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

Thomas A Blaton On the Experimental Lignite “Science Project”

Mississippi Power Kemper County Lignite Project

Tom’s speech below will explain his views regarding this Mississippi Power Project: 

I am running for Public Service Commissioner, Southern district, in order that the public should be represented.  I am opposed to the 45% electric bill increase which Mississippi Power Company will need to pay for this experimental lignite science project in Kemper County.  Mississippi Power used its considerable political influence to obtain the passage of Senate Bill 2793 which allows regulators to charge the consumers for the construction of experimental technology even if the technology does not work.  This is nothing less than radical liberal corporate socialism.

    I am opposed to the public utilities filing rate increase documents in secret.  At the request of Mississippi Power the rate impact information is maintained by the Public Service Commission as a confidential, non public record.  No one knows how much it will cost.  And in this light, the Public Service Commission voted two to one to allow Mississippi Power to go forward with this science project. Never have so few taken the power from so many.  At the radio forum in Purvis, Mr. Bentz accused me of lying about the 45% increase.  The only organization allowed to see the entire record is the staff of The Mississippi Business Journal, a very conservative newspaper.  It is their studied opinion that the increase will be 45%.  Mr. Bentz should not believe his own rhetoric that this percentage is made up by the Sierra Club. 

    Large electric rate increases cause taxes to go up. Even today, our schools, our cities, and our counties are raising our taxes in order that they will be able to pay Mississippi Power for this science project when the electric bills go up next year.  This tax increase is the biggest tax increase in Mississippi history.  We should all give credit to the leadership of Phil Bryant and the Republican Party who worked diligently to make sure that the residents of South Mississippi may have the privilege of paying these huge new taxes. 

When you consider that Mississippi Power distributes mostly within towns and cities, the situation becomes even more unjust.  Laurel is 55% black and has an medium income of  65% of the Mississippi median.  Meridian is 54% black with a median income less than 85% of the state median. Hattiesburg is 47% black.  Waynesboro is 57% black with 31% of the people living below the poverty level.  Consider this:  the casinos on the coast receive large electric rate discounts.   The rich folk in Lamar County do not have to pay extra to make up for these discounts given by Mississippi Power because they do not buy electricity from Mississippi Power.  But the poor and black folk do. 

Power Companies should be made to play fair not favorites.          

Every economic model put forward by Mississippi Power shows that the cheapest fuel and method of generation is to burn natural gas.  Only Mr. Bentz and the management of Mississippi Power exhibit the primitive, non competitive notion that the price for natural gas is volatile.  Mr. Bentz says that gas is $4.00 one day and $15.00 the next.  That just is not so.  And why compare day to day gas purchase practices with a 25 year coal lease with an ultra cheap royalty to the landowner.  There is enough known reserves of natural gas to run Mississippi Power into the next century. And when adjusted for inflation, natural gas is cheaper now than thirty years ago when it was run by the government. 

Nowhere in the testimony before the Public Service Commission does anyone mention the fact that when electric bills go up substantially, old folks die.  It is estimated that for every job created by the lignite science project, an elderly person will die from temperature related illness every year.  Over the life of the lignite project, more than ten thousand old folks will die.  Mr.  Bentz, Mr. Posey, Mr. Bryant, Mr. Barbour, this is not a good trade. 

    It is too much power for a power company to have. 

    Between 1999 and 2003, Haley Barbour received 2.9 million dollars to lobby for Southern Company, Edison Electric Institute, Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, and other energy industries.  He paid the Southern Company back with 2.9 BILLION dollars of the public’s money so that they can build the experimental lignite science project.  Haley was satisfied being paid only one tenth of one cent on every dollar he delivered to Southern Company.  Folks that is chump change.  I cannot believe that we were so gullible to elect someone Governor of our state that is so cheap. Cheap. Cheap. 

We will never get out of the economic cellar as long as we tolerate these liberal Republican policies which destroy our natural wealth for the benefit of the Yankee carpetbaggers and their liberal fellow travelers. 

You may recall my efforts to block the Republican plan to use Richton Salt Dome as a nuclear dump.  You may recall my efforts to stop the dumping of New York City’s garbage in Stone and Greene Counties.  You may recall my efforts to stop gravel mining in Okatoma Creek.  I opposed Kirk Fordyce’s plan to build 2,000 pig farms in North Mississippi with no sewage controls.  All of these efforts were successful.  I never asked for a dime in compensation. 

