MBJ should keep digging

by

Published: September 26,2010

In the Kemper hearings, the Sierra Club’s counsel, Robert Wiygul, argued that the rate hike that would result from the Kemper plant should not be withheld from the public. But he did not prevail.

Sadly, we were almost on the road to avoiding a 45-square-mile strip mine of the headwaters of the Pascagoula and a “new” coal plant, when two public service commissioners “mysteriously” changed their minds a month after an initial judgment.

One thing MBJ can do is cover the PSC’s upcoming “efficiency” hearings, to begin Sept. 28. In 2008, the MS PSC (those same two commissioners) rejected the five standards of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, one of which is efficiency (the others are net metering, smart metering, interconnection and a required portion of electric utility generation in renewables).

Net metering (the meter runs backwards when ratepayers generate their own power) is necessary for consumers to adopt solar power. In North Mississippi, the TVA provides a generous net metering program, which is why a solar panel plant is being built in Senatobia.

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have net metering. Mississippi Power says there is not enough solar energy in Mississippi. But, according to  NOAA, Jackson has 61 percent sunny days annually versus 60 percent in Austin, Texas. Yet, Austin has an active solar program.

Hard to believe Mississippi Power, isn’t it?

— J. O’Neal

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