Business groups want Mississippi Supreme Court to reconsider ruling on Kemper

trio of business groups has filed a friend of the court brief opposing a Supreme Court ruling that overturns a Mississippi Power Co. rate increase.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Business Council, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the Mississippi Economic Council join the company in asking for a rehearing on the ruling, saying it could hurt the economy. Mississippi Power said it would have to ask for an increase of 35 to 40 percent if the ruling stands.

“We are finally beginning to see our Gulf Coast economy turn around,” said Jack Norris, president of the Business Council. “The rate mitigation settlement with the (Public Service Commission) and legislation passed by the Legislature were structured to reduce the impact on ratepayers. I’m concerned that the economy of South Mississippi will suffer if the lower cost achieved by the PSC’s original order is compromised and hope that the court will consider the potential adverse financial impact.”

Thomas Blanton, the Hattiesburg oilman who filed the rate appeal that led to the Supreme Court case, said the 18 percent increase already has had a negative effect on the economy.

Sunherald
3/30/15