Saturday, May 11, 2019

"People of Mississippi Deceived from the Beginning"

The Kemper fiasco continues to unravel.  The Clarion-Ledger reported yesterday a construction manager came clean about the failed clean-power plant:

Williams was a construction manager at the Kemper County power plant, which is now the subject of a second federal probe.

The plant was supposed to use new technology to burn cheap, wet coal found in eastern Mississippi without sending plumes of smoke into the atmosphere.

Leaders across the globe watched the years-long project to see whether "clean coal" was truly feasible.

It was a $7.5 billion flop....

Williams said there's plenty to investigate.

“I believe there were some frauds committed regarding the cost of the project and when things were known versus when they were publicly admitted,” Williams said. "...
 The people of Mississippi were deceived from the very beginning on the project."...

Williams said she saw problems with the budget and cost immediately.

There was little contingency money set aside for unexpected costs, Williams said, and there were "quantity problems," where the amount of resources such as dirt and concrete was seriously underestimated.

"Just about every bid project we put out would be more than the estimate," Williams said. "... Nobody really wanted to hear those concerns. The company line was, 'We're gonna make the budget, we're gonna make the schedule.'"

Williams said she told people at the highest levels of the project about these problems.

"I was given the advice to stop telling the executives what they didn't want to hear because I was very vocal we were not going to make the budget," Williams said. "...It was essentially a cover-up." ... Rest of article.

The truth continues to bubble up through the Kemper swamp of deceit and deception. 


Anonymous said...

Haley Barbour was the biggest cheerleader of this project. He drum up support to get his cut. The poor stockholders got screwed. Mississippi needs to stop funding these pork barrel projects. How much didthe MDA HELP sell this to Mississippi???? They need to be investigated too!
I'm very cynical about most everything dealing with money! Capitalism is designed to get it all for YOU...…..

Anonymous said...

Who were the politicians, lobbyists, friends of the lobbyists and law firms that pushed this? Start there.

Anon-E-Mouse said...

Until politicians are held accountable, and not promoted to the Board of directors of the companies they regulated by throwing them into jail, we the people will continue to bear the brunt of these boondoggles. Until CEOs are thrown into prisons, we will continue to suffer.

Pity the rate payers trapped by the Mississippi Power Co monopoly.

Anonymous said...

Jim Hood, now is your moment to show the people you are for them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Mississippians spent less time obsessed with football and more time educating yourselves, you wouldn't be considered the slack jawed rubes of the nation.

Instead you all are a national joke. Susceptible to every well worn con-job and bill of goods that experienced hustlers bring into town.

Clown state with a crab mentality.

Anonymous said...

As I said in a previous post, this thing stank from the beginning. I went there to quote a portion and this was the biggest bunch of asses in the construction industry gathered to try and build a very complicated project. Safety was way out the norm and why? Bring in more people for the Time and Material. I employed some guys who worked there and I can remember seeing the “sticker” on their hard hats One said 42,348 and the other said 42,349. I asked what that meant and they laughed and said “that’s how many walked in and out of the front gates before us” referring to the amount of hired and fired! I asked why were there 32 cranes on the project and he said that one crane was allowed to only make four (4) lifts per day! That’s damn ridiculous!!!! Most of these cranes were $30g per month rent!!!

Long story short is the companies (and some were from Mississippi) cannot function profitable on the open market so they have to screw owners to fatten their wallets. Just ask Haley who paid him or gave him a condo in Gulf Shores like Kirk Fordice was given in Ft Morgan. The truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

This is what happened at Boeing with the 737 Max. The top managers wouldn't listen to the engineers about many issues, including an unrealistic timeline for deliveries, QC, certification issues, and on and on.

Their stock value and dividends drove the train - off a cliff.

Anonymous said...

"Haley Barbour was the biggest cheerleader of this project."

You're right 3:pm.

Haley "hitch up my britches" Barbour will go down in Mississippi History as the biggest charlatan since John Law and the 'Mississippi Bubble' fiasco back during our French Colonial days.

Oh yeah . . . don't forget the fantasy that was called KIOR.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will be done, too many crooked politicians involved.

Anonymous said...

A lot of bitching by folks that have no skin in this game.

There were no state dollars involved in this project. The folks that lost money on the deal was Southern Company and its stockholders. And of course, the stockholders were invested by their own volition, and could get out whenever they chose to do so.

It was a private company deal, not subsidized by state dollars.

Anonymous said...

5:55, you're either ignorant or an idiot. Ratepayers, mostly of which are also taxpayers, are stuck with paying for the remains of this boondoggle. Millions were spent over the course of litigation, and rates will be higher than they should have been for another 40 years. And what about all the tax abatements?

