Groups Spar over Use of Money in Power Plant Fight

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Jackson, Miss.

A group opposing Mississippi Power's $4.7 billion power plant under construction in Kemper County finds itself on the defensive.

JobKeeper Alliance, a union-linked group based in Montgomery, Ala., claims the nonprofit Bigger Pie Forum is using public money held by the private Institute for Technology Development to oppose the plant.

ITD was created to exploit research from Mississippi universities and has received millions of dollars in state and federal money.

JobKeeper Alliance wants state Auditor Stacey Pickering to investigate whether public money is being funneled into ITD subsidiary Bigger Pie's opposition to the Kemper County plant in violation of any laws.

Bigger Pie says it has spent up to $400,000 since 2012, but not all on opposition to the lignite coal plant.

The group says funding came from technology licensing proceeds and was spent legally.