Why you should have your voice heard on BP, Kemper

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico. AP

Now is the time for the people of South Mississippi to get involved.

At 6 p.m. Thursday at the Lyman Community Center, 13742 U.S. 49 in Gulfport, the people of South Mississippi will get the first of three chances to weigh in again on how the BP settlement for economic damages should be spent.

The more the merrier, we say.

A big crowd will send a clear message to the Legislature that we believe the money should be used for projects on the Coast, and not, for example, on the sewer system in Jackson.

A paltry turnout will send just the opposite message.

We have an ally in Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. He has scheduled these meetings. All we have to do is show up.

It’s up to you.

There will be meetings at 11 a.m. Oct. 20 at Diamondhead City Hall, 5000 Diamondhead Circle, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Fine Arts Auditorium of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Gautier campus, which is just off U.S. 90. Clearly, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office has put some thought into the times and locations to maximize the opportunities to participate.

A second opportunity to send a message to Jackson will come in a couple of weeks — Oct. 3 to be precise — when the Public Service Commission will give Mississippi Power customers a chance to comment on the Kemper power plant.

This couldn’t be easier. After Oct. 3, go to the PSC.state.ms.us site and search for 2016-AD-161 to comment or ask questions about the financial prudence of the multibillion-dollar project. Answers to questions will be posted there as well.

While this is not a rate case, Southern District PSC Commissioner Sam Britton said, the information gathered will become part of any future rate case.

In other words, it will be used to help determine how much of your money will go toward future electric bills. That’s a big deal.

Don’t have a computer? Public libraries have some you can use.

Some people may tell you these are futile gestures, that the decisions already have been made.

We disagree.

It’s your voice. Use it.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.