Energy policy in Mississippi

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Energy policy in Mississippi
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Quick facts
Energy department:
Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development
State population:
3 million
Per capita income:
Energy consumption
Total energy consumption:
116 trillion BTU[1][2]
Per capita energy consumption:
391 million BTU
Energy spending
Total state energy spending:
$15,169 million
Per capita energy spending:
Residential natural gas price:
$9.44 per thousand cubic foot
Residential electricity price:
11.32 cents per kWh
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Energy PolicyEnergy policy in the United StatesFracking in MississippiEnergy and environmental news

Energy policy in Mississippi depends on geography, natural energy resources, how electricity is generated, how much energy consumers use, politics and the influence of groups such as environmental and industry organizations. Decisions by policymakers, such as state and local governments, utilities and regulatory agencies, affect all citizens economically and environmentally, and are generally geared toward providing reliable, affordable energy. The cost of energy affects not only home heating and electricity bills, and thus disposable income, but also economic growth, including jobs, investment and the cost of doing business in the state.

How energy is produced and consumed also has an impact on the environment and pollution. Energy policy in Mississippi, and many other states, focuses on decreasing emissions and dependence on fossil fuels by increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. As the infrastructure for producing and delivering renewable energy sources is not as advanced as it is for energy generation from traditional sources, these policies often require subsidies to make the produced energy affordable, and their effects are difficult to measure.

Energy policy involves trade-offs between providing an affordable, consistent energy supply on the one hand, and limiting pollution and protecting the environment, on the other. How states attempt to balance these two differs between states, and often boils down to costs to consumers versus costs to the environment. This article provides general energy information about the state as the context within which energy policy is made, as well as information about major legislation and public and private groups that play a role in setting energy policy in the state.

See also: Energy policy in the United States for more information on energy policy.
See also: Fracking in Mississippi

Energy overview

State facts

Below are quick facts about Mississippi’s energy climate.


  • is a net electricity importer.
  • has a limited amount of fossil fuels in the form of oil, natural gas and coal.
  • has little renewable energy potential, mostly in the form of biomass, biofuel and solar.
  • has one ethanol production plant, which can produce 54 million gallons of biofuel annually.
  • ranks 4th in miles of natural gas pipelines.[3]
  • has one nuclear plant, the Grand Gulf Plant, which produced 18 percent of the state's electricity in 2010.
  • has three oil refineries that account for 2 percent of the nation's total capacity.[4]

In Mississippi

  • households consume about 25 percent more energy and spend about 14 percent more for energy than the U.S. averages.
  • over half of the electricity produced is generated from natural gas.
  • petroleum, natural gas and electricity are the main sources of energy used in home heating.
  • renewable energy sources made up 2.8 percent of net energy generation in 2010.
  • industry is the largest energy-consuming sector in the state.[4]

Available energy resources

Mississippi has very few traditional energy resources such as oil, coal or natural gas. Oil and natural gas come mostly from the southern half of the state. However, Mississippi does have high oil refining and natural gas storage capacity and has some of the nation's largest plants for oil refining and natural gas processing. Coal production in Mississippi is growing. The state's only surface mine is one of the largest in the United States. The Red Hills mine produces lignite coal that powers a nearby plant. Most coal, however, is imported from Illinois, Wyoming and Colorado. Mississippi is a net energy importer, bringing in much of the coal, natural gas and petroleum consumed in the state.[4]

Mississippi has little potential for renewable energy resources. The few resources the state does have contributed 2.8 percent of the energy for electricity in 2010 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Biomass is the main source of renewable energy and is supported by waste from the wood products industry. Mississippi has scarce wind resources and the humid, cloudy weather make solar generation difficult.[4]

Consumption and prices

Energy consumption in Mississippi
MI energy consumption chart.png

     Transportation       Residential     Industrial       Commercial
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As shown on the pie chart to the right, in 2011, roughly one third of Mississippi’s energy use was for industry, and another third for transportation. The remaining third was used for residential and commercial needs. Most of the energy used in the state is in the form of electricity. Natural gas is second, used primarily for electricity production and industrial purposes.[4]

Gasoline, used in transportation, accounts for about 50 percent of all petroleum consumed in the state.[6] Generally the price of gasoline in the state tracks closely, but slightly lower than the national average.[7][8] According to the EIA's February 2014 report, the federal excise tax is 18.40 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.40 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. In addition to that, Mississippi collects a total tax of 18.8 cents on every gallon of gasoline and gasohol diesel fuel, which ranks it at the 44th highest in the United States.[4][9][10]

