Thomas Fanning, the United Nations Promoter, Now on FED Reserve Bank Board

Thomas Fanning known for teaming up with population control whack-job Ted Turner to waste tax dollars in another solar scam  is now on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  The corrupt continue to be promoted up in power as they comply with the United Nations Plans for Sustainable Development and the Kyoto Protocols.  Thomas Fanning CEO of Southern Company the parent company of Mississippi Power is involved in their own scams.

Southern Co. (SO) Chief Executive Thomas Fanning has been appointed to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the company said Monday.

Fanning will serve the remainder of a term that began Jan. 1, 2010, and runs through Dec. 31 of this year.

Fanning is a Class C director, appointed by the Fed’s board of governors in Washington to represent commerce, industry, agriculture, labor or consumers.

Southern Co. received federal approval earlier this month to build the first new U.S. nuclear power plant in decades.

The company plans to build two new reactors at the Vogtle site in Georgia near the South Carolina border and is waiting for the Department of Energy to close on an $8.3 billion loan guarantee after the company received a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this month.

Southern’s Georgia utility has estimated the project will cost more than $6 billion, to be split among the project’s owners. Southern, which will own 46% of the new reactors, expects to pay $2.2 billion.

Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power, and Dalton Utilities will own the rest of the project.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said earlier this month that he expected Southern to obtain the loan guarantee after the company got its construction and operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Obama’s Solar Scandal & Mississippi Powers’ New Lignite Coal Plant

Guaranteed Loan Linked to Scandal

Obama’s Solar scandal has split the United Nations environmental scam wide open for all to witness.  $535 million guaranteed loans for a failed green company as payback for political contributions?  Americans will not tolerate such corruption.

Solyndra was the first company to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy as part of the 2009 stimulus package. This wasn’t small potatoes. The loan guarantee was for $535 million.

It was, Vice President Biden said, “exactly what the Recovery Act was all about.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winner, said it would help “spark a new revolution that will put Americans to work.” It was part of the Obama administration’s program to create so-called “green jobs,” which we were told were the key to future economic growth.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/09/15/obama_tainted_by_loan_guarantees_to_solar_firms_111336.html

  • Both Kemper Coal Plant and Obama’s Solyndra Solar received federal loan guarantees.(1)
  • Both Mississippi Powers’ IGCC  Kemper Coal Plant and the Solyndra Solar Plant Claim to bring green  jobs and boost the economy.  I would like to see the bogus study where Mississippi Power will be employing more Full Time Permanent workers over the next few years.  It is not logical with the layoffs and closings they have planned. I say put it in writing or quit deceiving the people.  What Mississippi Power is about to do with the Kemper Coal Plant will cause a terminal cancer in the economy of Mississippi.


Both Kemper County Coal Plant and Obama’s Solar Plant Scandal have Energy Secretary Steven Chu involved in the promoting and supporting the projects.
Most importantly, both The Mississippi lignite experiment and the Solar experiment were a product the KYOTO PROTOCOLS of the United Nations, Agenda 21.  A plan to reduce manmade greenhouse gasses and trading carbon units to redistribute the wealth from America to poorer nations all under the disguise of doing good through environmental causes. 

(1) http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/coalpower/cctc/EIS/kemper_pdf/Front%20Matter%20and%20Summary.pdf

Remove the CO2 capture portion all together, and put in proven reliable technology coal with new scrubbers and add new scrubbers to the old plants.  Stop bankrupting companies and businesses. Quit making our rates skyrocket for a false science on global warming and quit following the Kyoto Protocols of the united Nations.  Follow the America way to prosperity.

Al Gore Profanity Laced Meltdown as Global Warming Scam Collapses

Rated “R” Parental discretion

Al Gore Meltdown at the Aspen Institute – Profanity laced rant as Global Warming Scam collapses

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.

Secret Rate increases Exposed: even if plant NEVER works

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

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?

Mississippi Punked – Scheme Raises Energy Prices to Enrich Wall Street

Congressional Climate Bills:

Stealth Schemes to Raise Energy Prices

and Enrich Wall Street

by Stephen Lendman
Monday, 17 May 2010
If cap and trade is enacted, polluters will win. Consumers will lose, and Wall Street will get the mother of all speculative bonanzas. No wonder, they and the energy giants are lobbying ferociously for passage.

On June 26, 2009, HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA) passed, purportedly “To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.”

