Southern Company: Still # 1

Yesterday, the EPA released a highly detailed assessment of global warming emissions in the United States for the year 2010.  Not surprisingly, utilities topped the list, producing 72 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.  Also, not surprisingly, Southern Company was the biggest offender.  Southern Company owns the three most polluting coal-fired power plants in the nation, starting with its Scherer power plant, based in Juliette, Georgia, which released 23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010.

Of course the climate emissions from Southern Company’s plants are only the beginning. These same plants are also responsible for enormous environmental and health impacts overall.  From the mining of the coal, to its burning, to the storing of the toxic sludge that remains, coal-fired power is the most damaging form of power production.  Southern Company’s leadership in creating these hazards, as well as its leadership in lobbying to preserve the status quo, are all highlighted in Green America’s report, Leadership We Can Live Without, which we released in May 2100.

Some utilities, including Southern Company, claim that they will simply sequester the carbon dioxide from their plants underground to address climate change.  This is not a reasonable solution.  Sequestration will not address all the other hazards of burning coal.  It is also too expensive to be a practical solution to global warming.

The reality is that Southern Company and other highly-polluting utilities need to shift away from coal-fired power to cleaner sources of energy and energy efficiency.  At their annual shareholder meeting in 2011 (which Green America attended and where we spoke out about the huge environmental and health impacts of Southern Company’s reliance on coal), the company pledged to reduce its reliance on coal from approximately 60 percent of its power generation to 40 percent.  This is an important first step, but now Southern Company needs to be held to this promise, and needs to meet its targets through energy efficiency, solar, wind, and other clean energy sources.  Join with Green America in calling on Southern Company to green its energy supply.  Take our action to tell Southern Company to stop being a leader in climate change and other harms, and to start leading on renewables and energy efficiency instead.

1 Comment »

  1. The environmental movement is all about promoting the precautionary principal in the UN Agenda 21 that is designed to shut down all commerce, freedom, and eventually independent thought. George Rowel described their ultimate goal of a totalitarian government best. The Oregon of this is socialist / Marxist in nature Carl Marx was a Satanist that let 3 of his children starve to death for his lazy belief’s.
    Do you seriously believe that that kind of value system cares about any individual other than them selves? It is time to wake up and take a stand for freedom and family’s.
    Do Not Support the Passive aggressive manipulation of the Leftist socialist movement!
    I am not stating that we should not strive to find implement solutions and educate for find options for environmental issues. We just need to stop the knee-jerk reaction to just say NO! You can’t do that.

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