Southern Company Responds to Obama Climate Change Plan

Jun 27, 2013

President Obama Tuesday laid out his long-term plan to combat climate change. Atlanta-based Southern Company, however, says Congress, not the President, should determine the nation’s energy policies.

President Obama’s plan includes finalizing stricter carbon pollution rules for existing power plants by 2015.

“For the sake of our children and the health and safety of all Americans, I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants and complete new pollution standards for new and existing power plants.”

Southern declined to respond directly to the plan but wrote in a statement, “Congress is best equipped to develop a national energy policy,” a signal the company isn’t keen on reforms coming by executive order and through the EPA.  

Southern operates in four states and is parent company of Georgia Power. According to a recent study by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, it’s one of the top three carbon polluters in the country due to its size and continued reliance on fossil fuels to produce electricity.

Jennette Gayer, executive director of Environment Georgia, applauded Obama’s new plan and said Southern isn’t doing enough to transition to cleaner energy sources like solar.

“For example Plant Scherer outside of Macon, Georgia is one of the largest stand-alone polluters of global warming gases in the country. Those sorts of things need to change.”

In the statement, Southern says it will maintain a fuel balance that’s in the best interest of its customers.