Tag Archives: Mississippi

Big Bets keep getting worse for Southern Company

OSHA certified a “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” at Kemper “clean” Coal after an employee alerted Southern Company of alleged fraud: SO fired him, refused to hire him back and now he’s suing. Plant “new nukes” Vogtle also had impossible projections from the start and is even later and more overbudget, while anybody from GA-PSC to Georgia EMCs to the Florida PSC or even PowerSouth in Alabama could bring it down. Somebody put Plant Vogtle out of its misery so we can get on with solar power in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and everywhere else.

Plant Vogtle reactors 3 and 4
Two new cooling towers and construction cranes mark the work sites for nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle in east Georgia. The project is currently $3.6 billion over budget and almost four years behind the original schedule. JOHNNY EDWARDS / JREDWARDS@AJC.COM, in Plant Vogtle: Georgia’s nuclear ‘renaissance’ now a financial quagmire by Russell Grantham and Johnny Edwards, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 19 May 2017.

Kemper “clean” Coal

Doyle LLP, PRNewswire, 8 August 2017, Whistleblower in Kemper Project Sues Southern Company and CEO: OSHA ruled former company engineer faced “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” Continue reading

Energy Policy Act of 2005 considered harmful

The same Energy Policy Act of 2005 that subsidized dirty oil and fracked methane including LNG exports also funded that oxymoron “clean” coal such as Southern Company’s Plant Ratcliffe in Mississippi, ethanol production lining the pockets of Monsanto, and the $8.3 billion loan guarantee to Georgia Power for the new nukes at Plant Vogtle.

2005 was a very long time ago in solar PV years: prices are halved, and installed solar power production is up more than ten times and growing exponentially like compound interest. We need to stop throwing money at dirty, water-sucking, centralized baseload 20th century non-solutions and get on with clean 21st century distributed solar and wind power for jobs, for energy independence, and for clean air and water, not to mention less climate change.


Mississippi PSC required spending docs for Kemper Coal: what about Plant Vogtle?

Maybe Georgia PSC could do about Georgia Power’s nuclear Plant Vogtle what Mississippi PSC did about Mississippi Power’s Kemper Coal: hold their parent Southern Company accountable for cost overruns. And for pipelines!

Sam R. Hall blogged for Daily Ledes 1 November 2013, Sources: U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to visit Kemper coal plant,

The PSC voted unanimously to require Mississippi Power to provide additional documents justifying their spending on the Kemper plant. The hearing is set for May 2014, when the plant was originally supposed to go online.

“If the PSC rejects some of the spending as imprudent, it could add to the $1 billion in costs that shareholders have already agreed to absorb,” the Associated Press reported last month.

Meanwhile, GA PSC Continue reading

GA PSC abdicates cost oversight for new nukes at Plant Vogtle

Finish it and then send we the taxpayers and ratepayers a bill? What kind of deal is that? So Southern Company already dodged a Fitch downgrade by delaying a decision, and now GA PSC wants to put it off for years more. That also delays solar deployment in Georgia, putting us still farther behind.

Ray Henry wrote for AP yesterday, Ga. approves deal on nuclear plant costs,

A debate over the rising cost of building a nuclear power plant in Georgia will be delayed for years under an agreement approved Tuesday by Georgia’s utility regulators.

The elected members of Georgia’s Public Service Commission unanimously approved a deal that will put off a decision on whether Georgia Power can raise its budget for building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH’-gohl) until the first of those reactors is finished. An independent state monitor has estimated the first reactor will be finished in January 2018 at the earliest.

Regulators will continue monitoring company spending but will not make a decision on raising the bottom line budget figure.

So GA PSC will keep watching costs run over budget but will do nothing about it.

Oh, wait, it’s actually worse: Continue reading

Southern Company missed earnings on Kemper Coal but Plant Vogtle is dominant

The dominant financial consideration is “what’s going to happen with Georgia”, meaning with nuclear Plant Vogtle, said SO CEO Tom Fanning, referring to the GA PSC CWIP monitoring hearings currently in progress. Meanwhile, that $160 million estimate 2 July 2013 of more Kemper Coal cost overruns by 30 July turned into $278 million after taxes (AP). This is on top of $333 million after taxes in May. SO earnings fell 52% (WSJ), missing projections, and SO stock dropped 2% yesterday.

Remember GA PSC Tim Echols already suggested a Plant Vogtle cost overrun cap similar to the one Mississippi PSC applied to Kemper Coal that caused SO to have to eat all those costs. If that happens, SO’s got financial problems.

