A Victory in the Battle over Kemper Coal

For several years, I’ve been working with our allies in Mississippi, including the Sierra Club, to stop construction of Mississippi Power’s dirty, expensive and unnecessary coal plant and strip mine in Kemper County, Mississippi. This power plant and strip mine would destroy hundreds of acres of wetlands, pollute nearby waters, and disturb thousands of feet of streams. Plus, in an astounding example of corporate welfare, the Mississippi Public Service Commission agreed to let Mississippi Power pass up to $2.88 billion dollars in construction costs on to their ratepayers before the plant is even built. This would raise energy bills in the average household by up to 45%!However, the Mississippi Supreme Court struck a major blow against this corporate welfare program a week and a half ago when they ruled unanimously, in response to a Sierra Club lawsuit, that the Public Service Commission had failed to provide substantial evidence for their decision to let Mississippi Power go forward with the Kemper plant and put the construction costs on the backs of ratepayers.This is a huge victory in the fight to stop this dirty, expensive and unnecessary boondoggle, but it’s not the end of the line. Mississippi Power has already indicated that they intend to keep on moving forward with the construction of Kemper, and they seem quite confident that they will be able to use their influence, corporate cash, and cozy relationships with politicians to convince the Public Service Commission to once again rubberstamp their proposal.We’ll be working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. If you live in Mississippi, you can help by calling your Public Service Commissioner right now and telling him to:” Hold a full, open public hearing on the $2.88 billion dollar Kemper County coal plant and mine;” And act in the best interests of Mississippians by rejecting permits for this boondoggle.Their phone numbers can be found here. We’ll be keeping up the fight to stop the Kemper coal plant and strip mine, so check back here for updates.Raleigh Hoke is GRN’s Mississippi Organizer.

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