ALEC, bills to ditch renewable energy, and the Southern Company

Got caught promoting laws that encourage people to kill people? Double down on laws to kill people through pollution! That’s what ALEC is doing. And look who’s apparently a member of ALEC: the Southern Company, parent of Georgia Power, and proprieter of several of the largest and dirtiest coal plants in the country.

Brian Merchant wrote for Treehugger Tuesday, Two ALEC Campaigns Exposed: One Kills Renewables, One Boosts Fracking,

After major corporations like Pepsi, Kraft, Proctor & Gamble, and Coke all ditched the rightwing group, ALEC announced that it would Plant Scherer abandon its drive to enact gun and voter ID laws. The group’s decision came after a couple high profile campaigns were launched decrying ALEC’s involvement in passing the ‘stand your ground’ laws.

But the group is actually stepping up its efforts in other arenas, as I noted last week. And two new reports, one from ProPublica, the other from DeSmogBlog, outline its new aims: dismantle legislation that incentivizes renewable energy generation, and preserve loopholes that allow natural gas companies to keep the chemical cocktails in their fracking fluids secret from the public.

This is the same ALEC that promotes laws like Georgia’s HB 87 that lock up more people to benefit private prison companies like CCA, which wanted to build a private prison on Lowndes County, Georgia. Traficking in human beings is not too sordid for ALEC, so poisoning people through polution doesn’t seem surprising.

Hm, let’s look at the corporate membership of ALEC, as collected by Sourcewatch’s ALEC Exposed. Why there’s The Southern Company, parent of Georgia Power! I’m frankly a little surprised that Southern Company even bothers to be a member of ALEC, since it has such a hold over its host legislatures without that. But apparently Southern Company is a corporate member of ALEC.

Southern Company’s activities would fit with the first of those two ALEC campaigns, going by ALEC Exposed’s heavily footnoted writeup on Southern Company:

Southern Company successfully opposed a plan to create a national electricity market in 2004 and has dedicated significant money and Plant Bowen effort to fighting the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would require utilities to purchase 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Southern Company argues that the RPS would raise costs for its customers and that the Southeast region of the U.S. does not have sufficient renewable sources of power. [3]

Many of Southern Company’s power plants were exempted from the Clean Air Act’s 1977 requirements to install modern pollution control equipment because they were built from the 1950s to the 1970s. In 1999 and 2000 the Environmental Protection Agency sued Southern Company, along with seven other utility companies, for failure to comply with a program to improve pollution controls on enlarged or modernized plants.[4]

It was reported in January 2012 that three of Southern Company’s coal-fired power plants were the largest contributors of Miller Steam Plant greenhouse gases in the United States. The first two plants, Scherer Steam Generating Station and Bowen Steam Plant are located in Georgia, and a third, Miller Steam Plant, is located in Alabama.[5]

Could all this have something to do with why we don’t have much solar power in Georgia yet?

Is this and asking the public to pick up even the down payment on your Plant Vogtle nuke boondoggle really what you want to be known for, Southern Company? Or maybe you’d like to help Georgia Power and your other offshoots join Austin Energy and Cobb EMC in a real solar future, for your own profit.