and similar preparations base… >>

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

bamboo tar ,carbon tar ,coaltar pitch >>

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT Consumption Tax
2011
2010 6.5% 35% 17%

HS : 270799**

Description : Oils and other products of the distillation of high temperature coal tar; similar products in which the weight of the ar… >>

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

coal coke ,anthracene oil ,carbolic oil >>

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT Consumption Tax
2011
2010 7% 30% 17%

HS : 3208

Description : Paints and varnishes (including enam els and lacquers) based on synthetic polymers or chemically modified natu ral polym… >>

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

epoxy coal tar pitch anticorrosive coating ,tar polyurethane waterproof coating ,epoxy coating >>

HS : 270810**

Description : Pitch

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

coal asphalt ,coal pitch ,coaltar pitch >>

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT Consumption Tax
2011
2010 7% 35% 17%

HS : 2706

Description : Tar distilled from coal, from lignite or from peat, and other mineral tars, whether or not dehydrated or partially disti… >>

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

reconstituted tars ,tar

HS : 340220**

Description : Organic surfaceactive preparations, washing preparations (including auxiliary washing preparations) and cleaning prepara… >>

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

cleaning agent for coal tar ,coal tar cleanser ,cleaner for precise electric appliances >>

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT Consumption Tax
2011
2010 10% 80% 17%

HS : 270400**

Description : Coke and semicoke

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

coal ,coal coke ,coal coke carbon >>

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT Consumption Tax
2011
2010 0% 11% 17%

HS : 841459**

Description : Other

Goods ever classified under this HS code :

coal mine anti-explosion host-blade fan ,coal tar fan ,coal-fired hot blast fan >>

2011-2010 China custom duty of coal tar Search

Year MFN Gen VAT Consumption Tax
2011
2010 8% 30% 17%

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Power’s High Price Will Cost Jobs PSC LEONARD BENTZ:

PSC COMMISSIONER LEONARD BENTZ: Power’s High Cost Will Cost Coast Jobs

Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:53 PM

(Source: The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.) tracking By Mary Perez, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

Feb. 8–Leonard Bentz knows this week he has to sign off on a fuel-cost adjustment requested by Mississippi Power and he knows it will mean job losses in South Mississippi.

“I believe I’ve had every single casino call me,” said Bentz, chairman of the Mississippi Public Service Commission. He said they’ve told him, “The fuel-price increase is going to make us have to lay people off.”

Mississippi Power has requested a 9.2 percent increase for residential customers. The increase is higher for commercial and industrial customers because fuel costs make up a larger portion of their bills.

For Northrop Grumman it could mean an increase of $2 million this year. Beau Rivage Resort and Casino faces a $700,000 to $800,000 increase and Island View Casino around $300,000.

“Those are just some of the numbers we are hearing,” said Bentz.

He tells everyone who calls him about the increase, “If you have an idea, please give it to me.”

Bentz said, “I should have signed that order two months ago. I’ve not allowed them to put the new fuel prices in place yet.”

Business owners knew the increase was coming. In July and August representatives from Mississippi Power gave all major business customers an estimate of the increase, said company spokeswoman Cindy Webb.  (I strongly question the effectiveness of this communication, for I have asked multiple Business owners and members of Chamber and rarely did one say, “oh yes I heard about it.”  And no one said MS power told me.)  In November, when the utility filed for the fuel-cost adjustment, representatives went back and gave the businesses specific costs.

“It’s our annual true-up on fuel,” said Webb. It’s not the largest annual fuel adjustment. That was 10 percent in 2006. In 2008 Mississippi Power customers paid a 4 percent fuel-adjustment increase, and Webb said there were decreases in 2002 and 2003.

“It depends on the fuel markets,” she said.

Mississippi Power Company hasn’t had public hearings on fuel increases, but Bentz scheduled one for Dec. 29 in Gulfport. Only a handful of residents and business owners attended. (that is because no one knew about the meeting.  Bentz cares more about his no call list than a change that will affect the homes of every Mississippian.)“It was not the best time in the world to have a hearing,” Bentz said, “but I wanted to have a public hearing anyway.” He said at the meeting the dollar-for-dollar “pass-through,” in a regulated market such as Mississippi’s, allows the utility to pass on the cost of doing business to the customer. If the company spends $100 million on fuel and is allowed a rate of return of 10 percent, the company can bill the customers for the additional $10 million.

“Mississippi Power Company can only earn what the state regulators allow them to earn,” Bentz said.

Mississippi Power uses coal and gas to operate its power plants.

Mississippi Power CEO Anthony Topazi said gas was up 100 percent in 2008 and coal was at an all-time high.

