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Southern Company Rated Worst of Seven Major U.S. Utilities
Southern Gets Straight "F"s in Grading of "The Dirty Seven" Utilities, Also Home to Three of 10 Worst-Polluting Power Plants in U.S.
May 24, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC -- On the eve of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) holding its annual meeting of stockholders in Pine Mountain, GA., the nonprofit Green America released a report today ranking the major U.S. power producer as "the United States' most irresponsible utility."
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 http://www.greenamerica.org/go/southerncompanyreport/.
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 Rankings list, which ranks the Fortune 500 based on environmental performance. Southern Company ranks 494 out of 500 on the Green Rankings 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: http://www.greenamerica.org/takeaction/southern2011/.
WHY SOUTHERN WAS RATED THE WORST
According to Green America, while many U.S. utilities have major environmental drawbacks, Southern Company stands out as a leader overall in irresponsible practices:
NEEDED REFORMS AT SOUTHERN
Southern Company needs to take dramatic steps to improve its corporate responsibility. Green America and its individual and business members are calling on the company to:
ABOUT GREEN AMERICA: Green America is the nation's leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems. Go to www.GreenAmerica.org for more information.
CONTACT: Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Todd Larsen by email