I lead the legislative efforts, as a citizen activist, to create The Scenic Streams Program.  When I activated my telephone tree, the switchboard in the state capitol building caught on fire.  I was active in rewriting the gravel mining laws of Mississippi to protect our streams and in the rewriting of the laws regarding hazardous waste dumps in Mississippi. At my suggestion, our state set up one of the most successful hazardous waste recycling efforts in America.  I helped build the public support for the Pine Belt Regional Landfill. 

I ask for your vote for Public Service Commissioner, Southern District.  I will work for you.  I am strong enough, tough enough, and smart enough to stand up to the utilities and their paid lobbyists.  Let’s stop the 45% electric bill increase. Lets repeal Senate Bill 2793. Elect Thomas A. Blanton your Public Service Commissioner.  I really will save you money! 

*Note:  the Senate Bill 2793 is now Mississippi Code section 77-3-101 through 77-3-109. 

http://thomasatomblanton4psc.com/home.html

Not Heeding the Warnings From Other Energy Companies

Why is Mississippi ignoring the warnings from other energy companies?  Others have determined that CCS fails to make economic sense at this point in time.  Is this the deal Haley Barbour made to gain  support for his now scrapped presidential run?  The residents of Mississippi will pay for this error forever because they have now paved the way for Cap and Trade to embark. There is no going back because there is
NO RISK TO MISSISSIPPI POWER COMPANY BECAUSE WE ARE PAYING FOR IT, NOT THEM!!!
————————————————————————————————————————————–
AEP Places Carbon Capture Commercialization On Hold, Citing Uncertain Status Of Climate Policy, Weak Economy

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 14, 2011 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is terminating its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy and placing its plans to advance carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) technology to commercial scale on hold, citing the current uncertain status of U.S. climate policy and the continued weak economy as contributors to the decision.

“We are placing the project on hold until economic and policy conditions create a viable path forward,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman and chief executive officer. “With the help of Alstom, the Department of Energy and other partners, we have advanced CCS technology more than any other power generator with our successful two-year project to validate the technology. But at this time it doesn’t make economic sense to continue work on the commercial-scale CCS project beyond the current engineering phase.

“We are clearly in a classic ‘which comes first?’ situation,” Morris said. “The commercialization of this technology is vital if owners of coal-fueled generation are to comply with potential future climate regulations without prematurely retiring efficient, cost-effective generating capacity. But as a regulated utility, it is impossible to gain regulatory approval to recover our share of the costs for validating and deploying the technology without federal requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions already in place. The uncertainty also makes it difficult to attract partners to help fund the industry’s share.”

In 2009, AEP was selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) to receive funding of up to $334 million through the Clean Coal Power Initiative to pay part of the costs for installation of a commercial-scale CCS system at AEP’s Mountaineer coal-fueled power plant in New Haven, W.Va. The system would capture at least 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from 235 megawatts of the plant’s 1,300 megawatts of capacity. The captured CO2, approximately 1.5 million metric tons per year, would be treated and compressed, then injected into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage approximately 1.5 miles below the surface.

Plans were for the project to be completed in four phases, with the system to begin commercial operation in 2015. AEP has informed the DOE that it will complete the first phase of the project (front-end engineering and design, development of an environmental impact statement and development of a detailed Phase II and Phase III schedule) but will not move to the second phase.

DOE’s share of the cost for completion of the first phase is expected to be approximately $16 million, half the expenses that qualify under the DOE agreement.

AEP and partner Alstom began operating a smaller-scale validation of the technology in October 2009 at the Mountaineer Plant, the first fully-integrated capture and storage facility in the world. That system captured up to 90 percent of the CO2 from a slipstream of flue gas equivalent to 20 megawatts of generating capacity and injected it into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage approximately 1.5 miles below the surface. The validation project, which received no federal funds, was closed as planned in May after meeting project goals. Between October 2009 and May 2011, the life of the validation project, the CCS system operated more than 6,500 hours, captured more than 50,000 metric tons of CO2 and permanently stored more than 37,000 metric tons of CO2.

