Our Victory Against the Mississippi Power’s Kemper Coal Plant Retruns to PSC For Re-Evaluation

It is a happy day to see that the Kemper County Demonstration Lignite Coal Plant is being reevaluated by the PSC per court reversal.  It will be interesting to see how Leonard Bentz and Lynne Posey explain the public value in carbon dioxide capturing, transport, and storage to the Mississippi ratepayer.

In the wake of the latest exposure of the United Nations fraudulent global warming science, the Sustainable Development plans is no doubt  at risk as well.  In order to substantiate the need to capture carbon dioxide the three Mississippi Public Service Commissioners will need to prove the science behind the Kyoto Protocols of the United Nations. Southern Company is voluntarily following the United Nation’s Kyoto Protocols to implement their Agenda 21  to reduce energy usage via excessive energy costs.  This was clearly to be an experiment of behavior modification.

We need to celebrate and get right back to work because Kemper County Coal plant is moving forward and will surely work with the Obama administration and Steven Chu to find any loop-hole to keep the money pit going on the backs of the people. I say pull the plug.

Presley Issues Statement on Kemper County Coal Plant

March 16, 2012

Today Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s reversal of  Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County Coal Plant:

Today’s 9-0 decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court reversing the $2.8 billion Kemper County Coal Plant is a major victory for each and every customer of Mississippi Power Company and deals a serious blow to the company’s corporate socialism.

In this case, Mississippi Power Company gave new meaning to the phrase “We got the gold mine, they got the shaft”.

I’ve argued consistently that customers of Mississippi Power Company have been mistreated by the company hiding rate impacts in this case and by putting their shareholders above their customers.

This plant is untried technology. The shareholders have no risks while the customers have all the risks along with a 45% rate hike to boot. The company also wanted to raise rates before the plant produced any electricity. I believe in “pay as you go”, I just don’t believe you should pay BEFORE you go.

I personally wrote multi-page dissents in this case and am pleased today to see that those arguments were not in vain.

This $2.8 billion case comes back now to the commission for further review.

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Mississippi Kemper coal Power PSCs Failed to Satisfy State Law Now Will Face More Exposure

The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that approved construction of Southern Co’s USD 2.8 billion coal gasification project in Kemper County, Mississippi.

In a 9-0 voter, the state supreme court said the Mississippi Public Service Commission’s May 2010 approval of the project failed to satisfy state law and sent the case back to the PSC.

Source – Reuters

(www.steelguru.com)

HAPPY Start in 2012 for America in their Fight Against EPA’s U.N. Regulations

Happy new year to report the voluntary UN Kyoto Protocols are on hold so 2 coal plants can keep in operation.  Keep up the pressure America.

Luminant to keep units online as court halts EPA rule

Luminant Generation Co. will continue operating two coal-fired electricity units it had previously planned to close now that a federal court temporarily halted a pollution regulation from being implemented, the company said Friday.

In September, Luminant said it would idle two units that provide 1.2 gigawatts of capacity at its Monticello power station in Titus County this coming Sunday to comply with the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

A federal three-judge panel on Friday granted some utilities’ and states’ request for a temporary stay on the rule, which would have required power plants in 28 states, including Texas, to cut smog- and soot-forming emissions that can cross state lines starting Sunday.

The Dallas-based company, Texas’ largest electricity generator, said in a statement the stay “allows Luminant’s Monticello units 1 and 2 to continue operating and providing needed generation for the Texas electric market.”

Luminant said it can also prevent an unspecified number of worker layoffs and continue operating some lignite coal mines it had planned to shut down.

But since the stay is temporary, Luminant “intends to continue closely evaluating business and operational decisions,” it said.

In early December, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s main grid operator, projected that power reserves would fall below its desired minimum target in 2012 because several power-generating units would be absent and power demand would tick up.

ERCOT’s press office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

But President Trip Doggett, who has long expressed concerns about the rule’s compliance timeline, said recently ERCOT would meet its minimum power-reserves target if Luminant’s units were indeed operating.

