Former Gov. Haley Barbour was in Hattiesburg Tuesday, speaking about energy options in Mississippi and energy policy in the U.S.
Barbour spoke about the importance of energy availability, affordability and reliability in developing the State's economy.
He also defended the controversial Kemper County plant being built by Mississippi Power Company and the recent rate increases associated with it. He said rate increases have always happened in the past whenever a new base-load plant was constructed.
He also said those increases were more substantial than the 22 percent rate increase that comes with the construction of the Kemper County plant.
"Every time we've built a new base-load power plant, which Kemper County is one of in the last 50 years, it's cost more that was thought, and there was a big rate spike afterwards," said Barbour. "After Grand Gulf over in the Entergy service area, the rate spike was 54 percent. After Plant Daniel here in Mississippi Power's area down in Jackson County, everybody who was a Mississippi Power customer got a 34 percent rate increase, spread out over time," he said.
Barbour said the Kemper County plant was the best alternative that the state had.
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