“The lessons we learned from the validation project were incorporated into the Phase I engineering for the commercial-scale project,” Morris said.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: the economic climate and growth in, or contraction within, AEP’s service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability of capital on reasonable terms and developments impairing AEP’s ability to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt at attractive rates; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms, and AEP’s ability to recover significant storm restoration costs through applicable rate mechanisms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters; availability of necessary generating capacity and the performance of AEP’s generating plants; AEP’s ability to recover Indiana Michigan Power’s Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 restoration costs through warranty, insurance and the regulatory process; AEP’s ability to recover regulatory assets and stranded costs in connection with deregulation; AEP’s ability to recover increases in fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP’s ability to build or acquire generating capacity, including the Turk Plant, and transmission line facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs (including the costs of projects that are cancelled) through applicable rate cases or competitive rates; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances or additional regulation of fly ash and similar combustion products that could impact the continued operation and cost recovery of AEP’s plants; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions (including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance); resolution of litigation (including AEP’s dispute with Bank of America); AEP’s ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; AEP’s ability to develop and execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of debt; volatility and changes in markets for electricity, natural gas, coal, nuclear fuel and other energy-related commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the implementation of electric security plans and related regulation in Ohio and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including PJM and SPP; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP’s pension, other postretirement benefit plans and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact on future funding requirements; prices and demand for power that AEP generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes and other catastrophic events.

http://www.aep.com/newsroom/newsreleases/?id=1704

Carbon Capture and Storage‬‏ is Very Inefficient

 

@ 3:15 he talks about how we have a process to “economically” capture co2.  This process, is very inefficient as you can see, cooling the exhaust gasses, reabsorb the co2, then reheating the ammonia solution, then re-cooling it again…

 

 

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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Brandon Presley: Consumers lost in Mississippi Power’s planned Kemper County plant | Better MS Report

Brandon Presley: Consumers lost in Mississippi Power’s planned Kemper County plant | Better MS Report.

From Better Mississippi Report:

JACKSON (Tuesday, July 6, 2010) – Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley says consumers lost in Mississippi Power Co.’s planned Kemper County coal plant because the utility doesn’t have to guarantee the technology behind the project will ever work.

Mississippi Power’s plant, the first of its kind in the world, will use a new technology that converts a soft coal called lignite into a gas to fuel turbines and create electricity. The concept is high risk because no one can guarantee that the technology to be used in the plant will work.

Presley said Gov. Haley Barbour and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu sent letters asking for support of the Mississippi Power plant. But Presley voted in April and May against forcing Mississippi Power ratepayers to finance the plant.

“I received letters urging me to support the project from everyone from Gov. Barbour to Steven Chu, secretary of energy in the Obama administration,” said Presley, who represents the Northern District on the three-member PSC.

“If they thought it was such a good project, why didn’t they find a way to pay for it rather than forcing Mississippi Power’s customers to be the sole investors in the plant?” Presley told the Better Mississippi Report.

The PSC voted 2-1 in April to allow Mississippi Power Co. to build the Kemper County plant at a cost of no more than $2.4 billion. Commissioners said they would decide at a later date whether to grant Mississippi Power’s request for ratepayers to finance the plant before it begins operating.

Less than a month later in May, the PSC voted 2-1 to increase the cost cap of the Mississippi Power plant to $2.88 billion and also allowed the company to charge ratepayers for financing costs before the plant is completed.

Presley cast the sole no votes at the April and May meetings.

Presley, 32, a lifelong resident of Nettleton, is in his first term on the PSC – winning the position in 2007 after serving as mayor of Nettleton from 2001 to 2007. He talked about the Mississippi Power plant and other issues in an interview with the Better Mississippi Report.

