Group Opposes Lignite Plant

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The proposal to build a new power plant in Kemper County has some community members worried.

The three-member Mississippi Public Service Commission began four days of public hearings Monday in Jackson.

A group who objects stood outside doors. They say they fear the plant could bring environmental problems and rate hikes.

But Mississippi Power says the plant will lead to cleaner energy and more reliable service in the long run.

"This will make the coal plant comparable to a natural gas plant," said Cindy Duvall, spokesperson for Mississippi Power. "That's the cleanest production of energy you can get. So it's very exciting. That's why it's unprecedented. This technology allows coal to be equal to emissions from a natural gas plant."

If the $2 billion plant is approved and work begins in 2010, it could be finished by 2014.