In fact, it lets energy polluters raise prices for huge windfall profits and gives Wall Street a bonanza through carbon trading derivatives speculation. Catherine Austin Fitts’ Solari.com blog, “Coming Clean” explained it last July in her article titled, “The Next Really Scary Bubble” is coming, saying:

“If you think the housing and credit bubble diminished your financial security and your community, or the bailouts, or the rising gas prices did as well, hold on to your hat” for what’s ahead. “Carbon trading is gearing up to make the housing and derivative bubbles look like target practice,” or in other words, be the mother of all scams, courtesy of administration, House and Senate collaboration with Wall Street and the energy giants.

Now the Senate version – a clean energy bill? Not according to the Center for Biological Diversity (biologicaldiversity.org) calling it:

“a disaster for our climate and planet. (The Kerry-Lieberman) proposal moves us one baby step forward and at least three giant steps back in any rational effort to address the climate crisis. (Their bill) would entrench our addiction to fossil fuels by offering incentives for increased oil and gas drilling just days after what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history.”

Their proposal includes “no safeguards….to make offshore oil safe. (It) echoes greenhouse pollution reduction targets that scientists recently called ‘paltry’ and inadequate to prevent the worst impacts of climate change….The Kerry-Lieberman (bill) is not the answer because it asks the wrong questions.”

New climate legislation must:

  • reduce “atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million….;”
  • supplement “existing environmental laws – especially the Clean Air Act – instead of gutting these successful and proven environmental protections;”
  • be “free of loopholes allowing polluters to delay or avoid reducing their greenhouse gas emissions;” and
  • avoid “habitat destruction and increased greenhouse gas emissions through perverse subsidies.”

House of Senate bills fail “these tests.” They’re “a disaster for our climate and planet.” The House bill lets polluters “escape real emissions reductions.” The Senate bill:

  • bans Clean Air Act provisions and “existing state and local efforts to tackle climate change;”
  • facilitates, subsidizes, and accelerates oil and gas drilling, including offshore;
  • “subsidize(s) dangerous and costly nuclear energy; and
  • incentivize(s) the destruction of forests for biomass energy production;” this provision, however, appears stalled.

Last June, Public Citizen called the House bill:

“a new legal right to pollute (that) gives away 85 percent of (its) credits to polluters. (It) will not solve our climate crisis but will enrich already powerful oil, coal and nuclear power companies” at the expense of consumers stuck with higher than ever bills to enrich them.

This writer’s July 8 article titled, Obama’s Cap and Trade Carbon Emissions Bill: A Stealth Scheme to License Pollution and Fraud explained it.

Hyperbolic Democrats praised it, Speaker Pelosi calling it “transformational legislation which takes us into the future” after taking congratulatory calls from Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Al Gore.

The former vice president has long-standing ties to Goldman Sachs (GS), and in 2004, he and David Blood, GS’s former asset management division CEO, co-founded Generation Investment Management LLC, a firm likely to profit hugely from cap and trade schemes if enacted.

So will energy giants like Royal Dutch Shell (top-ranked in 2009 on Fortune’s Global 500) and Duke Energy that helped write the bill, that according to Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder “fails to come anywhere close to solving the climate crisis. Worse, (it) eliminates preexisting EPA authority to address global warming – that means it’s actually a step backward.”

Greepeace agreed saying it “sets emission reduction targets far lower than science demands, then undermines even those targets with massive offsets. The giveaways and preferences in the bill will actually spur a new generation of nuclear and coal-fired power plants to the detriment of real energy solutions.”

Energy companies praised it, and why not. Big Coal got a waiver until 2025. Agribusiness was exempted altogether even though it contributes up to one-fourth of greenhouse gas emissions. The free allowances provision benefits the nuclear industry hugely. The nation’s largest nuclear power company, Exelon, said it would reap a $1 – 1.5 billion annual windfall from subsidies and higher prices.

ACESA is a scam. It’s about profits, not environmental remediation. Its emissions reduction targets are so weak, they effectively license polluters by giving them a new profit center to exploit. As for Wall Street, it offers greater than ever derivatives trading profits – a new multi-trillion dollar market to be “securitized, derivatized, and speculated,” according to Clinton’s former Commerce undersecretary, Robert Shapiro. If cap and trade becomes law, the market will explode in his judgment.

Others agree, seeing a speculative bonanza, why FIRE sector (finance, insurance and real estate) lobbyists spent a record $465 million in 2009 according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Energy and natural resources companies also, spending $409 million to assure a plum this sweet becomes law.

The American Power Act (APC) – Unveiled on May 16 and now available in Pdf form.

It’s as hyperbolic as the House version saying:

It “will transform our economy, set us on the path toward energy independence and improve the quality of the air we breathe. It will create millions of good jobs that cannot be shipped abroad and it will launch America into a position of leadership in the global clean energy economy.”