Better Mississippi Group: You were the only member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission to oppose the Mississippi Power Co. plan to build a coal-burning plant in Kemper County. Can you explain your concerns about this proposal and why you voted against it?
Brandon Presley:
Very simple. Mississippi Power wanted the ratepayers to pay in advance hundreds of millions of dollars in financing costs and then $2.4 billion (now up to $2.88 billion) for the plant itself, and after hours and hours of sworn testimony and days of hearings they would not, and to this day, still will not, guarantee their new technology to be used in this plant will work.
If I had voted yes for this plant, I would have been a part of forcing ratepayers in one of the poorest states in the nation to pay, in advance, for something the company can’t even guarantee will work and that was, obviously, a big concern to me. I strongly support innovative technology, and I have a deep admiration for the scientists and engineers who bring about groundbreaking ideas that could make our lives better. But I believe the companies themselves and private sector investors should be willing to take some of the risks and not force all the risk on ratepayers who don’t have a choice in their providers. Remember, customers of Mississippi Power can’t choose who provides their electricity. They must use Mississippi Power or be in the dark, literally. So they are now being forced, via their electric bill, to invest in this plant.
I received letters urging me to support the project from everyone from Gov. Barbour to Steven Chu, secretary of energy in the Obama administration. I wondered if they thought it was such a good project, why didn’t they find a way to pay for it rather than forcing Mississippi Power’s customers to be the sole investors in the plant?
Also, I felt strongly that since there are so many unknowns out there, especially about the technology itself, that nothing would have been harmed by waiting. As I have said, Henry Ford built a better car five years after he started on his first one.
In a few years, we should have a better idea about other discoveries going on now, such as the impact of shale natural gas and also about the technology in the plant. Maybe then Mississippi Power will be able to guarantee that it will work. In a few years, we should also have a better understanding of the current energy legislation and environmental regulation that is being debated in Washington.
If Mississippi Power is going to ask consumers to pay up to $2.88 billion, plus hundreds of millions in banking fees (before the plant puts out any electricity), they need to have their ducks in a row with technology that they can guarantee works and share some of the risk. They didn’t. So I voted “no” twice.

Better Mississippi: The vote was a total change from a stand the PSC took days earlier. Can you tell us what led to the about-face on the PSC?
Presley:
I’ve been consistent – I voted no both times. You would have to ask the other two commissioners that question. Even though I could not support the project after hearing and studying the facts presented to us for months, I felt the first order on April 29th was strong and at least had some good protections in it for the ratepayers. I do not know why the majority voted to ease up on that order and grant the company another $480 million in spending authority under certain circumstances.

Better Mississippi: Mississippi Power Co. won’t release the possible increase in electric rates that customers may have to pay to finance construction of the Kemper County plant. Is this something that should be released to the public? Why?
Presley:
Absolutely. They should have been disclosed before the plant was approved. It was one of the reasons I voted against the project. Two times before the final votes, I asked if the rate impacts were going to be made public before the project was approved, and both times the answer was “no.”
The customers of Mississippi Power have a right to know how this plant is going to impact their bills. They shouldn’t have to wait until they get the bill out of their mailbox to understand how much it is going to cost them. I had proposed changing the rule that allowed Mississippi Power to deem these rate impacts “confidential” prior to the final vote on Kemper. I raised the issue of changing this rule in May but was out-voted. The issue was taken up in our June meeting, at which time it passed unanimously.

Better Mississippi: With the Sierra Club taking the Mississippi Power Co. Kemper County issue to court, how do you see things working now? Will this be a long, protracted case?
Presley:
All I know is that I will keep fighting for taxpayers and ratepayers no matter what happens.

Better Mississippi: You are one of three commissioners on the PSC. Can you tell us about your relationship with the other commissioners? Do you all tend to get along? How do you handle disagreements on major issues, such as the one with Mississippi Power Co.?
Presley:
I like my fellow commissioners and think they’re good men. As with any three-member commission, we are going to disagree from time to time.
With that said, I tend to be very passionate about the job the people elected me to do. I’m passionate about what I believe a regulator is supposed to do. I won’t back down when I believe consumers are getting a raw deal or when I see something unfair about the process. I think that’s what the ratepayers expect and it’s certainly how an elected official who is protecting the public’s interest should act, in my opinion.
When you have the courage of your convictions, you don’t mind going against the grain or standing alone. I recently heard a pretty good saying that fits this situation, “Even a dead fish can go with the flow.” I don’t plan to be a “go with the flow” commissioner.

