Select Economic and Energy Data Value State Rank
Real Gross Domestic Product, per capita $24,403 1st lowest
Unemployment 11.4% 7th highest
Gasoline Price, per gallon $2.69 9th lowest
Electricity Price, per kWh 8.83¢ 24th highest

Mississippi has below average electricity prices. More than 47 percent of Mississippi’s electricity is generated from natural gas, and coal produces over one-fourth of Mississippi’s electricity. Another 22 percent of the state’s electricity is generated from nuclear, which is provided from the state’s only nuclear reactor, the Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station.

Mississippi has some energy resources, with oil and natural gas fields in the southern half of the state, but does not produce enough oil and gas to meet in-state demand.[i] Though the state currently produces just small amounts of oil and natural gas, recent discoveries along the Gulf Coast and in the northern part of the state may promise important new deposits.  The proximity of the state to the petroleum resources in the Gulf of Mexico makes its gasoline some of the nation’s most affordable along with the fact that it is one of the few states that allow statewide use of conventional motor gasoline.

Regulatory Impediments to Affordable Energy

Although affordable energy is a vital component of a healthy economy, regulations frequently increase energy costs. Regulations imposed in the name of reducing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions are especially costly. Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of the combustion of all carbon-containing fuels, such as natural gas, petroleum, coal, wood, and other organic materials. Today, there is no cost-effective way to capture the carbon dioxide output of the combustion of these fuels, so any regulations that limit carbon dioxide emissions will either limit the use of natural gas, petroleum, and coal, or dramatically increase their prices.

Below are some facts about Mississippi’s regulatory environment that are likely to affect the cost of energy or the cost of using energy. Mississippi has thus far avoided many of the costly energy policies other states are implementing.

  • Mississippi does not cap greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Mississippi is not a member of a regional agreement to cap greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Mississippi does not require utilities to sell a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources.
  • Mississippi does not require gasoline to be mixed with renewable fuels.
  • Mississippi does not impose automobile fuel economy standards similar to California’s, which include attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles.
  • Mississippi does not require new residential and commercial buildings to meet energy efficiency standards. State-owned, public, and high-rise buildings must comply with ASHRAE 90-1975.[ii] ASHRAE 90, developed by the American Society of Heating and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, is a model code that mandates certain energy efficiency standards.
  • Mississippi does not impose state-based appliance efficiency standards.
  • Mississippi does not allow utilities to “decouple” revenue from the sale of electricity and natural gas. Some states decouple revenue from actual sales, allowing utilities to increase their revenue by selling less electricity and natural gas.

[i] Energy Information Administration, Mississippi: State Energy Profile, Mar. 4, 2010, http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=MS.

Data Sources: Real GDP per capita 2008: Bureau of Economic Analysis, News Release: GDP by State (June 2, 2009), http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_ state/gsp_newsrelease.htm; Unemployment: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment–February 2010 (Mar. 10, 2010); Gasoline Prices: American Automobile Association, AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report (Mar. 30, 2010); Electricity Prices: Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, Table 5.6.B., Average Retail Price of Electricity,  (March 15, 2010), http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_b.html; Electricity Generation Data: Energy Information Administration, Electricity Generation 2009, http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/generation_state_mon.xls.

[ii] Building Codes Assistance Project, Code Status: Mississippi, http://bcap-energy.org/node/77.

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