Mississippi Power is now 0-2 when it comes to collecting money to pay for its Kemper County coal plant.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission in June denied a 13 percent rate increase that would have generated about $58 million. The company quickly appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which affirmed the PSC’s ruling Tuesday afternoon. The court voted 8-0 to deny the rate increase. Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. did not participate.
Public service commissioners said in their denial that they would take no action on rate increases until litigation surrounding the plant had concluded. The Sierra Club has the plant — which the group contends is an expensive and unnecessary environmental hazard — before a Harrison County chancellor. This is the second legal challenge the Sierra Club has mounted against the facility.
CLARIFICATION AND UPDATE: The Court ruled Tuesday that the company could not raise rates while it appeals the PSC’s rate denial. The appeal itself is still pending. Also, Mississippi Power has issued a statement. Here it is, verbatim:
“While we certainly respect the actions of the state Supreme Court, we view their decision on our motion to grant interim rates as a loss for our customers that will result in increased costs related to the Kemper plant,” said spokesperson Jeff Shepard. “We anxiously await the Court’s decision on our appeal. Our goal, as always, is to do what is in the best interest of our customers while maintaining reliable and safe electric service.”