This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
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|Type||Public (NYSE: SO)|
|Headquarters||30 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
|Area served||AL, FL, GA, MS|
|Key people||David M. Ratcliffe, CEO|
|Industry||Electric Producer, Distributor, & Utility
|Revenue||$15.14 billion (2007)|
|Net income||▲ $1.73 billion (2007)|
Savannah Electric & Power
Southern Company (NYSE: SO), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is currently the eighth largest utility company in the world, the second largest in the U.S. and the largest in the southeastern U.S. It owns and operates over 42,000 megawatts of generation capacity and serves 4.3 million customers in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. Southern Company’s supply of electricity is predominantly from coal.
Southern Company has been praised for electricity rates about 15% below the national average and its quick response to storm damage repairs, such as helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina, many of whom live inside its service territory.
Recent issues which have cast Southern in a less positive light include its stance on global climate change and allegations of violating FERC's Standard of Conduct provisions. Southern Power, the company's wholesale electricity marketing subsidiary, has been accused of showing preferential treatment to Georgia Power Company, another Southern subsidiary, when bidding out wholesale contracts. The company has agreed to pay a fine and strengthen the operational distance between its wholesale and retail companies.
Southern Company successfully opposed a plan to create a national electricity market in 2004 and has dedicated significant money and effort to fighting the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would require utilities to purchase 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Southern Company argues that the RPS would raise costs for its customers and that the Southeast region of the U.S. does not have sufficient renewable sources of power. 
Many of Southern Company’s power plants were exempted from the Clean Air Act’s 1977 requirements to install modern pollution control equipment because they were built from the 1950s to the 1970s. In 1999 and 2000 the Environmental Protection Agency sued Southern Company, along with seven other utility companies, for failure to comply with a program to improve pollution controls on enlarged or modernized plants.
It was reported in January 2012 that three of Southern Company's coal-fired power plants were the largest contributors of greenhouse gases in the United States. The first two plants, Scherer Steam Generating Station and Bowen Steam Plant are located in Georgia, and a third, Miller Steam Plant, is located in Alabama.
- 1 Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
- 2 History
- 3 Political contributions
- 4 Southern Company Subsidiary Funding for Willie Soon and Climate Denial
- 5 Lobbyists
- 6 Compensation
- 7 Power portfolio
- 8 Existing coal-fired power plants
- 9 Companies Owned by Southern Company
- 10 Coal Projects Sponsored by Southern Company
- 11 Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Southern Company coal plants
- 12 Major coal issues and the Southern Company
- 12.1 Top Carbon Dioxide Emitter
- 12.2 Coal waste
- 12.3 Southern Company abandons carbon capture and storage project
- 12.4 Southern Company considering transitions to biomass
- 12.5 Southern Company responds to 2011 EPA's Clean Air Act MACT and CATR rules
- 12.6 Alabama Power Company 2006 - 2008 Clean Air Settlement
- 12.7 Gadsden Steam Plant and Environmental Justice
- 13 Affiliations
- 14 Articles and Resources
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
In 1947 The Southern Company was created, comprised of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Mississippi Power, and Gulf Power. Southern made its first sale of common stock (1.5 million shares) in December 1949. The 1950s were a period of rapid capital construction, including the construction of four 250,000 kilowatt units and two coal mines on the Coose River, near Wilsonville Alabama. Between 1960 and 1969 sales rose from $317 million to $666 million, net income rose to $94 million from $46 million and dividends increased from 70 cents to $1.15 per share. By 1969, Southern company had 21 steam-electric plants, 30 hydroelectric dams, and had begun a nuclear construction program. The energy crisis of the 1970s did not harm Southern Company, as 84 percent of its electricity came from coal and only 7.5 percent from oil or natural gas. With the deregulation of the utilities industry in the 1990s, Southern Company aggressively pursued mergers and acquisitions, both domestically and abroad, and expanded to become the largest supplier of electricity in the U.S. by the end of the decade. During this time, Southern acquired stakes in utilities in the Bahamas, Trinidad, Tobago, Great Britain, and Germany. In 1997, the company gained control of Consolidated Electric Power Asia (CEPA) and by the end of the 90s, completed a 1,218 megawatt coal-burning facility in the Philippines.
