SO CEO Tom Fanning is a true believer in “all of the above”, yet a skeptic about natural gas. However, he really doesn’t have much faith in renewables, as he indicated at the 22 May 2013 Southern Company Stockholder Meeting and even more strongly in the Wall Street Journal.
TF: Hello, Stephanie.
SC: How are you, Tom?
TF: Dynamite. How are you?
SC: Last year, I came to this meeting to ask a question and to listen to the Southern Company reports. And so before I came I got to thinking about what has changed since the last meeting. I think two things, and then I’ll ask my question.
The first is the chairperson’s salary increased 34 percent, over $13 million a year. I’m sure the retirees and stockholders in the room wonder about the $13 million salary and see that as negative PR in the face of continuing recession. $13 million a year, most of us are on fixed income. I mean, your income is fixed, too, but it’s very high. Mine is pretty low and we all have to pay electric bills.
The second change, and then I’ll ask my question, is that now 70 — 97 percent of all scientists believe that climate change — that is, global warming — is real and caused by human activity and this is a big shift. Last year we were the climate deniers, we’re in control, and now 97 percent of all scientists say it’s real, it’s coming, you better get ready. In the face of this scientific consensus the Southern Company has maintained its reliance on fossil fuels, mountaintop coal, old coal plants and pushing nuclear power with huge wattage demands and the dangers of nuclear wastes.
While I applaud the Southern Company’s baby steps Continue reading