Response to Bill Crawford column:
July 19, 2015 (BILL CRAWFORD: Blanton, court make higher rates likely for MPC customers)
Misinformation is the worst kind.
Mississippi Power used to be a beloved part of South Mississippi. However their corporate culture has transformed itself over the past few years. In the past it did not threaten its customers, subject its customers to excessive rate increases, nor meet in secret with regulators to obtain funds. It has destroyed much of the goodwill it once had.
The Supreme Court decision is grounded within the most conservative traditions of jurisprudence. Justice Dickenson’s dissent is the “activist court” position of writing new law. Dickenson opines that consumers should have no access to court.
I intervened within the rate hearings in 2011. I appealed directly to the Supreme Court against the granting of a rate which is confiscatory in nature. The majority of the Court agreed with my position and ruled that the 18% Kemper rate increase must be rolled back and the $357,000,000.00 collected must be refunded to the customers.
The PSC’s actions were not found to ‘debatable.” They were found to be illegal and having no authority under law. There is no law which requires customers to pay for the Kemper science project until it is running and been proven to have been constructed prudently. This may be never. Crawford is totally wrong to assert “it is the law” that customers have to pay come what may.
For Crawford to “hope” that Mississippi Power and the PSC will “negotiate, as they did before,” is to show contempt for the rule of law and the Court’s decision. The public’s business should never be conducted in secret behind closed doors. It is shameful for newspapers to publish Crawford’s radical rejection of the basic rights contained in our Constitution, and to advocate the violation of our laws in order to fund a project which is questionable.
Mississippi Power is financially weak due to decisions it made. I did not file for a permit with less than 20% engineering done. I have not caused the cost to escalate 350%. I am not responsible for the errors Mississippi Power made.
Thomas A. Blanton