In 1995, Southern bought the British South Western Electricity Board. This was the first purchase of a foreign power corporation by a US power corporation. However, in 2003, SWEB was sold to a French company, EDF Energy.
Southern Company is one of the largest energy company contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. These contributions total $284,608 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) for $10,250. Senator Cornyn, for his part, has consistently voted with the coal industry on energy, war and climate bills.
Contributions like this from fossil fuel companies to members of Congress are often seen as a political barrier to pursuing clean energy.
Southern Company Subsidiary Funding for Willie Soon and Climate Denial
Dr. Willie Wei-Hock Soon (Willie Soon), a climate science denier and physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has frequently testified to lawmakers, received at least $409,000 in funding from Southern Company Services in the decade prior to 2015, according to documents obtained by Greenpeace and reported on by The New York Times. Soon failed to disclose the conflicts of interest represented by coal industry funding in at least 11 of his published articles, and "in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as 'deliverables' that he completed in exchange for their money [... using] the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress." The Times noted that Southern Company "declined to answer detailed questions about its funding of Dr. Soon’s research."
The documents, including proposals addressed to Southern Company, are available here.
Southern Company spent $13,980,000 on in-house lobbying costs in 2008 and a further $3,650,000 to date in 2009. The registered lobbyists for the first half of 2008 were H. Adam Lawrence, John L. Pemberton, L. Ray Harry, Kyle C. Leach, James M. McCool, Michael J. Riith, Jeanne H. Wolak, S. Lofton Cox, Bruce Edelston, F. Scott Orr, Carl A. Punyko, Stoney G. Burke and Nicholas C. Sellers. The registered lobbyists for the third quarter of 2008 were Lawrence, Pemberton, Harry, Leach, McCool, Riith, Wolak, Cox, Burke, Orr, Punyko and Nicholas C. Sellers. The registered lobbyists for last quarter of 2008 were Lawrence, Pemberton, Harry, Leach, McCool, Riith, Wolak, Cox, Orr and Punyko. The registered lobbyists for the first quarter of 2009 were Pemberton, Harry, Lawrence, Leach, McCool, Riith, Wolak, Burke, Orr, Punyko and Cox.
Southern Company also spent $80,000 on the LTD Group in 2008 and a further $20,000 to date in 2009.The registered lobbyist was Michael Haywood. The registered lobbyists for the first quarter of 2009 were Haywood, Dean Rosen, David Thomas, Jonathan Hoganson and Alex Vogel.
Southern Company also spent $590,000 on Bracewell & Giuliani in 2008 and a further $130,000 to date in 2009.The registered lobbyists for the first quarter of 2008 were Scott H. Segal, Lisa Jaeger, Edward Krenik and Jeffrey Holmstead. The registered lobbyists for the second quarters of 2008 through to the first quarter of 2009 were Segal, Jaeger, Krenik, Holmstead, Joshua Zive and E. Dee Martin.
Southern Company also spent $60,000 on Polaris Government Relations in 2008 and a further $20,000 to date in 2009.The registered lobbyists for the first three quarters of 2008 were Daniel J. Gans, Amelia Blackwood and Zack Rimmele. The registered lobbyists for the last quarter of 2008 were Gans and Blackwood. The registered lobbyists for the first quarter of 2009 were Blackwood, Gans and Bryan Cunningham.
Southern Company also spent $30,000 on Polaris-Hutton Group, Llc in 2009.The registered lobbyists were Amelia Blackwood, Bryan Cunningham, Daniel J. Gans, Michael Hutton.
