Protesters react to proposed Kemper Co. coal plant - - Jackson, MS

Protesters react to proposed Kemper Co. coal plant

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By Ashley Conroy

KEMPER COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Dirty, expensive and unnecessary... After a week long set of hearings from the Public Service Commission that's the reaction from those objecting to the proposed Kemper County Coal Plant.

"Mississippi Power is a regulated monopoly. And it's time the PSC step up to the plate and put them in a competitive environment," said Louie Miller, Sierra Club Senior Regional Representative.

Mississippi Power is asking for customer's to pay now for the construction costs, even though construction wouldn't begin until 2014 and some are angry with this proposal.

Linda Martin of Mississippi For Affordable Energy said, "It is nothing, but a Ponzi scheme that imminent domains the check books of Mississippi rate payers."

For those who support the plant, they say it's an avenue for jobs in the state and recovery for Mississippi's economy.

"And so while there is some cost to building the plant, long term you're looking at what will this save over a period of time," said Blake Wilson Mississippi Economic Council president and CEO.

Protestors are also concerned this project will be an environmental hazard to the state. Mississippi Power Company says this isn't the case and that energy generated from this plant would be clean coal and one of Mississippi's natural resources lignite. They say it will be the first of it's kind for energy in Mississippi.

"This plant is going to be the first in the world to capture 65% carbon. That is unprecedented in our industry," added Cindy Durall of Mississippi Power.

The public service commission says they're not making any final decision until before May 1.

Unit then they say they are considering all options including the environmental impact of building and constructing this plant.


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