Home » OPINION » Letters to Editor » IPPs have no interest in helping Mississippians

IPPs have no interest in helping Mississippians

Editor,

I’ve read with interest your paper’s recent coverage of Mississippi Power Company’s IGCC plant and the Entergy E-RSC meetings.

As a former Mississippi Public Service Commissioner privileged to have served the state and the people of Mississippi for more than 30 years, I believe the articles have done a disservice to your readers, utility customers and the regulated utilities in this state.

In both articles, independent power providers (IPPs) are opposing regulated utilities. What is missing from your coverage, and what is important background for your readers to understand, is that IPPs are owned by outside private interest (many of which are Wall Street firms) whose interests do not include Mississippi utilities’ customers or the state’s economic competitiveness.

The IPPs do not want to see more power plants built in Mississippi or anywhere else in the nation, whether nuclear, coal or otherwise. By stymieing the building of new plants, market prices for electricity increase, the IPPs profit and the value of their existing plants increase so they can sell them for a profit.

Further, and just as importantly, when the IPPs sell power, they want existing utilities’ customers to pay for the transportation of that power over the regulated companies’ transmission lines. Often that power goes out of the state and does not benefit the customers here.

This is why IPPs have been intervening in utility projects across the country.

Mississippi’s two largest regulated utilities — Mississippi Power Company and Entergy Mississippi — have both been based in this state for decades, paying taxes and employing thousands of Mississippians who, along with the companies’ retirees, also pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes, goods and services. Compare that to an IPP that employs a few, ships profits out of state and likely buys services from out of state as well.

Readers — in this case, Mississippi’s business community —  would be well served to have this background information when reading articles such as the ones mentioned above.

Nielson Cochran

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner, 1984-2007

Raymond

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About For the MBJ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*