Those Southern Power Plants Are Dirty

| 6/3/2011 2:05:45 PM

Titled “Leadership We Can Live Without: The Real Corporate Social Responsibility Report for Southern Company,” the Green America analysis assigns letter grades to seven major U.S. utilities on four fronts:  reliance on coal; pollution; reliance on and expansion of nuclear power; and lobbying expenditures. Southern came in dead last with straight “F” grades in all four of the categories.

The rest of “The Dirty Seven” were ranked as follows:  (1) Exelon; (2) Entergy; (3) Dominion; (4) TVA; (5) Duke and (6) AEP (Southern Company is 7th). Green America’s full report is available online at
Green America Corporate Responsibility Director Todd Larsen said: “Southern Company is one of the nation’s largest utilities, with 4.4 million customers in the American Southeast. Southern Company prides itself on its relatively low rates and its consistent payment of dividends to shareholders. But while ratepayers and shareholders may appreciate these limited economic benefits, they come at a high price: the extraordinary pollution produced by Southern Company, which harms the communities it operates in, as well as fueling global warming, and the risks posed by the company’s increasing use of nuclear power and growing coal ash ponds. The real price of Southern Company’s strategy include: asthma, heart disease, lung disease, air and water pollution, global warming, and the potential for catastrophic accidents.”

Green America is far from being alone in taking a downbeat view of Southern Company.  Another measure of Southern Company’s weak record on the environment and steps to reduce its impacts, is the company’s low score on the Newsweek 2010 Green Score list, which ranks the Fortune 500 based on environmental performance. Southern Company ranks 494 out of 500 on the Green Score list. Out of the 32 utility companies included in the rankings, Southern Company ranked 30th in overall Green Score. They were also ranked 30th in the Environmental Impact Score (496th overall). They are 32nd amongst utilities on the survey reputation score (486 overall).

Consumers nationwide who want to encourage Southern Company to take action to be a true leader can do so at:

For the entire story, please visit: 

Seth Leitman 

john haendiges
6/5/2011 1:12:48 PM

Everyone complains about "dirty" power generation, but aside from pie in the sky impractical pipe dreams nobody seems to have a workable replacement for them. Either we need to find cleaner ways to use existing fuels as we transition to cleaner energy, or somebody will have to make one hell of a quantum leap in energy generation technology that supplants the existing ones. Anybody care to guess which is more likely to occur?

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