Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kemper Coal: Plan to Add New Revenue

   Mississippi Power Company's "clean coal" Kemper County Energy Facility's cost overruns now have become a regular bad news story in local newspapers. Original project cost of $2 billion has ballooned to $6.4 billion and is still growing like kudzu. The Supreme Court forced the company to refund $350 million in refunds to its 186,000 customers, money that was part of an illegal rate increase.

   South Mississippi electric power co-ops have already bailed out of their planned 15 percent share of the Kemper coal plant and MS Power has agreed to refund their $275 million in deposits, plus interest. Top management is reportedly continuing to “explore future financing options.”  

   Their most promising "future financing option" is said to involve a quiet partnership between Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey and MS Power Company designed to produce "a projected long term revenue stream."
   The plan uses a clever PR approach which takes advantage of the well established public image of the Kemper project as a "white elephant" by actually exhibiting one of the rare white pachyderms on lease from Ringling Brothers.

   In the photo above, the white elephant, called Captain Kempie, seems to have a free run of the plant's white elephant area and a large circus tent has already been erected. Tickets reportedly go on sale "soon" statewide for a chance for the whole family to "see a white elephant up close," both under the big top . . . and all around it. Kids will each get a free red Mississippi Power Cost Cap!

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