“I’m spending more to provide the same amount of energy,” he said.

When the prices were steadily climbing last year, the company negotiated multi-year contracts on the futures market to lock in the cost and be assured a supply of coal and gas.

“It’s a great deal when you lock that contract price in and the prices skyrocket,” said Bentz.” It’s a horrible deal when you lock that price in and the prices go down,” as they did in this case.

Bentz said he doesn’t have the staff or the $1 million it would take to do an audit to see if the utility paid the lowest price possible for fuel.

“There needs to be a disincentive, or some type of incentive to the power company for purchasing fuel the cheapest they possibly can do it,” he said.

It won’t be just the customers who feel the pinch. Bentz said, “I told Anthony (Topazi) the other day, ‘Y’all need to put these planes on the ground,'” referring to corporate aircraft.

Bentz added, “Profitmargins are not going to be what they were in the good years,” and he said, “I don’t believe bonuses are going to be paid to the amount that they’ve been paid.”

Webb said Mississippi Power has a hiring freeze and, “we are doing everything we can to control costs. We’re looking at the things we can do that won’t impact customerservice.”

If Bentz doesn’t sign the increase, he said, the Mississippi Supreme Court would most likely overturn that decision and grant it anyway, as the court has done in the past.

He can amortize the increase over 12 months or possibly two years. “When you do that, it’s just like putting it on a credit card,” he said, with the customers paying the carrying costs.

“It’s a crap shoot,” he said. “If prices keep going down it’s a great thing. But if they keep going up, you’re just compounding costs on top of each other.”

—–

To see more of The Sun Herald, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.sunherald.com.

Copyright (c) 2009, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

NYSE:NOC,

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

via PSC COMMISSIONER LEONARD BENTZ: Power’s High Cost Will Cost Coast Jobs.

Mississippi Coal Comments are in Red and added for commentary

Lignite looking more like the wrong horse to have bet on » Mississippi Business Journal

Lignite looking more like the wrong horse to have bet on » Mississippi Business Journal.

by For the MBJ

Published: June 19,2011

Tags: Kemper plant, Mississippi Power, natural gas, shale, view

While the world has been championing natural gas as the savior of the energy crisis, Mississippi Power has insisted that gas prices will be high and volatile — reminiscent of 2009 — for years to come.

The 2011 Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that natural gas prices will stay around $5 per million Btu through the year 2022.

Why? Advancements in technology have made it possible to get natural gas from a rock called shale.

TIME Magazine recently featured a chunk of shale on its cover with the headline: “This rock could power the world.”

These predictions are bad news for Mississippi Power Company customers who will pay for the $2.4-billion Kemper County clean coal plant.

Public records obtained by the Mississippi Business Journal show that in order for customers to see a cost benefit from the plant, gas prices will have to reach the $12 – $14 per million Btu range by 2020. That’s more than twice what they are predicted to be.

Where was this information in the spring of 2010, when the state Public Service Commission gave Mississippi Power the green light to build this expensive clean coal plant?

The answer is that it was available. A year ago the EIA was predicting that gas prices would be around $6 or $7 by 2020.

The Kemper Plant in a nutshell
A study said that the Mississippi Power service area in southeastern Mississippi would need more electric generation by 2014.

Mississippi Power asked the state Public Service Commission if it could build a $2.4-billion clean coal plant in Kemper County to meet that need. The company has to ask the state for permission to build the plant, because, as always, captive power company customers have to foot the bill for utility improvements — which are essentially public works projects, not economic development projects.

The company based its request on the fact that natural gas prices had been historically high and volatile. But, ignoring information from the EIA and numerous other entities, it predicted gas prices would continue to be high in the future.

Thus, the utility argued, the alternatives — buying natural gas-generated electricity from independent power producers or building a natural gas plant themselves — would not be in the best interest of Mississippi Power’s customers. Electricity from a lignite coal plant would be cheaper, they said.

What was the rush?

Why couldn’t Mississippi Power have waited to build the plant? Say five years, even, and let customers benefit from cheap gas prices and put off paying for a multi-billion-dollar plant?

The power company stressed that its grant from the U.S. Department of Energy had a time limit. But the grant was only for $270 million, which is not that large of a chunk when you’re looking at a $2.4-billion price tag.

Rate increases that customers will bear as a result of the plant are still unknown, by the way. The Mississippi Public Utilities Staff allowed Mississippi Power to conceal them from the public.

We at least know how plant costs will affect chicken farmers in Southeast Mississippi. According to information released by the Mississippi Poultry Association, Mississippi Power informed its poultry farmer customers in September that their electric rates would be rising by more than 30 percent due to the Kemper plant.

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