Miss. justices send coal suit back to lower court

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has sent back to a chancery court a lawsuit that seeks to block a coal-fired, electric-generating plant in east-central Mississippi.

The lawsuit was in response to the Mississippi Public Service Commission’s decision to ease restrictions it had put on the project in Kemper County. The Sierra Club has said the plant is unneccesary and would lead to a significant increase for ratepayers before the plant is even built by Mississippi Power Co.

Justices in a Thursday order denied Mississippi Power’s motion asking the high court to intervene in the case. The Supreme Court also dismissed an appeal by the Sierra Club in response to the power company’s motion, sending it back to Harrison County Chancery Court.

“It means the appeal is going to be heard in Harrison County, which is where it ought to be heard since that’s around the area that’s going to be affected,” said Robert Wiygul, an Ocean Springs attorney representing the Sierra Club.

Verdell Hawkins, corporate spokesman for Mississippi Power, said the court’s order determined chancery court is the proper venue for the matter.

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