?This column ran in the Northside Sun on January 2, 2014; it is reprinted with permission.?
Fools and Idiots
Mark Twain advised: “Never argue with an idiot. He will bring you down to his level and beat you with experience,” and “Don’t interrupt a fool when he’s making your point.”
We have taken his advice. We have patiently endured smears and personal attacks by Kemper supporters. And bogus claims that Bigger Pie has misused taxpayer funds. It seems we have struck a nerve with our exposure of Mississippi Power’s Kemper plant abuses.
Meantime we voluntarily provided information, audits and records to the state auditor and to the Legislative Peer Committee to prove that we have no state funds. After thorough review, the Legislature’s Peer Committee and the state auditor both confirmed this month that neither Bigger Pie nor its ITD parent have taxpayer funds – as we have said all along. So we can continue to speak out against bad policies and politically popular but destructive projects like Kemper. We are not subject to political influence or intimidation.
Too bad for the efforts to discredit and silence us. But thanks for the publicity.
A sore nerve
We have exposed Kemper’s $4 billion extra cost and the abusive electric rates and tactics to pay for it. It will suck $300 plus million a year out of the Gulf Coast economy if customers pay for it. Mississippi’s Public Service Commission will determine who pays. If the company pays, it will eat another $3 plus billion on top of $1 billion already written off. We think the company should pay for the extra cost.
Ouch! That hurts when you touch it.
Kemper’s $270 million grant tail
Bigger Pie has no taxpayer dollars. But Mississippi Power does have taxpayer dollars from a federal grant and tax credits. Let’s take a look.
The Department of Energy gave the company a $270 million grant to build an experimental plant. The plant cost to date is over $5 billion. The company could have built a simpler better plant for $800 million. So the grant increased the cost by $3.93 billion ($5B less $.8B less $.27B). The grant is the tail wagging the Kemper dog.
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