Some of Texas’ U.S. lawmakers also blame the cross-state rule for raising the risk of blackouts on the state’s main grid. EPA and environmental groups reject those concerns, saying the agency’s clean-air rules have never caused power reliability problems.

The court didn’t rule on the merits of the regulation, the EPA said in a statement. “EPA firmly believes that when the court does weigh the merits of the rule it will ultimately be upheld,” the agency said.

Additionally, the EPA said it was disappointing that the stay was granted in light of the agency’s recently proposed tweaks to the rule.

The agency has said the proposed increase in allowed emissions for 10 states, including Texas, and a two-year delay in a cap on interstate emissions trading would help ease utilities’ transition into the rule.

A number of utilities and states including Texas and Luminant challenged the cross-state rule in federal court. Texas’ suit alleges that the state wasn’t given enough notice and comment on its inclusion for certain pollution reductions.

The court’s decision to stay the rule “is a prudent one that now gives the court time to review the regulation and its burdensome effects on Texas,” state Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement.

The EPA, defending its rule, has said Texas was part of a similar George W. Bush-era rule that a court sent back to the agency to rewrite; the cross-state rule is the Bush-era regulation’s replacement.

While Texas was included only for smog-season emission cuts when the new rule was proposed, the agency put the Lone Star State into the full rule when it was finalized on the basis of comments and feedback from state utilities and officials, said Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator.

For now the EPA will transition back to the Bush-era rule “as seamlessly as possible,” the agency said.

The Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental group, said it was disappointed with the ruling but vowed it “will continue to vigorously defend these vitally important reductions of harmful smokestack pollution against the legal attacks brought by large power companies and states such as Texas.”

“The pollution reductions at stake are some of the single most important clean air protections for children, families and communities across the eastern half of the United States,” Vickie Patton, general counsel for the EDF, said in an emailed statement.

The EPA has said the cross-state rule would save up to 34,000 lives a year starting in 2014 and have annual benefits of up to $280 billion versus annual costs of less than $1 billion. Environmentalists say the rule would help address non-attainment of U.S. smog and particulate-matter air standards in the downwind states where the power-plant pollution drifts.

Luminant and other utilities had plenty of time to prepare for the EPA’s recently finalized environmental regulations because they were years in the making, Jim Marston, head of the Texas office of the EDF, said earlier this month.

The EPA and some analysts also have said Luminant could have switched fuels, bought emissions allowances and ramped up pollution controls to comply with the cross-state rule instead of idling the two power-generating units.

The environmental group’s Texas branch didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Leonard Bentz says The whole (Mississippi Power Coal Plant) story is not getting told

Commentary: Big questions for Kemper County coal plant come down to who knew what and when

MBJ Staff

In May of 2010 we wrote, “For better or worse, the economic future for the next 40 years in southeastern Mississippi will be greatly impacted by the decision of Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz. ”

Justices with the Mississippi Supreme Court may be asking now how he came to his decision when he changed his vote from no to yes in a rehearing to approve the $2.8-billion Mississippi Power Company Kemper County coal plant.

Bentz and Lynn Posey have been for the project all along while Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley has steadfastly been against Kemper, calling it, among other things, “Corporate Socialism. ”

However, Bentz has had questions before, particularly concerning rate impacts, which Mississippi Power has never fully disclosed.

“The whole story is not getting told,” Bentz told the Mississippi Business Journal prior to the second vote of the PSC. “It is frustrating. I want to build this plant, but I want everybody to know exactly what is going to happen when we build this plant. I have to look Gulf Coast residents in the eye and tell them I did everything I could to get the information on the table. ”

Yet, the entire story has not been told, and Bentz voted for the plant after publicly questioning its validity a year and half ago.

