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Midnight deadline approaches for oil spill settlement claims

Deepwater Horizon

NEW ORLEANS — With a midnight Monday deadline approaching to file claims under a 2012 settlement over the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the claims administrator said he expected a last-minute rush of filers. “There’s always a rush, for myriad reasons,” Patrick Juneau said in a telephone interview last week. Juneau said more than 328,000 claims had been filed ...

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Fitch cuts Mississippi Power credit rating on Kemper issues

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JACKSON — Fitch Ratings lowered its credit rating for Mississippi Power by one notch from A- to BBB+ Friday, saying there remain “elevated risks” of financial, regulatory and construction trouble at the $6.2 billion Kemper County power plant. The rating agency, which had warned of the action, said its outlook for Mississippi Power is still negative, raising the risk of ...

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Power companies urged to consider cell tower idea

MBJ staff Brandon Presley, commissioner for the Northern District of the Mississippi Public Service Commission has instructed electric utilities in the state to investigate and develop policies to allow new cell phone towers to be placed on electric transmission towers. Presley said in  news release on Tuesday that such an arrangement could greatly improve cellular coverage in Mississippi while at the ...

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Engineering educator Keith officially named dean of MSU’s Bagley College

STARKVILLE. – A nationally recognized leader in engineering education, research and service will lead the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. Jason M. Keith, who has served as interim leader and Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport Jr. chair since March 2014, will assume the duties of dean June 1. Keith was chosen after an extensive national search ...

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DAVID DALLAS — Kemper III: Return of the co-op

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Earlier last week, South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) backed out of its partnership with Southern Company of Atlanta and its subsidiary, Mississippi Power Company (MPC). It was a bold step by the Board of SMEPA to protect rate payers but their decision creates even more problems for the embattled Kemper County Energy Facility. Southern Company’s “clean-coal” is new, untried ...

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Once vilified, BP now getting credit for gulf tourism boom

In this Wednesday, May 13, 2015 photo, tourists line the beaches in Gulf Shores, Ala., a prime spot along the Gulf of Mexico for conventions. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — With the Memorial Day holiday here, fallout from the oil spill that left Gulf Coast beaches smeared with gooey tar balls and scared away visitors in 2010 is being credited, oddly, with something no one imagined back then: An increase in tourism in the region. Five years after the BP disaster, the petroleum giant that was ...

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Fitch: Kemper dealt another blow; downgrade pressure looms for Mississippi Power

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NEW YORK — Fitch Ratings sees mounting pressure on Mississippi Power Company’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) following South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA)’s decision to terminate the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) for a 15 percent ownership stake in the Kemper project. Fitch currently rates Mississippi Power’s IDR ‘A-‘ with a Negative Outlook. Fitch believes that finding another partner to replace SMEPA could ...

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Electrical cooperative pulls out of Kemper power plant deal

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JACKSON — The entity that procures power for many Mississippi electric cooperatives Wednesday pulled out of a deal to buy 15 percent of the $6.2 billion Kemper County power plant, blowing a hole in Mississippi Power’s financing plan for the project. South Mississippi Electric Power Association spokeswoman Sara Peterson said SMEPA’s board voted to back out of a plan to ...

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Alexander, Corker question renewable energy plans by TVA

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Republican U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, are questioning why the Tennessee Valley Authority is placing greater emphasis on renewable energy as part of its long-term plans. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the senators in a meeting with the public utility on Monday said renewable sources of energy add costs and uncertainty. Alexander said ...

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Gates selected 2015-2016 MEC chairman

JACKSON — David Gates, president of the Mississippi Division of Atmos Energy, will serve as chairman of the Mississippi Economic Council for 2015-2016. Gates has been with Atmos Energy since 1991. In 1993, he was named vice president of technical services for the West Texas division and in 2003 he became vice president of operations for the Kentucky/Mid-States division. He ...

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