Mississippi’s $6 billion boondoggle - Watchdog.org

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Mississippi Watchdog has been the driving force in media coverage of the Kemper Project, a “clean coal” burning power plant in Mississippi that has become the subject of political controversy and a burden on ratepayers.

Where did it all go wrong? Here’s everything you need to know about the story:

Mississippi’s $6 billion Boondoggle

Mississippi’s Kemper Project had the blessing of the Obama Administration and promised a “clean coal” power source, but the power plant has been plagued by problems from the beginning. Since construction began in 2010, the plant has gone wildly over budget. Its price tag has nearly quadrupled from its original estimate of $1.8 billion in 2006 to $6.751 billion as of July 2016 – and it is two years behind schedule to boot.

Kemper Costs Quote 1In July 2016, Kemper costs increased another $9.8 million, leading taxpayers and Mississippi Watchdog to continue asking – who’s on the hook for these unexplained cost increases? Mississippi Power rates are already some of the highest in the Southeast, but the company is pushing to raise them even more.

The troubles don’t stop there. Lawsuits and accusations go beyond the power plant and extend to a Mississippi’s Public Services Central District Commissioner who has been accused of accepting illegal contributions from Kemper contractors, a former manager at the plant has accused Southern Company of trying to protect hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits by lying about the plant’s operational schedule, and a group of plaintiffs has brought a lawsuit alleging the company has avoided accountability for “fraud and mismanagement while fleecing the public in the interest of profits.”

 

Key articles

See all of the Kemper Project articles on Watchdog.org

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About the Author

Steve Wilson serves as the Mississippi reporter for Watchdog.org. He served four-plus years in the United States Coast Guard and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama. Steve began his journalism career as a sports writer and has worked all over Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. His work has appeared on Fox News, the Huffington Post and the Daily Signal.

Steve can be reached at swilson@watchdog.org or on Twitter @gulfcoastsage