Footnotes Issue #75: May 31, 2013
Sierra Club Alerts Southern Co. Shareholders to Risky Investments
A dozen Sierra Club leaders from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi came together last week to attend the Southern Company Shareholder Meeting and to ask hard-hitting questions to Southern CEO Tom Fanning. You can watch the play by play here.
Southern Company owns and operates the three largest greenhouse gas polluters in the country (two in Georgia, one in Alabama) and is betting heavily on nuclear by building new reactors at Plant Vogtle and undertaking the first large-scale coal-to-gas plant in Kemper County, Mississippi. Both of these projects are hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, months behind schedule, and hot-button political issues in our respective states.
Despite these risky energy investments, Southern Company executives like to say they are committed to providing "clean, safe, reliable, affordable" power. Sierra Club activists spent two hours constructively engaging on whether that is what Southern is actually doing. Read more about it in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and Morris Newspapers. Shortly after the annual meeting, S&P lowered the outlook on Southern Company, noting the risks associated with the management of Kemper.
In the week before the meeting, Sierra Club's online team generated over 2,500 petition signatures from customers of Southern Company subsidiaries (Georgia Power, Alabama Power, Mississippi Power, and Gulf Power), each calling on their utility to move beyond Coal and Nuclear and invest in the 21st century energy economy. We delivered these petition signatures, as well as nearly 300 personally authored letters to the Company, directly into the hands of CEO Tom Fanning.
Quick Links - Protect Jekyll Island!
If you've been following the news, you've been reading a lot about Jekyll Island recently. A committee of specialists and JIA staff members working on a new Master Plan for Jekyll Island State Park recommended that tidal marsh should not be counted as part of Jekyll's land area when applying the 65/35 law. That recommendation, which is based on the 65/35 law and the legal distinction between tidal marsh and land that's stated in Georgia's Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA), was condemned by the JIA in its letter to the AG's office requesting a ruling on the land vs. marsh issue.
Sierra Club Meetings
Smart Energy Team Meeting, Monday, June 3, 7:00 p.m.
Wildlands Committee Meeting, Monday, June 17, 7:00 p.m.
RAIL, Monday, June 24, 7:00 p.m.
June 10-16 - Pastured Poultry Week - Over 70 restaurants are expected to participate in the second annual Pastured Poultry week in Georgia and New York. These committed restaurant owners will help celebrate the virtues of pastured poultry by featuring it on menus between June 10-16. Why pastured poultry? Because it's better for the environment, your health, and your taste buds! Because we believe chickens belong on pasture. Click here to learn more and find out which restaurants are participating.
June 12 - Coastal Energy Town Hall - Coastal Georgians will get their chance to weigh in on Georgia Power's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on Wednesday, June 12, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center at a Town Hall. Hosted by Public Service Commission Tim Echols. Have an opinion about Plant McIntosh being converted from Eastern coal to Western coal? Think the PSC should be doing more to get offshore wind going in Georgia? Let your voice be heard!
June 3 - 21 - PSC Commissioner Tim Echols EV Roadshow - Coming to a Georgia city near you, this roadshow will showcase options for fleet managers and municipalities to save money and lower maintenance costs when powering their vehicles with biofuels, propane, natural gas and electricity. The all-electric Nissan LEAF, bi-fuel Ford Fusion, Freightliner Class A-Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) 18-wheeler, propane-police vehicle, CNG school bus, and the Chevy Volt, are just a few of the vehicles that will be on display in each city. Click here for tour dates and more information.
Save the Date! Semi-Annual Chapter Retreat Oct. 4-6 - Every other year, the Georgia Chapter hosts a retreat with workshops, outings, wine tasting and all things Sierra Club! This year we'll be at Camp Wahsega near Dahlonega. Look for more details and registration information soon!
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