Sierra Club opposes Kemper Power plant legislation

The Sierra Club’s attorney says bills Mississippi Power wants to push through the Legislature take away the Public Service Commission’s power to regulate some costs passed to ratepayers to fund the controversial multi-billion dollar Kemper County power plant.

Senate Bill 2755 has been touted by the power company as a way to give it more flexibility in its financing of the plant’s cost. The company contends the bill would allow them to get a 20-year bond of up to $1 billion, at about 4 percent interest. That would allow them to raise rates by between 20 and 25 percent, instead of their previous projection of about 33 percent to finance the plant, Mississippi Power says.

Before the legislation, the plant’s opponents, including the Sierra Club, have contended the plant could result in power companies raising rates by more than 50 percent. They’ve been critical of the plan for its rising construction costs, which are passed on to the rate-payers, and also its potential environmental effects.

Sun Herald
2/6/13