June 2013

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Cost overruns at a controversial coal-gasification plant under construction in Kemper County, Mississippi apparently have cost the CEO of Mississippi Power Company his job.   Ed Day recently resigned and has been replaced by G. Edison “Ed” Holland.   Although Southern Company, Mississippi Power Company’s parent company, gave no reason for Day’s departure, it came about a week after the Mississippi Public Service Commission learned that Day had ordered documents containing details of when the utility knew about cost overruns withheld from the Commission.   In April it was announced that the Kemper plant was $540 million over budget.  This figure is in addition to a $376 million overrun which was announced in May 2012.  The Public Service Commission voted in April 2010 to allow the plant to be constructed if Mississippi Power Company agreed to cap costs at $2.4 billion. (more…)

The Louisiana legislature adjourned on June 6, 2013 without reaching an agreement on reducing the natural resources severance tax.  House Bill No. 616, filed by Rep. Joel C. Robideaux (R-Lafayette) proposed to reduce the severance tax on oil and gas produced from horizontal wells to sixty percent of the full rate for the first seven years of production.  Deep wells (greater than 22,000 feet) would have been exempt from severance tax for twenty-four months or until payout of the well cost, whichever came first.  However, with the failure of Governor Jindal’s tax plan, changes to the Louisiana severance tax were tabled to a future legislative session. (more…)