This case is before the Supreme Court because of the Sierra Club, which is trying to stop the construction of the plant already underway near Liberty. Sierra argues that the PSC broke the law by failing to lay out a clear reason for easing financial terms in its second vote.

“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?”

That’s a great question for Bentz, who is on the record saying, “The whole story is not getting told. ”

There are two more questions that should be asked.

Is the plant needed?

Will it work?

First, the plant is not needed, because Mississippi Power can supply energy to South Mississippi with natural gas, which the MBJ has reported will be less expensive over a 30 year period than the energy supplied at Kemper.

Second, in an editorial board meeting with Mississippi Power executives and its construction experts, they were not completely secure in the ability of the Kemper technology to work.

We asked if they could guarantee the technology would work when they flipped the switch for the first time at Kemper.

The answer, after a long pause, was no.

With that information, how could the PSC vote for, what amounts to, a $2.88 billion tax on the people of South Mississippi for energy that can gotten elsewhere — and for less money?

We suspect Mississippi’s Supreme Court will ask those question when all is said and done, and maybe, just maybe Bentz or someone will tell the rest of the story.

(here)

Mississippi Supreme Court Questions Kemper Coal Plant

Supremes Question Kemper

Residents near a planned 582-megawatt coal plant protested the project that threatens to raise their electric rates by 45 percent.

by R.L. Nave
Dec. 21, 2011

In all the pages of court records regarding a dispute between environmentalists and an electric utility company–pages that one Mississippi Supreme Court justice characterized as the most voluminous he has seen in his eight years on the court–one important piece of information eluded the justices.

What changed between April and May for the Mississippi Public Service Commission to reverse itself and allow Mississippi Power Co. jack up the cap on a 582-megawatt Kemper County coal plant by $480 million dollars?

“So far I don’t find anything in the commission’s order itself–and haven’t yet found in the record–what it is that would help me understand that the commission is justified in making this factual conclusion that the risks are now balanced,” presiding Justice Jess H. Dickinson said last week.

Brandon Presley, the PSC’s northern district commissioner, has an idea. Presley voted against fellow commissioners Lynn Posey and Leonard Bentz, of the central and southern district respectively, on the cap increase.

“The only thing I saw change was letters came in from Barack Obama’s energy secretary and Haley Barbour,” Presley said.

Last summer, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Gov. Barbour wrote letters asking Presley to reconsider his opposition to Mississippi Power raising the price tag of the plant, which is now under construction. Presley balked at the idea, calling the project a bad deal for consumers.

“If President Obama or Governor Barbour like this plant so much, let them come up with a way to pay for it,” he told the Jackson Free Press last week.

Presley, along with consumer and environmental advocacy groups, has fought to oppose the plant, albeit for slightly different reasons at times.

“I have no problem whatsoever with clean coal technology,” Presley said. “I have a problem with asking the people of Mississippi to be guinea pigs.”

The Sierra Club opposes the 582-megawatt plant because it is slated to use experimental internal gasification combined technology to burn low-grade lignite coal. As the basis for its lawsuit against Mississippi Power and the PSC, the suit before the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Sierra Club also argued that the commission failed in its obligation to publicly explain its rationale for the reversal.

On April 29, 2010, Commissioners Posey and Bentz issued a decision limiting the ratepayer cost of the plant to $2.4 billion. Mississippi Power stockholders of Company would have to pick up any costs above $2.4 billion, they said at the time.

The Atlanta-based utility complained that it should be able to pass any additional costs down to the ratepayers, and warned that it could not afford to build the plant if not allowed to pass on all the costs, including those above $2.4 billion.

Less than one month later, the commission revised its decision May 26, allowing the company to charge ratepayers up to $2.88 billion for the plant. Mississippi Power did not publicly release the amount of the rate increase customers would shoulder as a result.

After being pressed by justices at the hearing, Sierra Club attorney Robert Wiygul said he obtained confidential information showing that ratepayers’ energy bills could rise as much as 45 percent.