Comparisons tables

The table below compares Mississippi’s consumption and spending for energy, as well as prices for gas and electricity, and carbon emissions to those of Alabama, which has similar population, resources and consumption needs because of climate and geography. Also given are the U.S. averages and the state rankings. All rankings are from highest to lowest, so, for example:

  • Alabama’s rank of 15th in carbon emissions means that carbon emissions are higher in Alabama than in Mississippi, which has a ranking of 32nd.
  • Per capita income in Alabama is higher than in Mississippi, which at 51st ranks eight places behind Alabama’s ranking of 43rd in per capita income. Households consume and spend similarly because both of these states rely heavily on electricity as their main source of energy.
  • Per capita energy spending and consumption are close for citizens of both Alabama and Mississippi despite having very different natural gas prices.
  • Alabama ranks third highest for natural gas prices while Mississippi ranks 32nd.
  • Electricity prices are within half a cent per kWh of each other in both states, so their expenditures per capita are close.
  • If Alabama relied on natural gas for electrical generation as Mississippi does, it would have much larger expenditures than Mississippi. Alabama relies on coal for a majority of its electrical generation.[4]

Mississippi ranks low (32nd) for natural gas prices despite not producing very much relative to other states like Alabama. This may be because Mississippi has the advantage of infrastructure, with the 4th most miles of natural gas pipeline in the United States.[11]

Consumption and Expenditures Comparisons Summary
Type MississippiAlabamaU.S. Figures
FigureU.S. Rank*FigureU.S. Rank*Totals
Population3 million314.8 million23313.9 million
Per Capita Income Average$33,07351$35,62543$42,693
Total Consumption1163 trillion BTU291931 trillion BTU1797,301 quadrillion BTU
Per Capita Energy Consumption391 million BTU15402 million BTU13312 million BTU
Total Spending on Energy$15,169 million30$24,479 million19$1,394,088 million
Per Capita Spending on Energy$5,09516$5,09615$4,474
Price of Residential Natural Gas, dollar per thousand cubic feet$9.4432$15.983$12.48
Price of Electricity, cents per kWh11.322611.83312.31
Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions, million metric tons (2010)65.532132.7155,631
*Rank is from highest to lowest.
See also: State Energy Rankings to compare all 50 states
Consumption of energy for heating homes in Mississippi
Source Mississippi 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 30.6% 49.5%
Fuel oil .2% 6.5%
Electricity 54.7% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 12.6% 5%
Other/none 1.9% 3.6%

Production and transmission

Mississippi produced 440.8 BTU of energy in 2011. Of that, 32 percent came from crude oil, 25 percent came from nuclear generation, and 23 percent from natural gas. The remaining 20 percent came from coal, biomass and what the U.S. Energy Information Administration classifies as 'other,' which is "assumed to equal consumption of all renewable energies except biofuels."[12]

Energy production by type in Mississippi, 2011
Type Amount Generated
(trillion BTU)
% of State % of USA
Crude oil 140.5 31.87% 1.17%
Natural gas 100.4 22.78% 0.38%
Coal 28.8 6.53% 0.13%
Nuclear 108.2 24.55% 1.31%
Biofuels 7.6 1.72% 0.4%
Other 55.4 12.57% 0.78%

Electricity produced and consumed in Mississippi comes primarily from natural gas, which produces 60 percent of the total. Little of the natural gas used in Mississippi is produced there. Natural gas is imported through pipelines in the southeastern part of the state. These pipelines provide most of the gas used in electricity production.[4]

Nuclear power provides almost one-fifth of electricity in the state, and is produced at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station, which was built in 1985, and is licensed to operate until 2024. In 2012, the plant completed a power upgrade, making it the largest plant in the U.S. and fifth largest in the world. The plant is owned by System Energy Resources, Inc. and the South Mississippi Electric Power Association.[13]

Coal and biomass produce about 18 percent of Mississippi's electricity, with the rest made from other renewable energy sources. Most of the wood waste used for biomass energy production comes from the Talladega National Forest. Mississippi Power has been experimenting with co-firing pulverized coal with wood waste.[14]

Where electricity comes from in Mississippi[15]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Petroleum-fired 1 0.03% 0%
Natural gas-fired 2,382 63.27% 0%
Coal-fired 572 15.19% 0%
Nuclear 697 18.51% 0%
Hydroelectric 0 0% 0%
Other renewables 112 2.97% 0%
Total net electricity generation 3,765 100% 0%
**Note: Because the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) does not include all of a state's energy production in these figures, the EIA totals do not equal 100 percent. Instead, we have generated our own percentages.