Southern Company also spent $90,000 on Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon in 2008 and a further $30,000 to date in 2009.The registered lobbyists for 2008 were Thomas Ryan, Matthew Berzok, Jeff MacKinnon, Joe Vasapoli, William Phillips, Doug Nappi and Rodney Hoppe. The registered lobbyists for the first quarter of 2009 were Thomas Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli, Berzok and Nick Kolovos.
- Total Lobbying expenditures for 2008: $15,030,000
- Total Lobbying expenditures to date for 2009: $3,950,000
Southern Company is a member of the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), an umbrella lobbying group for all coal ash interests that includes major coal burners Duke Energy and American Electric Power as well as dozens of other companies. The group argues that the so-called "beneficial-use industry" would be eliminated if a "hazardous" designation was given for coal ash waste.
Southern spent $8.3 million on lobbying during 2011, according to a public records website operated by the Center for Responsive Politics.
In 2011, Forbes listed Southern Company CEO Thomas Fanning as receiving $5.58 million in total compensation for the 2011. He ranked 26th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 425th among all CEOs in the United States. Fanning replaced David M. Ratcliffe in December, 2010.
Out of its total 49,696 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (4.66% of the U.S. total), Southern produced 53.5% from coal, 25.9% from natural gas, 11.7% from nuclear, 5.2% from hydroelectricity, and 3.7% from oil. Southern owns power plants in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia.
Existing coal-fired power plants
Southern owned 68 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 26,610 MW of capacity - making it the biggest coal energy producer in the U.S. Here is a list of Southern's coal power plants:
|Plant Name||State||County||Year(s) Built||Capacity||2007 CO2 Emissions||2006 SO2 Emissions|
|Scherer||GA||Monroe||1982, 1984, 1987, 1989||3564 MW||25,300,000 tons||74,205 tons|
|Bowen||GA||Bartow||1971, 1972, 1974, 1975||3499 MW||20,500,000 tons||206,442 tons|
|Miller||AL||Jefferson||1978, 1985, 1989, 1991||2822 MW||20,600,000 tons||53,379 tons|
|Gaston||AL||Shelby||1960, 1961, 1962, 1974||2013 MW||12,200,000 tons||130,494 tons|
|Wansley||GA||Heard||1976, 1978||1904 MW||11,900,000 tons||96,200 tons|
|Barry||AL||Mobile||1954, 1959, 1969, 1971||1771 MW||12,800,000 tons||52,621 tons|
|Harllee Branch||GA||Putnam||1965, 1967, 1968, 1969||1746 MW||7,551,000 tons||95,990 tons|
|Yates||GA||Coweta||1950, 1952, 1957, 1958, 1974||1487 MW||6,095,000 tons||75,476 tons|
|Gorgas||AL||Walker||1951, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1972||1417 MW||8,258,000 tons||81,268 tons|
|Crist||FL||Escambia||1959, 1961, 1970, 1973||1135 MW||5,737,000 tons||35,614 tons|
|Victor J. Daniel||MS||Jackson||1977, 1981||1000 MW||9,094,000 tons||31,767 tons|
|Hammond||GA||Floyd||1954, 1955, 1970||953 MW||4,098,000 tons||40,579 tons|
|Jack Watson||MS||Harrison||1968, 1973||750 MW||5,075,000 tons||29,113 tons|
|Jack McDonough||GA||Cobb||1963, 1964||598 MW||3,213,000 tons||28,835 tons|
|Greene County||AL||Greene||1965, 1966||568 MW||3,760,000 tons||37,863 tons|
|Lansing Smith||FL||Bay||1965, 1967||340 MW||3,792,000 tons||48,776 tons|
|Birchwood||VA||King George||1996||258 MW||0 tons||N/A|
|Kraft||GA||Chatham||1958, 1961, 1965||208 MW||1,357,000 tons||4,658 tons|
|McIntosh||GA||Effingham||1979||178 MW||1,176,000 tons||5,713 tons|
|Mitchell||GA||Dougherty||1964||163 MW||443,000 tons||4,938 tons|
|Gadsden||AL||Etowah||1949||138 MW||733,000 tons||10,062 tons|
|Scholz Generating Plant||FL||Jackson||1953||98 MW||531,000 tons||5,920 tons|
In 2006, Southern's 22 coal-fired power plants emitted 165.9 million tons of CO2 (2.75% of all U.S. CO2 emissions) and 1,150,000 tons of SO2 (7.67% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).