It claims not to be about enriching Wall Street, but to reduce carbon pollution by “17 percent in 2020 and by over 80 percent in 2050,” so far ahead that who’ll remember unmet targets.

It says:

  • “Consumers will come out on top.
  • We need energy made in America.
  • America needs to regain its competitive edge….
  • We need a new approach to reducing emissions (and)
  • The system must be simple, stable and secure.”

Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica debunked it, saying:

“Without dramatic improvements, this bill should not be passed, and senators should consider alternatives. In the meantime, existing tools like the Clean Air Act must be put to work. More broadly, we must end a system in which polluter lobbyists exercise effective veto power in Congress. Our economy, global security and the health of the public are all at stake.”

According to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum in his May 13 analysis, APC fails across the board saying the “Climate Bill Is a Misnomer: It’s a Nuclear Energy-Promoting, Oil-Drilling-Championing, Coal Mining-Boosting Gift to Polluters….with a weak carbon-pricing mechanism thrown in.”

Worse still, it guts the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. It provides nuclear power incentives at taxpayers expense. Under sections 1101 and 1105, citizens won’t have public hearings on nuclear power risks, especially ones in their communities. Section 1102 “increases loan guarantees primarily for nuclear power to a jaw-dropping $54 billion.” Considering the industry’s high default risk, consumers will be stuck with the bill the way they’ve paid trillions for Wall Street bailouts.

In section 1103, 12 proposed nuclear plants will get $6 billion in taxpayer-subsidized risk insurance. Section 1121 lets nuclear power operators accelerate depreciation. Section 1121 “provides a 10 percent investment tax credit for new reactors.” Under section 1123, the industry gets Advanced Energy Project credits, and it “derives certain tax, bond and grant benefits from investing in nuclear power” from sections 1124, 5 and 6.

More than ever, Big Oil gets to “Drill Baby, Drill” (that assures “Spill Baby, Spill”), including more of it offshore, despite the spreading Gulf disaster, and there’s more. Under section 1202, states may keep 37.5 of oil and gas royalties. “That’s like saying because more rich people live in California and New York compared to Mississippi and New Mexico, (they) should be able to keep more federal dollars raised from income taxes. Royalty revenue sharing is patently unfair,” especially since offshore spills respect no state shorelines or inland areas if they spread.

Big coal will get generous loan guarantees and more. “Section 1412 establishes a (utility-collected) carbon tax paid by ratepayers….to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) – with no money allocated to rooftop solar or energy efficiency investments.” Under section 1431, coal companies are given (taxpayer subsidized) emissions allowances – “an untested, risky strategy that benefits (them) and is gobbling up a lion’s share of subsidies” that should go for renewable energy development.

Merchant coal power plants (whose rates aren’t regulated) will get about 5% of the handouts, “which will provide opportunities for them to gouge consumers.”

Section 1604 says because “voluntary” renewable energy markets are efficient and effective programs, “the policy of the United States is to continue to support” them without the guarantees given fossil fuel and nuclear industry giants.

The bill also promotes carbon offsets trading – a scam to let polluters buy credits from countries or companies whose greenhouse gas emissions fall below their allowed quotas. However, shifting isn’t reduction. It simply transfers pollution from one place to another, has no verification mechanism, creates a system wide open to fraud and mismanagement, and allows the same market manipulation shenanigans that created the housing and toxic derivatives bubbles – precisely why energy giants and Wall Street want it.

Utilities, not consumers, will benefit from free 2013 – 2029 allowances, “exclusively” for ratepayers purportedly. But instead of remitting directly to them, the Senate bill lets state utility commissions decide. They, in turn, can be more or less consumer friendly, but as their past history shows, ratepayers will end up losers.

As for Wall Street, the Senate bill is marginally less accommodative than the House version, but not enough to matter. For example, a new Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Office of Carbon Market Oversight is created, letting the corporate-run agency regulate spot and futures emission markets.

It would require emissions traders to register, be approved, and have their transactions cleared through a CFTC-run Carbon Clearing Organization. It’ll work the same way the Federal Reserve regulates banks – by letting the giants that own it make the rules.

Further, carbon trading lets Wall Street “control our climate future” by “mak(ing) the housing and derivatives bubbles look like target practice,” as Catherine Austin Fitts explained.

If cap and trade is enacted, polluters will win. Consumers will lose, and Wall Street will get the mother of all speculative bonanzas. No wonder, they and the energy giants are lobbying ferociously for passage.