Better Mississippi: What do you see as the biggest challenge of the PSC these days?
Presley:
The single biggest challenge is making sure that consumers aren’t left out of the picture at the PSC. It seems that almost every rate plan, service plan, rule and regulation was written for and by the utilities for their benefit. Too many times the people who actually have to pay the utility bills have just been left out of the process and forgotten. The simple fact is that if the PSC doesn’t stand up for the consumer, nobody else is going to.
We desperately need balance at the PSC. And by that, I mean that we need to remember that there are real people, families, small businesses and industries that have to pay for these rate hikes and proposals. The utilities have a vast reservoir of attorneys, lobbyists, experts and cheerleaders. All the general public has is the PSC.

Better Mississippi: What do you see as the most important regulatory issues facing the PSC and consumers in the state?
Presley:
So many Mississippians are facing very tough economic situations in their homes and at their businesses. My mission is to do everything possible to keep money in the pockets of taxpayers and ratepayers and not help the big utilities make undeserved profits. That is our single biggest challenge. I believe we can craft policies that are pro-consumer and pro-business. Letting utilities increase rates whenever they want hurts so many small businesses that are the backbone of our state’s economy. I am proud to say that I have voted against more spending and rate increases than any other commissioner in the history of the PSC.

Better Mississippi: How do you see your role on the PSC?
Presley:
I see my role as a watchdog for the public interest – period.
A commissioner I’ve gotten to know from another state says it best. One time, when the hearing room was full of attorneys and high-paid lobbyists for the utility companies, he called the meeting to order by asking everyone who was there on behalf of the utilities to please stand up. Almost the whole room, of course, stood to their feet. Then he told them to sit down. He then asked, “Who is here on behalf of the ratepayers?” Nobody responded and he stood up and said “You see, folks? That’s why I’m here. That’s my job.” I couldn’t agree more.

Better Mississippi: Statewide and district elections will take place in 2011. Do you plan to run for re-election? Why or why not?
Presley:
I honestly haven’t given it much thought. I’m consumed daily with issues at the PSC and getting my job done. I will make a decision about the election in the coming months.

 

More on Obama’s US Secretary of Energy who Targeted PSC’s for Kemper County

Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy

As United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu is charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis, and create millions of new jobs.

Dr. Chu is a distinguished scientist and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997). He has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy challenges and stopping global climate change – a mission he continues with even greater urgency as Secretary of Energy.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Chu was the Director of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies. He also taught at the University of California as a Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology. Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Dr. Chu’s research in atomic physics, quantum electronics, polymer and biophysics includes tests of fundamental theories in physics, the development of methods to laser cool and trap atoms, atom interferometry, the development of the first atomic fountain, and the manipulation and study of polymers and biological systems at the single molecule level. While at Stanford, he helped start Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary initiative that brings together the physical and biological sciences with engineering and medicine.

The holder of 10 patents, Dr. Chu has published nearly 250 scientific and technical papers. He remains active with his research group and has recently published work on general relativity and single molecule biology and biophysics that includes sub-nanometer molecular imaging with optical microscopy, cadherin adhesion, neural vesicle fusion, and nerve growth factor transport. About 30 alumni of his research group have gone on to become professors in their own right and have been recognized by dozens of prizes and awards.

Dr. Chu is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academia Sinica, the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology and numerous other civic and professional organizations. He received an A.B. degree in mathematics, a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley as well as honorary degrees from 15 universities.

Dr. Chu was born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1948. He is married to Dr. Jean Chu, who holds a D.Phil. in Physics from Oxford and has served as chief of staff to two Stanford University presidents as well as Dean of Admissions. Secretary Chu has two grown sons, Geoffrey and Michael, by a previous marriage.

In announcing Dr. Chu’s selection, President Obama said, “The future of our economy and national security is inextricably linked to one challenge: energy. Steven has blazed new trails as a scientist, teacher, and administrator, and has recently led the Berkeley National Laboratory in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies. He is uniquely suited to be our next Secretary of Energy as we make this pursuit a guiding purpose of the Department of Energy, as well as a national mission.” Dr. Chu was sworn into office as the 12th Secretary of Energy on January 21, 2009.

http://www.energy.gov/organization/dr_steven_chu.htm

Obama, Van Jones, Barbour, Bentz, & Posey

Van Jones and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu are both on Obama’s payroll to lead the progressive movement for Economic Justice.  The chickens-have-come-home-to-roost right here in Kemper County Mississippi.