Since the hearing, the justices are reviewing the remainder of the court documents and could bring the parties back to clarify some points before the three-judge panel or the full nine-member court. From there, they can remand the issue back to the PSC for review or strike provisions of the deal.

PSC Commissioners Posey and Bentz did not return calls by press time.

“I’m not counting any chickens before they hatch,” said Louie Miller, state director of the Mississippi Sierra Club. “I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic.”

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

$437 million spent on MN lignite coal plant Now Closing

My opinion: Closure will not happen to our Mississippi Lignite CO2 experimental plant because the ratepayers are contracted to pay the expenses and losses.  Dooping the ratepayer will protect this money pit form similar demise.

What it’s like being a scientist in the GOP-led Legislature

By Don Shelby | Published Thu, Dec 8 2011 8:59 am

After intense lobbying by Great River Energy, the compliant Republican-led state Legislature approved lifting the restrictions on coal-fired power plants. Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the measure, but last-minute negotiations left in place a provision that allowed electricity from North Dakota’s coal-fired Spiritwood plant to be imported into Minnesota.

Now, despite the political maneuvering, the Spiritwood plant is being shutdown. Great River Energy, which spent $437 million to build the lignite coal plant, says an unforeseen set of economic conditions in the energy field and customer base makes the project impractical to operate.

State Rep. Kate Knuth told me, “We spent a lot of time in the Legislature debating and passing the lifting of restrictions on the importation of coal fired electricity — just for this project.”

Rep. Kate Knuth

kateknuth.orgRep. Kate Knuth

Knuth is in her third term in the Legislature. She is a DFLer from New Brighton. She voted against lifting the restrictions. Knowing her background, one has a right to have expected her opposition. She is a rare sort of politician. She is a scientist.

She is getting her doctorate at the University of Minnesota as a conservation biologist. Her science resume is full of interesting things. She was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Oslo and picked up her masters of science at Oxford. She currently coordinates the Boreas Environmental Leadership Program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

Her knowledge of science, as well as her party affiliation, usually finds her in the minority. In her position on Energy Subcommittee, as well as the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee, she is often disregarded by her Republican colleagues.

I asked her if she really liked it in that political kitchen.

“I’ll tell you why I’m a politician,” she said. “I think we need politicians who are willing to look at the evidence and think about our values and future. We need more politicians who are proud to be working together to create a better future.” 

Ideology ahead of science
Politicians in Minnesota’s Legislature and in the U.S. Congress grab headlines by openly taking positions against established science. According to Shawn Otto in his book “Fool Me Twice — Fighting the Assault on Science in America,” politicians are putting party ideology ahead of scientific evidence.

I asked Knuth whether she sees that at the Minnesota Capitol. “I don’t think our elected officials are looking at the evidence clearly about the physical realities in which we live. To not look at that evidence is a disservice to the public. It can have serious consequences for our country and our world.

“Our national security depends on looking at the evidence and understanding it,” Knuth adds.

As an example, polls continue to show that the majority of Americans believe there is still a scientific debate over global warming, while polls of published climate scientists show a 97 percent agreement that the planet is warming and humans are causing it by burning fossil fuels and poor land practices.

Scientists have been trying to figure out what that is happening. More and more information is coming out showing a direct link between the anti-science political motives and contributions from the fossil fuel industry. It seems big oil and coal have better public relations agents than scientists. The belief in the idea that there is still a debate over the fundamentals of climate change has also been traced to fossil fuel front groups. Knuth says she and her colleagues regularly receive publications denying the science from the conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation, among others.

‘Politics requires patience’
I asked Knuth if she sometimes wanted to pull her hair out when she is forced to listen to her opponents in the Legislature misrepresent the known science. “Politics requires patience,” she says. “The whole system is set up to allow huge numbers of politicians to deny physical reality.”

Knuth says she hopes she can continue to have an open conversation with her science-denying colleagues. “I keep hoping we will see heroes emerge in this debate. Am I sometimes angry and frustrated? Yes. But I intend to work with individuals to help shift the system.”