Anonymous said...

how about we rate payers, who now pay 50% higher electricity rates because of rate increases approved by the PSC, for recovery of part of the costs of building the plant? Mississippi Power literally could have built three state of the art natural gas fired plants for what they spent on the one boondoggle clean coal plant. And lowered rates for customers by selling excess capacity to other providers. Now, all they're left with is one natural gas fired plant, that isn't even as capable as the most state of the art natural gas fired plants being built now.

Anonymous said...

Haley Barbour was the biggest cheerleader of this project.

Bill Crawford was right there by his side with full-throated support every step of the way.

Anonymous said...

A guy with no special skills raises money for Haley. About a 100k. Guys family connections and the donation to HB get him a job as a PSC. HB and MP push this guy to approve the Kemper plant. He has no skills or advanced education so he goes along with it.

Kemper is a complete fraud. This guy goes on to another public job he is not qualified for. Arrogant and unapologetic.

And that is how it goes in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

5:55 pm, you fail to mention ratepayers, who now pay 50% higher rates, because MP was allowed by the crooked PSC to recover part of the cost by passing it to rate payers. It wasn't just the stock holders that got hurt. We rate payers still feel the pain, and will from now on. The only PSC commissioner that stood up to them was Brandon Pressley, and he was outnumbered 2 to 1 by the other two crooked PSC commissioners who are now out of office and living large on their kickbacks from MP and SC

Anonymous said...

5:55 - You are a complete moron if you think this didn't impact the public. MS power has tried to push this off on the rate power of South Mississippi. They would have put a lot more money on the public too but couldn't get it passed.

BTW, who the hell do you think pays for these things when the feds give government grants to builds projects like this?

Kemper is and always was a scam.

Anonymous said...

5:55pm - Wasn't there federal tax dollars AND MDA money involved?

5:00pm - I know the answer to your question in your last paragraph. It's the same common thread weaved through so many of the boondoggles in this state. Th Philadelphia to Yazoo connection was forged in the julep sippin', plantation porch sittin' days in oxford.

Kingfish said...

My understanding is no taxpayer money was involved. However, the people affected were the ratepayers.

StarRider said...

Hundreds of millions in federal money was invested in it, did they pay that back? This link from the Energy Department says $407M.

Anonymous said...

Is Coal coming back?
Seems like everyone is talking about natural gas.

Anonymous said...

KF, I believe they got money from the Dept of Energy ($407 MM If i remember correctly), as well as tax breaks for "clean energy". No state money, though. MP and SC just used Haley to get it approved by the PSC. Im betting a lot of these rats are very scared right now about the DOJ investigation that has begun. It will be nothing like the powder puff SEC "investigation". Yes, ratepayers got royally screwed.

Kingfish said...

That's right. Forgot about that. I meant state money.

Anonymous said...

The fact there are still people that think “no taxpayer funds were used” is why this will never get fixed. Keep paying taxes, putting that campaign sign in your yard ever so often and shut up.

Anonymous said...

To quote the article:

“The U.S. Department of Energy said it pledged up to $407 million to the project.

Ernest Moniz, who was the Secretary of Energy during much of the Kemper plant's construction, now sits on Southern Company's board of directors.”

Almost half a billion dollars in federal aid, and the guy responsible for it now sits on the board.

Nope, nothing fishy about that.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there some Southern Company contributions to Tate Reeves? Look and see!

Anonymous said...

Mississippi politicians royally screw the feds out of billions of $$$$$ every single year. No one is watching, and those who know keep their mouths shut out of fear of retaliation. The whole state meets RICO predicates: 1) Fraud against the feds is rampant in every corner and 2) daily threats of economic assassination if you speak out.

Anonymous said...

"And what about all the tax abatements? May 11, 2019 at 6:12 PM"

The subject here, 6:12, is money spent. State money spent. Tax abatements are not 'spent'. Tax abatements never represents money in hand. It always represents moneys that will not have to be paid in the future. It's a carrot used in the luring process.

Try to get that through your thick skull. Once on-line and operational, a company granted an abatement will, for a specific period of time, be 'excused' from paying particular taxes in exchange for starting a business, hiring people and stimulating the local economy. Surely you knew this.

Anonymous said...

It's not hard to fool people from Mississippi. Most decisions they make are against their self interest. All you have to do is look who they vote for.

Anonymous said...

maybe people will now finally understand that haley barbour spent 8 years as governor here only to protect his clients in the tobacco industry

Haley’s Commit said...

