Editor's note: The following summary represents state and utility stances after the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016.
Mississippi canceled a public meeting planned for February, shortly after the Supreme Court froze implementation of the rule.
“The stay, so long as it is in place, stops any of the requirements of the Clean Power Plan from becoming effective; therefore, [Mississippi's Department of Environmental Quality] is suspending its efforts to develop a state implementation plan until there is a final court ruling,” which likely will not come until late 2017 or early 2018, said Chad LaFontaine, chief of the energy and greenhouse gases branch of DEQ’s Air Division.
Mississippi must cut its carbon emissions rate 18 percent by 2030, a much smaller shift than the draft Clean Power Plan required.
The state's Department of Environmental Quality and Public Service Commission have joined 26 other states challenging the rule in court.
The state stands out because Mississippi Power Co. is building a coal-gasification plant with carbon capture technology. U.S. EPA relaxed a carbon capture technology requirement for all new coal-fired power plants in the final rule.
Critics of the carbon capture and storage mandate argue that the technology is too expensive and is not yet widely available commercially, pointing to projects such as Mississippi Power's Kemper County energy facility, which has suffered from delays and cost overruns.
The state has little renewable energy to speak of, but most of its electric utilities do plan to add utility-scale solar.
Mississippi was one of the last to sue over the rule (EnergyWire, Nov. 6, 2015). Like many other states, Mississippi objects to the rule on principle. The conservative state is mostly led by Republicans.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has vowed to fight the Clean Power Plan, asserting ahead of the final rule's unveiling that the regulation would prompt the closure of coal-fired power plants in the state, creating reliability problems as well as increasing utility rates in one of the nation's poorest states (E&E Daily, July 24, 2015).
Bryant said in a letter to EPA in July 2015 that it may not be possible for Mississippi to "reasonably develop a State Implementation Plan, given the burdensome requirements of EPA's proposal in its current form." He said his concerns were shared by the Mississippi Legislature, as reflected in a resolution adopted in April 2015.
Last updated on February 2, 2017 at 11:58 AM