In our continuing series on wasteful subsidies to dirty energy companies, here's yet another one.
Mississippi Power Co, the smallest utility of giant Southern Co, withdrew its request for a $1.5 federal billion loan guarantee for a controversial clean-coal project just days after state regulators approved an agreement giving the utility a new avenue to cover rising costs for the project.
A Southern Co spokesman said Mississippi Power dropped a plan to seek a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy for its Kemper County coal project in late January after determining it could find lower-cost financing than what it expected the government program to offer.
Meanwhile, Southern Co remains "cautiously optimistic" it can negotiate favorable terms to obtain its share of an $8.3 billion DOE loan guarantee for the $15 billion two-reactor expansion at the Vogtle nuclear station in Georgia.
And on and on it goes. The real question, of course, should be: why do companies like the "giant" Southern Co. need taxpayer-funded corporate welfare at all? If "clean-coal" plants, or other fossil-fired power facilities, make so much sense economically, shouldn't they be able to compete on a level playing field with alternatives, like solar and wind, without massive subsidies? Apparently not.