Motion Filed to Delay Dismissal of Kemper Lawsuits

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Jackson, Miss.

A Hattiesburg businessman is asking the state Supreme Court to delay dismissing lawsuits filed to derail a power plant in Kemper County until the justices address his constitutional challenge to a 2008 law.

Thomas Blanton is challenging the Baseload Act, which allows utilities to raise rates to pay for power plants they're building, instead of waiting until they start generating electricity.

Blanton says collecting from customers before a power plant is turned on is unconstitutional for a number of reasons.

The Supreme Court consolidated Blanton's lawsuit with two others challenging Mississippi Power Company's construction of the coal-fired plant in eastern Mississippi.

The Sierra Club and Mississippi Power announced Monday a settlement of the dispute that includes dismissal of all lawsuits.