NEWS FLASH! The Kemper boondoogle is not over. Haley Barbour is trying to install Nic Lott at the PSC so he can approve Kemper becoming a carbon dump for the USA. If you liked Haley’s first Kemper boondoggle, you will love this one. They want to bilk the taxpayer for six billion dollars so they can use Mississippi to dump deadly carbon dioxide. And where do they want to dump this toxic gas? One choice is the Nuclear Dump Site in the Richton Salt Dome, or under the Mississippi sound, or underground below your homes and schools. Haley Barbour’s hand-picked person to get this done is Nic Lott. A vote for Lott is a vote for more Kemper catastrophes. Like Leonard Bentz before him, he is just a stooge being sent to do the dirty work for Barbour. Google SECARB to find out about the test wells being conducted in Mississippi to dump carbon poison in Mississippi.

Slim Jim said...

Where is Hood?

Prediction: Hood will never open his mouth about Kemper. Where was Hood when whistleblower Brett Wingo revealed the fraudulent Kemper boondoggle? Having a fundraiser sponsored by the lawyer for Kemper re: Balch and Bingham. Where was Hood when the citizens were fighting Kemper in court? Houston, maybe? And now, where is Hood since a second whistleblower has revealed fraud? Hood might be on the campaign trail, but he will not be found in court prosecuting the Kemper Gang for fraud, he will not be found on the stump attacking the Kemper Catastrophe. Take it to the bank.

Anonymous said...

The Public Service Commission
Would have to refer specific crimes to the AG.

Anonymous said...

Did the PSC ask Hood to shakedown Entergy?

Anonymous said...

There are reasons other than his association with Barbour to NOT vote for Nic Lott for Public Service Commissioner. My first thought when I read that he is running was 'He's no more qualified for this position than Elmer Fudd would be'. That was also my second thought.

I even saw Elmer dressed as a chef in one cartoon.

Anonymous said...

7:22 am, you should talk to all those that provided public services (schools, police, fire, erc.) to support Kemper while under construction that never will get reimbursed since Kemper as designed never went on the tax rolls. There's your tax abatements effects.

Anonymous said...

Entergy is in the A.G.'s crosshairs because they have been charged with the same misdeeds in other states.

Anonymous said...

Nick Lott is a very light weight

Rod Knox said...

Yes 7:19, everyone is talking about natural gas. There is so much natural gas coming out of the ground along with oil in the new shale wells that they are selling it below cost if you'll just get it out of the way. Or so said some energy expert on Bloomberg. There are ships hauling liquified natural gas from Texas to Europe to undersell the Russians even after the cost of transporting it compared to the Russians having a pipeline. Yeah Mississippi's geniuses have struck it rich again.

BTW, whatever became of the bio fuel get rich scheme I saw in Fulton? It looked deserted the last time I passed.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was state money involved so that our state auditor could get involved and find out what he's really capable of.

To the "it ain't your money so butt out" crowd: I think that's the type of attitude that allows public corruption to flourish.

Anonymous said...

Anyone want invest in timber?

Anonymous said...

"so they can use Mississippi to dump deadly carbon dioxide."

uh, carbon MONoxide is deadly. Carbon DIoxide is produced naturally by people when they exhale, and plants need it to survive.

I know I'm showing my age, but back around 1980 when Reagan made a similar bone-headed comment George Will mocked him by taping a sign to a tree that was visible behind Reagan when he made a speech, with the slogan "Chop me down before I kill again"

Good times, good times.

Anonymous said...

"7:22 am, you should talk to all those that provided public services (schools, police, fire, erc.) to support Kemper while under construction that never will get reimbursed since Kemper as designed never went on the tax rolls. There's your tax abatements effects."

Are you suggesting that any of them went without a pay check? If you are, you'd be wrong. The same amount in taxes were paid that would have been paid had Kemper never been heard of. You simply either do not understand or refuse to acknowledge how tax abatement works in industrial development.

Anonymous said...

Google independent monitor team that oversaw the construction and you find that Carl Nicholson's CPA firm prepared the audits.

Haley’s Commit said...

Hey 6:38, you are showing your age and your ignorance. Try this: go into a room filled with “harmless” carbon dioxide and you will be dead in about two minutes. When frackers blew out the Heidleberg oil field in Ms. a few years back, everything on the ground in the area was dead from “harmless” CO2 asphyxiation. BTW humans also expel “harmless” methane gas, which 6:38 Is now blowing into the atmosphere. My advice, do not light a match around “harmless” methane” or near 6:38, or believe that carbon dioxide is “harmless”.

Anonymous said...

So, 9:54, are you saying the AG cannot prosecute fraud unless he has a referral of from a state agency? If so, that is hogwash. The AG can investigate and prosecute cases of fraud anywhere in Mississippi committed by anyone. Don’t suppose this has anything to do with power company lawyer Ben Stone’s fundraiser that pulled in over $200,000 for the current AG? Follow the money! Drain the swamp! Stop the corruption! End the socialistic, monopolistic, good ole boy system of utilities! Bring on the competition and free market energy!

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