Prepare for your electric bill to increase up to 45% starting Jan 1, 2012. I think this delay is to assure successful reelections of the submissive PSCs.  Bentz, PSC South District, said the economy will rebound by 2012 and that is why he waited to raise rates.  Really?

The Kemper CAP AND TRADE project is slightly funded by Obama’s stimulus package for Green jobs.   When our Public Service Commissioners initially set financial limits to Mississippi Power’s estimate for construction,  Mississippi Power concluded the project could not proceed. ( I understand MSP has horrible credit and cannot get a loan.)

So at that junction, I understand, our PSC’s  could place the burden on families to fund the billions or Obama takes his cap and trade and shoves it to some other gullible state.  (Not Florida they rejected it)  That is where U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, with Obama’s  magic comes in.

Please see the article on Steven Chu and his vodoo-like ability change the minds of Leonard Bents and Lynn Posey to suddenly approve the most widespread economic destructive path starting with gullible Mississippi.

AEP Drops Carbon Storage Project On Lack Of Federal Carbon Limits – WSJ.com

AEP Drops Carbon Storage Project On Lack Of Federal Carbon Limits – WSJ.com.

   By Cassandra Sweet
   Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

American Electric Power Co. (AEP) will stop work on a low-carbon coal-fired power plant as political support shrinks in the U.S. for regulating heat-trapping emissions linked to climate change.

The facility, which had been touted as a leading project to make the complex technology commercially viable, is the latest sign that the U.S. power industry is moving away from carbon dioxide emission-reduction technology. A lack of consensus in Washington over regulating carbon dioxide emissions, coupled with sluggish demand for power, has pressured AEP and other utilities to cut investment in so-called clean coal technology.

AEP Chairman and Chief Executive Michael G. Morris said the project to capture and store carbon emissions from an existing coal-fired plant in West Virginia doesn’t make economic sense while U.S. climate policy remains uncertain and the economy is weak.

West Virginia regulators had prohibited the company from passing on the project’s costs to utility customers until federal greenhouse-gas reduction rules are in place, further weakening the project, Morris said.

AEP designed the system to capture at least 90% of the carbon dioxide from a 235-megawatt piece of the company’s 1,300-MW Mountaineer coal plant in New Haven, W.Va.

The second part of the system would treat and compress about 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 from the plant per year, then inject the gas into rock formations about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) below the surface, where it would be permanently stored.

The company said it would terminate an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, which had offered AEP $334 million to cover part of the costs of the carbon storage project. The project was to be completed in four phases and begin commercial operation in 2015.

A similar plant using different technology, proposed for Taylorville, Ill., by privately held power generator Tenaska, was scuttled in January after Illinois lawmakers defeated legislation that would have allowed the company to pass through the $3.5 billion cost of the project to utility customers. The Energy Department had offered the company up to $2.6 billion in loan guarantees and a $417 million tax credit to support construction of the plant.

Other low-carbon coal projects are moving ahead.

Southern Co.’s (SO) Mississippi Power utility is building a $2.4 billion, 580-megawatt low-emission coal-fired power plant in Kemper County, Miss. The plant, which was approved by state regulators, is designed to convert coal or lignite into a gas, which is then used to generate electricity, with lower emissions than a traditional coal plant. The company obtained a $270 million grant from the Department of Energy and $412 million in federal tax credits to support construction of the project.

Another low-carbon coal project is being developed by a coalition of utilities and coal companies called FutureGen. The $1.3 billion project would retrofit a 200-megawatt Ameren Corp. (AEE) coal plant in Meredosia, Ill., with so-called advanced oxy-combustion technology and build pipelines to ship captured CO2 to a nearby storage facility. A federal environmental review of the project, which has $1 billion in federal funding, is still pending.

AEP, one of the nation’s largest utilities and one of the largest coal-fired power generators, is still focused on cutting emissions. The company has estimated that it will likely to have to modify or shut down several of its older coal-fired power plants under pending federal limits on traditional pollution that could cost $6 billion to $8 billion over the next nine years.

Shares of AEP closed Thursday about 1% lower at $37.55.

-By Cassandra Sweet, Dow Jones Newswires; 415=269-4446; cassandra.sweet@dowjones.com

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.”

—–

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

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

Mississippi Coal Comments are in Red and added for commentary

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