But is Knuth willing to take on Republicans on the battlefield of the economy? I asked her whether the scientific argument isn’t falling on the ears of people who are only listening to news of an improving economy.

“If we don’t have to go to other states and other countries for our fuel, that is a great economic advantage for Minnesotans,” she says.

Knuth points out that Minnesota has no natural gas, no coal, no oil and no uranium. “But we do have abundant wind, a surprising amount of solar energy and a bunch of really smart people who want to go to work to build the next generation of energy,” she says.

The opposition at the Legislature to renewable energy leaves Knuth puzzled. “So I don’t get, as a legislator, why you would promote sources of power that we have to import from out of state, and send our money out of state, and be reliant on other places for our energy systems.

“If we can concentrate on energy-efficiencies and conservation,” she says, “we don’t have to build expensive, old technology power plants. That would be a savings for us in both the long and short term.”

She adds: “I haven’t even mentioned the benefits to our lakes and rivers and to our agriculture.  The health benefits of cleaner energy are an economic savings in itself.”

Knuth is sometimes frustrated and angry as a scientist working among non-scientist politicians — but she is happy to be in the statehouse. “I don’t think there is a better time to be a politician in this country than right now,” she says. “There are big problems facing us, and we are being asked to come up with the solutions.  So while it is often frustrating, it is incredibly invigorating to be there. And when we turn it around, it is going to be really fun.”

Kate Knuth says she believes in politics and leadership. She says, “I hope more young people see that being a politician is something they might strive for — and to see it as something noble.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell Rep. Knuth that her last statement was not based on the current state of the evidence.

Here

PSC LEONARD BENTZ CALLED TO ACTION Against FRAUD

PSC Leonard Bentz;

If you truly want to save Mississippians money in rates then simply remove citizen funding for the CO2 Capturing on the Lignite Coal Plant until the science has been reviewed and proven as accurate.  Why should Mississippi pay for a fraudulent global warming scam?  We cannot give into fraud and it is your duty to know the difference and take action.

A new year could bring increased rates for Mississippi Power Co. customers.

The company filed three requests for a combined 11.35 percent increase to the Mississippi Public Service Commission on Tuesday.

If approved, any changes will go into effect in 2012.

Southern District PSC Commissioner Leonard Bentz said Mississippi Power customers are paying far less for electricity than they did in 2009 and his goal is to keep utility bills as low as possible. He said the filings are under review.

“I am going to make sure that I go through each piece with a fine-tooth-comb,” he said. “They are not a package deal and may not all be approved.”

Mississippi Power serves approximately 188,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties.

The Certified New Plant A filing requests an 11.66 percent increase that would cover financing costs for the Kemper Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Project.

“The Kemper IGCC Project is on schedule and progressing well. When completed, this plant will generate electricity for customers at a significantly lower cost than any of the alternatives,” said Tommy Anderson, vice president of Generation Development.

Tommy Anderson, Please put that in a contract for the people, that we will have lower rates for the customers in Mississippi. That is a lie and am not afraid to call it out.  The least costly plan would be to stop following the Kyoto Protocols created by the United Nations that Southern Company is willingly following.

“The recovery of financing costs during construction will save customers hundreds of millions of dollars in additional financing charges over the life of the plant.”

Please compare costs if we did not invest in the fraudulent science scam that CO2 kills people and needs to be contained.

In addition to the CNP-A filing, Mississippi Power has requested a 2.20 percent decrease in the amount it recovers in its annual fuel filing. Mississippi Power’s fuel costs are recovered from customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The company does not earn a profit on the fuel used to generate electricity.

Company spokeswoman Cindy Duvall said lower gas prices at the pump allowed the company to request a 2.20 percent decrease in the amount it recovers in its annual fuel filing.

“When Mississippi Power has the lower costs, we pass those on to our customers for decrease on their bill. We don’t make money on our fuel costs,” she said.