Has SO seen the solar light yet, as in reliable, dependable, and deployable on time and on budget? Nope. Solar was tacked onto the end of Tom Fanning’s summary of interesting stuff in the 31 July 2013 earnings call: Continue reading

The Economist answers Paul Bowers about carbon tax

Back in May someone asked Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers what he thought about a carbon tax, and he answered, “Why would anyone want that?” The Economist answered his question, 29 June 2013, Tepid, timid: The world will one day adopt a carbon tax—but only after exhausting all the alternatives,

Winston Churchill famously said America would always do the right thing after exhausting the alternatives. The right thing in climate You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they ve tried everything else. --Winston Churchill policy for all the big countries is a carbon tax, which is simpler and less vulnerable to fluctuations in emissions than cap-and-trade schemes. For years, such a tax has been a non-starter politically. But as the alternatives are tested to destruction, it deserves to be looked at again. Current environmental policies will not keep the rise in global temperatures to below 2°C—the maximum that most climate scientists think safe. A carbon tax, if stiff enough, could. Big polluters should assume that such a tax will one day arrive, and start planning for it now.

Dear Paul Bowers,

Stop being tepid and timid. Go beyond Continue reading

F is for solar in Georgia, #45 in 2013 state solar power rankings

F for all three main Southern Company states: Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Florida manages a B for rank #23, presumably because SO only covers part of the panhandle. Coincidence? While SO’s tiger team studies someday maybe doing something about distributed solar, the Georgia Public Service Commission could double solar requirements on Georgia Power this week.

You can clearly see those three SO states on this map by GigaOm:

Solar Power Rocks.com asked 19 June 2013 in 2013 State Solar Power Rankings,

“How do we recognize and reward legislatures for admirable solar energy policy while holding them accountable to do better?” Continue reading

Gladiator School cancelled; 2 other CCA prisons closed

CCA loses contracts, including for its notorious Gladiator School; GEO, too. Some states are catching on to the private prison scam.

Aviva Shen wrote for ThinkProgress 21 June 2013, Three States Dump Major Private Prison Company In One Month,

State lawmakers who embraced private prisons as a cost-cutting measure are starting to have trouble ignoring their abysmal conditions. Corrections Corporation of America, the largest and most powerful private prison company in the nation, lost four prison contracts in the past month after extensive reports of abuse, neglect, and even fraud within their operations.

Idaho cut ties with the corporation on Wednesday, which turned the state’s largest prison into a violent hellhole inmates called “Gladiator School.” Earlier this year, CCA was caught understaffing the prison and using prison gangs to control the population. The company admitted to falsifying nearly 4,800 hours of staffing records to squeeze more money out of the state for nonexistent security work. Shift logs at the prison showed the same security guards working for 2 to 3 days at a time without breaks.

Last week, Texas closed two CCA prisons, including Continue reading

NRC to change nuke foreign ownership so EDF can fire up Calvert Cliffs?

The NRC “upheld” license denial for the Calvert Cliffs nuke with its fingers crossed, the very same day directing staff to look into changing the requirement by which it just ruled. A requirement against majority ownership by a foreign firm, in this case Électricité de France (EDF), whose flagship Cattenom reactor caught on fire a week ago with smoke seen from miles away; two people died at Cattenom in February. You can comment on NRC’s proposed changes to let EDF fire up Calvert Cliffs online or in person June 19th in Maryland.

The same day the NRC upheld denial of a license, 11 March 2013, the same Commission

“directed the staff to provide a fresh assessment on issues relating to FOCD including recommendations on any proposed modifications to guidance or practice on FOCD that may be warranted.”

And the issue with Calvert Cliffs was that very same “foreign ownership, control, or domination (FOCD) of commercial nuclear power plants.”

This explains why Continue reading

Kemper Coal greatest transfer of wealth from customers to a monopoly –Brandon Presley, MS PSC

Too ambitious, technology untried, like Katrina and the BP oil spill: that’s Southern Company’s Kemper Coal plant, according to a Mississippi Public Service Commissioner.

Geoff Pender wrote for ClarionLedger.com yesterday, PSC member slams Miss. Power,

“This is the greatest transfer of wealth from customers to a monopoly in the history of the state of Mississippi,” [Brandon] Presley said. “Where are all these so-called conservatives on that?”

Maybe Mississippi, like Georgia, Continue reading