In Mississippi there are currently 15 municipal electric utilities, 15 private electric utilities and 28 associations. There are seven private natural gas utilities and 34 municipal utilities.[16] Electric transmission in Mississippi is owned by Mississippi Power, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the South Mississippi Electric Power Association, though the operations of these utilities may be integrated into larger companies such as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Entergy. The Southern Natural Gas Company and Gulf South Pipeline Companies are the largest providing natural gas to Mississippi.[17][18][19]

Energy policy

Policy Issues

Energy policy in Mississippi creates incentives for renewable and energy efficiency projects. However, because there is little potential for renewable energy development in the state, state lawmakers have focused on promoting energy efficiency. Efficiency standards are set through the Mississippi Public Service Commission.[4]

See also: Fracking in Mississippi

Energy policy is made, executed and influenced by many organizations, both public and private, and is codified in the laws and regulations of the state. Each state’s energy policy involves trade-offs in which energy production and prices are weighed against environmental concerns and efficiency. Mississippi does not have a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Instead the state has energy efficiency objects that were crafted in 2013. Energy legislation has focused on grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects as well as standards for government buildings. Mississippi's Public Service Commission enacted the most important regulations for utilities in its "Rule 29", which mandates that electric and gas utilities create and implement energy efficiency programs. These programs include customer education, energy audits and evaluations, incentives for energy efficient technology, and commercial and industrial incentives.[20][21][22][23]

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving energy efficiency policy in the U.S. They focus on energy policy, research and outreach. Each year, they rank each state by their energy efficiency policies. In 2013, Mississippi ranked 47th.[24] There are differing estimates about the economic impact of these mandates in terms of costs that may affect prices and jobs, as well as the impact on the environment and pollution. Thus, for example, there are many new studies of what is called the "rebound effect" which refers to the fact that "some of the theoretically estimated gains in energy efficiency will be eroded as consumers consume additional goods and services."[25][26]

Major legislation

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State energy policy

State fracking policy

Energy policy terms

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State environmental policy

Energy and Environmental News

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  • HB 1701 (2010) established the Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative, which creates financial incentives for companies that manufacture systems or components used to generate renewable energy. The initiative gives the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) the power to grant tax exemptions to those companies. Solar water heat, solar thermal electric, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, hydroelectric and nuclear plant component manufacturers are all eligible for the exemption. In order to qualify, businesses must invest a minimum of $50 million and plan to create at least 50 new jobs. Companies that qualify are except from 100 percent of the state income, franchise and sales tax for 10 years.[27]
  • Mississippi Energy Sustainability and Development Act (2013), empowers the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), the Energy and Natural Resource Division (ENR) to develop energy management plans. It requires state agencies to work with the MDA to create their own energy management plans. The MDA will provide resources to develop those plans.[28]
  • Mississippi Code § 57-39-39 authorizes the enactment of the Energy Investment Loan Program. It was originally enacted in 1989 and used the oil overcharge restitution fund from the U.S. Department of Energy as funding. The program offers low interest loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. If a project can demonstrate that it lowers a facility's energy cost then it can receive a loan for $15,000 to $500,000 with a low 2 percent interest rate.[29]
  • PSC Rule 29, Energy Efficiency Programs and Standards (2013) required electric and gas utilities serving more than 25,000 customers to file Quick Start Plans to improve energy efficiency through customer education programs, energy audits and evaluations, incentives on high-efficiency appliances, retrofitting homes, and methods for small businesses and industrial facilities to optimize energy efficiency. The bill encourages immediate implementation of energy efficiency plans and the creation of long term energy programs. These programs include customer education, energy audits and evaluations, incentives for energy efficient technology and commercial/industrial incentives.[30]

Energy policy ballot measures

Voting on Energy
Energy policy
Ballot Measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Energy on the ballot and List of Mississippi ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked no ballot measures relating to state and local energy policy in Mississippi.

Utility policy ballot measures

See also: Local utility tax and fees on the ballot

Ballotpedia has tracked no ballot measures relating to local utility tax and fees in Mississippi.

