Clean coal power plant faces new legal hurdle

An environmental group has filed an appeal to once again stop construction of a $2.88 billion integrated gasification combined-cycle power plant in Kemper County, Miss.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted 2-1 on April 24 to reissue a certificate for Mississippi Power, a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), to build the 582 MW Kemper County plant. The Sierra Club appealed the PSC’s ruling to the state Supreme Court on April 27, according to Reuters.

The environmental group's filing reportedly described the commission's latest order as "abandoning many of its previous finding from the 2010 Kemper orders, and substituting new and contradictory ones geared at supporting approval of the Kemper project,” the article said.

Sierra Club successfully appealed the earlier Kemper certificate at the Mississippi Supreme Court. The court then ruled in March that regulators did not fully explain why they had to raise a cost cap on the plant from $2.4 billion to $2.88 billion.

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