Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Supremes to Mississippi Power: Give the people back their money

Ratepayers got a break last week when the Mississippi Supreme Court rolled back Mississippi Power's 2013 and 2014 rate increases. The Clarion-Ledger reported:

The Mississippi Supreme Court has invalidated the rate increases related to Mississippi Power Co.'s Kemper County coal plant, and ordered refunds to the utility's 186,000 ratepayers.

In an opinion handed down Thursday, the court ruled that the rate increases the Mississippi Public Service Commission approved via split vote for 2013 and 2014 be refunded. The utility, through the use of Construction Work in Progress funds, was allowed to recover $125 million via increased power bills in 2013, and $156 million in 2014. Rates jumped 15 percent in 2013, and another 3 percent in 2014. The court ordered PSC to mandate Mississippi Power refund that money. Justices also ordered the PSC to provide notice to Mississippi Power ratepayers before any proceedings in which rate increases were on the agenda. "The increased rates on 186,000 South Mississippi ratepayers fail to comport with the (Base Load) Act or, otherwise, with our law," presiding justice Mike Randolph wrote in the majority opinion.

A Hattiesburg resident had asked the court to invalidate the increases. They were granted under the Base Load Act, a law enacted in 2008 that allows utilities to pass to ratepayers the cost of building power-generating facilities. The court took issue with the particular mechanism the PSC employed, called "mirror construction work in progress funds," in which the revenue from the rate increases is held in a regulatory liability account to offset rate increases that otherwise would occur after the plant was in operation. Without mirror CWIP, the rate hikes will occur over a smaller time period.

"It was basically a way to try to minimize the rate impact," said Central District Commissioner Lynn Posey, whose district includes the plant.

The ruling would seem to put the method Mississippi Power has used to pay for the construction of the plant in jeopardy, at least until prudency hearings are held. The PSC uses prudency hearings are used to determine if costs utilities pass on to consumers were "prudently incurred," according to the Base Load Act's language. The court ruled that ratepayers' due process rights had been violated because notice was not given before hearings and because prudency hearings had not been held before rate increase were approved. The PSC last summer delayed prudency hearings indefinitely.

The court's opinion also declares unenforceable a 2013 settlement between the PSC and Mississippi Power in which the utility agreed not to charge ratepayers more than $2.4 billion for the cost of the plant. The opinion excoriates the PSC for negotiating the settlement in private, saying "the public has a right to see and hear its business being conducted."..... Rest of article.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Ms.Supremes for a decision that helps the ratepayers. The politicians did not give a damn when they pushed thru the Base Load act/legislation. Kemper is a complete fiasco that must be the responsibility of the owners for the financially disaster they have created due to total incompetence. Ed Holland, the Ms.Power CEO, spins their lies in a manner that not one educated person would believe. They are now working towards a 7 billion $$$ price tag and do not know yet if the technology will work when they finish in 20?????.The damage to low income families is where the hurt is the greatest. Haley Barbour still travels the state, as their lobbyist, preaching his snake oil sales talk, about how great Kemper is. Enough of this robbery by the Ms.Power monopoly.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi sure as hell can't afford any more Haley Barbour.

Anonymous said...

Gee Haley, does that dough mean so much to you that you became a traitor to your people?

Anonymous said...

Haley should have had more regard for his own legacy and reputation than to continue to take Southern's money for speaking to civic groups trying to justify Kemper, as he has as late as last year. Speaking fees or not, he has only one reputation to blow. Just like the folks at Southern and MPC, Haley has only demonstrated he did not know when to cut his losses and to stop trying to excuse the inexcusable before the personal cost became permanent. Now Phil Bryant, Phil Gunn, and Tate Reeves need to cut their own losses on Kemper by repealing their gift to Southern of the $1 Billion Bond bill that ratepayers will have to repay in addition to whatever the PSC gives them. Of course common sense eventually may prevail if it is all found imprudent by the PSC except for the $800 million or so spent on the natural gas plant included in Kemper that is operating today just fine at lower cost. SO needs to write off the remaining $5+ Billion spent on the lignite syn gas portion of the plant, and our Republican leadership needs to get out front and give Southern the bad news that Mississippi rate payers will not be stuck with the cost of their experiment.

Anonymous said...

Hey, let's make some oil out of pine trees! Whaddya say Haley?

Anonymous said...

Stan Flint @ 11:0) - appreciate your thoughts about the evils of speaking fees. Just wondering: Are the fees you get from all your 'public interest groups' for writing on blogsites just as 'horrible'?

Stan Flint said...

Hey anonymous @ 7:36,

You don't have enough courage to use your name in this blog, but want to hide in the woods and wrongly defame others. If you have an ounce of guts or a scintilla of ethics, you will respond to this posting by coming out from behind your Mommy's skirts and putting your name where your mouth is. BTW, it is very easy to determine when I post a blog here. It will have my name attached to it. Whadya say? No guts, no glory. Here is my bet for all the readers, you will continue to be a gutless, anonymous critic, who, BTW is wrong on top of being a coward.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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