Neshoba – Stalling the Kemper coal plant

Mississippi Power’s proposed $2.2 billion coal-fired power plant in Kemper County would create 260 permanent jobs and bring 1,000 construction jobs, so who could be against that?

Attorney General Jim Hood asked the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to have the utility provide more details on the proposal and to provide a legal reason why rates should increase to build the plant – although a 2008 state law already allows the PSC to approve rate increases before companies build power-generating plants.

The Kemper plant would have the emission level of a natural gas fired plant, so again, who could argue with that?

But two independent electricity producers, Entegra Power Group and Magnolia Energy, along with Jim Hood and his friends at the Sierra Club, have challenged the need for the lignite plant.

As a result of a hearing last week that Hood sought, the PSC will hire a consultant and spend up to $500,000 to study the matter.

The Mississippi Public Utilities Staff, a separate state agency, also will hire a consultant for no more than $200,000.

Jobs are needed in this region of the state and these delay tactics won’t do.

The Neshoba Democrat