Government agencies and committees

  • The Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) was originally commissioned as the Mississippi Railroad Commission in 1884 and became the MPSC in 1938. Three elected commissioners make up the MPSC. They regulate service rates and see that the energy needs of the public are being met. As of 2012, the MPSC regulates 1,439 different utilities ranging from electric and gas distribution to local exchange communication companies.[31]
  • The Mississippi Development Authority's Energy and Natural Resource Division works with the Mississippi State Government to help create energy sector growth. They encourage alternative and renewable energy projects through grants and tax exemptions, including the Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative and the Energy Investment Loan Program.[32][33]

Major organizations

  • The Mississippi River Collaborative was founded in 2005 by the McKnight Foundation in order to reduce pollution flowing into the Mississippi River. The organizations acts as a policy advocate, doing outreach and education through the ten-state region that encompasses the Mississippi River. One of the organization's main focuses is on the nutrient pollution that comes from agriculture.[35]
  • The Mississippi Energy Institute is a non-profit organization focused on energy related economic development. Their objectives include diversifying the state's energy base, develop energy infrastructure, foster innovation, support energy education and help Mississippi responsibly use and produce energy. They conduct research and develop environmentally responsible policy recommendations.[36]
  • The Mississippi Biomass and Renewable Energy Council (MBREC) works to reduce the biomass waste stream and increase economic opportunities for biomass. Their members include government agencies, higher education representatives, research and manufacturing representatives and others. MBREC was created in 1998 and incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 2000. They "provide information on biomass resources, research, development, technology and use."[37]

In the news

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See also

External links


  1. These figures come from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Profiles and Energy Estimates, Mississippi Overview. Statistics for population and per capita income are for the year 2012; consumption and spending estimates are for 2011; and prices are for October 2013. Updated pricing information is available on the state's EIA profile. Prices will be updated on this page biannually.
  2. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Mississippi Overview," accessed February 14, 2014
  3. Mississippi Energy Institute, "Mississippi Energy Industry: Facts & Figures," accessed March 14, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Mississippi Profile Analysis," updated December 18, 2013
  5. This chart depicts the state's energy consumption as reported by the EIA for 2011. Click the image to enlarge.
  6. U.S. Energy information Administration, "Energy Consumption Estimates for Major Energy Sources in Physical Units, 2011," accessed March 14, 2014
  7. Gas Buddy, “Historical Gas Charts,” accessed February 14, 2014
  8. To compare current gasoline prices in Mississippi to the U.S average, go to
  9. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Petroleum Marketing Monthly," February 2014," accessed February 14, 2014
  10. The Tax Foundation, "State Gasoline Tax Rates, 2009-2013," March 21, 2013
  11. Mississippi Energy Institute, "Mississippi Energy Industry: Facts and Figures," accessed March 1, 2014
  12. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “State Energy Data System, Production,” accessed February 18, 2014
  13. Entergy, “Grand Gulf Nuclear Station," accessed March 1, 2014
  14. Mississippi Power, "Biomass Energy," accessed March 1, 2014
  15. These figures come from the EIA State Profiles and Energy Estimates U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Mississippi Overview," accessed February 5, 2014
  16. Mississippi Public Service Commission, "Annual Report ending June 30, 2012," accessed March 1, 2014
  17. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Midcontinent Independent System Operator adding four new electric territories in December," October 24, 2013
  18. Mississippi Power, "History of Mississippi Power," accessed March 1, 2014
  19. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "About U.S. Natural Gas Pipelines," accessed March 1, 2014
  20. American Council for Clean Energy, "Mississippi," accessed March 1, 2014
  21. According to a report called "The Status of Renewable Electricity Mandates in the States," by the free-market Institute for Energy Research, the cost of electricity in states with RPS were on average 38 percent higher in 2010 than in states without a RPS.
  22. Institute for Energy Research, "The Status of Renewable Electricity Mandates in the States," accessed March 24, 2014
  23. Manhattan Institute, "The High Cost of Renewable-Energy Mandates," February 2012
  24. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, "Mississippi," accessed March 1, 2014
  25. International Risk Governance Council, "The Rebound Effect: Implications of Consumer Behavior for Robust Energy Policies," accessed March 3, 2014
  26. Scientific American, "How Bad Is the Rebound from Energy Efficiency Efforts?," May 21, 2013, accessed March 3, 2014
  27. U.S. Department of Energy, "Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative," accessed March 1, 2014
  28. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, "Next Generation Lead By Example programs: Maximizing Savings In Public Buildings," accessed March 1, 2014
  29. U.S. Department of Energy, "Energy Investment Loan Program," accessed March 1, 2014
  30. Mississippi Secretary Of State, "Chapter 29 Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs," accessed March 1, 2014 (timed out)
  31. Mississippi Public Service Commission, "Annual Report ending June 30, 2012," accessed March 1, 2014
  32. Mississippi Development Authority, "Energy," accessed March 1, 2014
  33. U.S.Department of Energy, "Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative," accessed March 1, 2014
  34. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, "Executive Director," accessed October 8, 2011
  35. Mississippi River Collaborative, "About," accessed March 1, 2014
  36. Mississippi Energy Institute, "Who We Are," accessed March 1, 2014
  37. Mississippi Biomass and Renewable Energy Council, "About the Council," accessed March 1, 2014