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Supreme Court revises Kemper litigation briefing schedule

In an order Tuesday, the Mississippi Supreme Court changed the briefing schedule for attorneys involved in litigation surround Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County coal plant.

In June, the Mississippi Supreme Court consolidated two different sets of litigation surrounding the project.  Justices also ordered that attorneys for a Hattiesburg resident who is challenging the Baseload Act — the 2008 law that allows utilities to charge ratepayers for facilities as they are being built — and Mississippi Power submit briefs related to the issue within 30 days.

That would have set July 21 as the briefing deadline. The court heard oral arguments on the Baseload issue earlier this year.

The new briefing schedule allows attorneys a total of 70 days to file briefs related to the issues in question. The clock started July 10, when the order was entered.

Earlier this week, Mississippi Power asked the Mississippi Public Service Commission to start reviewing the coal plant’s costs. The prudency reviews could take several months; it could be the first part of 2014 before hearings are held.

The cost of the plant has gone up to just a little more than $4 billion, though commissioners have routinely said they will not allow the utility to pass any costs above $2.4 billion to ratepayers.

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