Connection to the Gulf Disaster

On May 9, Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC’s This Week that he sent Justice Department officials to the Gulf to determine if any “misfeasance (or) malfeasance” occurred.

Is the Senate climate bill perhaps connected to the Gulf spill? – being used as a pretext to propose “protections,” including a provision saying:

“Mindful of the accident in the Gulf, we institute important new protections for coastal states by allowing them to opt out of drilling up to 75 miles from their shores. In addition, directly impacted states can veto drilling plans if they stand to suffer significant adverse impacts in the event of an accident.”

Don’t bet on it, as House and Senate bills, in fact, assure more, not less, offshore drilling, thus far prohibited in oil rich waters Big Oil companies covet. But what they want, they generally get, free from regulatory oversight or not enough to matter. That won’t change nor the chance for more spills, on or offshore. As one expert explained: “As long as we keep using this stuff, we’re going to be spilling it. It goes with the territory.”

Yet if the Gulf incident was deliberate, why so? On September 30, S. 1733: Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act was introduced, purportedly to “create clean energy jobs, promote energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean energy economy.”

On November 5, it was reported to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, remained stalled, and the December Copenhagen climate summit (COP 15) failed. Then after the April 20 Gulf incident, it was reactivated to take advantage of a good crisis – what White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel once told the Wall Street Journal saying:

“You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is that it’s an opportunity to do things you thought you couldn’t do before.”

And a joint Kerry-Lieberman statement said ahead of the bill’s rollout:

“We are more encouraged today that we can secure the necessary votes to pass this legislation this year in part because the last weeks have given everyone with a stake in this issue a heightened understanding that as a nation, we can no longer wait to solve this problem which threatens our economy, our security and our environment.”

White House climate advisor, Carol Browner, told Bloomberg TV that:

“This accident, this tragedy, is actually heightening people’s interest in energy in this country and in wanting a different energy plan.”

Perhaps they, BP, Transocean and Halliburton know something we don’t. In this case a possible false flag “accident” to jump-start passage of the Senate bill to enrich polluters and Wall Street, the only way they may have thought possible after Senate debate stalled.

Of course, to enlist enough public and congressional support, a headline-making incident was needed, though doubtful one this grave was intended – according to some experts spewing from 40,000 – 100,000 gallons daily to continue for months, even years given the enormous underwater pressure at a one-mile depth – 40,000 pounds per square inch, the reason fixes so far tried have failed, and no one’s sure what’ll work. The latest BP tube insertion may be more a PR stunt than a solution, but don’t look for its officials or Washington to explain it.

Extremely worrisome are the enormous deep water oil plumes, one, for example, 16 km long, five km wide, and 91 meters thick, suggesting permanent ecological damage with untold consequences. Already, oxygen in the Gulf is depleting, threatening sea life over a vast area and the livelihoods of area fishermen.

As for the industry’s likely cost, it’s pocket change, especially as others (including Washington and perhaps the states), not the offenders, will pay the most. Consider the Exxon Valdez disaster.

It occurred in March 1989. After years of litigation, plaintiffs got $385 million in compensatory damages and $5 billion in punitive ones. However, after numerous appeals, the Supreme Court (in June 2008) reduced the latter ones to $500 million – ten cents on the dollar or the equivalent of about 1.5 days profit from Exxon’s Q 1 2008 operations, or hardly enough to matter.

As for Prince William sound and its residents, its beaches are still contaminated. The high-pressure hoses did more harm than good. They destroyed interlocking layers of gravel and flushed away fine sediments that protect beach areas, clams and mussels during storms. As many as 300,000 seabirds were killed plus other wildlife.

A Trustee Council study found 17 of 27 monitored species haven’t recovered. Bio-accumulation of toxins affected the killer whale population. Clams are inedible from hydrocarbon poisoning. Shellfish damage slowed the recovery of otters that feed on them. The herring never returned. Salmon caught have abscesses and tumors, and the lives of about 32,000 plaintiffs were permanently disrupted economically, emotionally and culturally by bankruptcies, alcoholism, suicides, family violence, and divorces. And today the area still smells like a gas station and perhaps will for decades.

As for enacting Senate energy legislation, falsely called a climate bill, the battle lines are now drawn, including for offshore drilling, but given its importance to Big Oil, expect heavy-lifting lobbying for passage, whether or not this year. Whatever happens, expect the public to lose out to powerful corporate interests, especially energy and Wall Street ones spending millions to assure it.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman’s cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://baltimorechronicle.com/2010/051710Lendman.shtml

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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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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