What about making huge profits on global warming caused by CO2 science fraud.  That is somehow OK to charge us for? 

The company’s annual PEP filing (base rate) indicates an increase of 1.89 percent. In existence since 1986, PEP represents the costs the company incurs to ensure customers can continue to receive reliable electric service.

“This represents our performance evaluation plan and customers refer to it as a base rate,” Duvall said. “It’s an increase of 1.89 percent. That represents reliability and customer service so when customers flip the switch, something happens.”

LA TONYA FRELIX

American Staff Writer

Sun Herald Comment On IGCC Kemper County Coal Plant

Readers of the Sun Herald should be familiar with the controversy surrounding Mississippi Power’s expensive and highly experimental power plant in Kemper County. Designed for Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power production and carbon capture and storage, the plant was touted as “clean coal” and would be the first in the world of its kind.

However, Mississippi Power ratepayers — whose power bills will increase 30-50 percent to pay for the Kemper plant — should note that construction has been cancelled on a similar IGCC plant in Australia, the ZeroGen plant near Rockhampton, Queensland.

After the Queensland government had invested $108 million, the company building the plant has declared bankruptcy. Queensland Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last month that the IGCC technology was simply “not financially viable.” He expressed worry that the billions of dollar slated for developing IGCC technology would be wasted.

Mississippi needs to learn from the Australians’ mistakes with their “clean coal” boondoggle. We must stop construction on the Kemper plant before ratepayers pour billions of dollars into a highly experimental IGCC process that has now been exposed as “not financially viable.”

“Clean coal” is the pipe dream of coal and utilities fat cats who have had far too much say in how Mississippi is governed. It’s time we woke them up. The Kemper IGCC project needs to end. Now.

WILL WATSON

Long Beach

Obama Jobs Destruction Plan to Accelerate in 2012

Saturday, November 12, 2011

By the numbers: Obama jobs destruction plan to accelerate in 2012

If you do a Google search on President Obama’s oft-repeated statement — “I will not rest until every American has a good job” — you’ll get 6.6 million results.

Yet three years after the mortgage meltdown and the vaunted Obama stimulus program, the real unemployment rate (U-6) actually worsened even if we look at the year of 2011 alone. The U-6 unemployment rate remains over 16% and could actually be far worse because of some of the tricks used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In fact, ShadowStats.com puts unemployment in excess of 22 percent.

Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The job losses we’ll see in the coming years will make what we’ve seen thus far look like a jaunt in the park. A quick review of recent articles describing the impact of the massive regulatory state (the EPA alone has grown 120 percent under Obama) offers some ominous projections for future job losses.

Description Jobs Destroyed Source
Delaying the Keystone XL Pipeline until after the 2012 election 20,000 LA Times
Forcing  coal plants in Texas to close (EPA) 14,000 Heritage
Gulf Drilling Moratorium (Interior) 72,000 LA Times
EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule 1,440,000 Daily Caller
EPA’s determination that coal ash is a “hazardous waste” 250,000 Western Caucus
EPA’s shutdown of AEP plants 5,000 CAPPS Online
EPA’s commercial and industrial boiler regulations 800,000 Clatskanie Chief
Interior Department’s protection of lizards and smelt fish 75,000 Human Events
Jobs killed by the Obama environmental machine 2,676,000

That’s nearly 3,000,000 jobs that President Obama’s policies will have un-saved and un-created. Middle-class jobs. Blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Trucking jobs, manufacturing jobs, union jobs.

Liberals, drones, progressives and other anti-American malcontents would be hard-pressed to prove that this President isn’t intentionally trying to establish a permanent underclass, whose subsistence is dependent upon the largesse of the federal government.

Because every action this president seems to tack seems to prove that the destruction of the middle class is among his chief goals.

And, further: President Obama is ‘historic’ only in the sense that he is the most effective job destroyer ever.

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