Companies Owned by Southern Company
- Alabama Power
- Georgia Power
- Gulf Power
- Mississippi Power
- Southern Company Services - common services (originally named Southern Services, Inc.)
- Southern Power - wholesale generation
- Southern Communications Services (d/b/a SouthernLINC Wireless) - cellular telephone provider
- Southern Telecom - wholesale fiber optic communications
- Southern Nuclear - engineering and operations for nuclear power plants (Southern Company is the majority owner and operator of the Farley, Hatch, and Vogtle nuclear power plants.)
Coal Projects Sponsored by Southern Company
- Kemper Project (Mississippi) Sponsored by Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power
- Seminole 3 (Florida) - canceled 2009
- Stanton Energy Center (Florida) - canceled 2007
- Taylor Energy Center, Alternative Proposal (Florida) - canceled 2007
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Southern Company coal plants
In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.
Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Southern Company coal plants
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Heart attacks||1,710||$186.3 million|
|Asthma attacks||20,770||$1.1 million|
|Hospital admissions||871||$19.8 million|
|Chronic bronchitis||752||$333.5 million|
|Asthma ER visits||1,255||$0.5 million|
Source: "Health Impacts - annual - of Existing Plants," Clean Air Task Force Excel worksheet, available under "Data Annex" at "Death and Disease from Power Plants," Clean Air Task Force. Note: This data includes the following plants owned by Southern Company and subsidiaries Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, and Savannah Electric & Power: Barry, Gaston, Gorgas, Greene County, Miller (Alabama Power); Bowen, Hammond, Harllee Branch, Jack McDonough, Mitchell, Scherer, Wansley, Yates (Georgia Power); Crist, Lansing Smith, Scholz (Gulf Power); Jack Watson and Victor J. Daniel Jr. (Mississippi Power); Kraft, McIntosh (Savannah Electric & Power).
Major coal issues and the Southern Company
Top Carbon Dioxide Emitter
As of September 2009 Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) reports that Southern is among the five highest carbon dioxide emitting power companies in the World.
In January 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new website that identifies most of the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Two Southern Company coal-fired electric generating plants near Atlanta are identified as the biggest contributors to U.S. global greenhouse gases, with a third Southern plant in Alabama identified as the third-biggest emitter. The nation's No. 1 and 2 producers of carbon dioxide, respectively, are the Scherer Steam Generating Station in Juliette and Plant Bowen west of Cartersville, Georgia. The third-largest is Miller Steam Plant in Quinton, Alabama.
EPA releases list of 44 "high hazard" coal ash dumps
In response to demands from environmentalists as well as Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), chair of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, the EPA made public a list of 44 "high hazard potential" coal waste dumps. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not include an assessment of the likelihood of such an event. Southern Company owns one of the sites, which stores coal combustion waste for the Harllee Branch Generating Plant in Georgia. To see the full list of sites, see Coal waste.
EPA lists more "high hazard" dams
In November 2011, the EPA released a new set of coal waste data that revealed 181 “significant” hazard dams in 18 states - more than three times the 60 significant-hazard ponds listed in the original database released in 2009. In addition to the increase in the number of significant hazard-rated ponds, eight previously unrated coal ash ponds were found to be high hazard ponds in information released by the EPA earlier in 2011. Because of the switch in ratings after the EPA inspections, the total number of high hazard ponds has stayed roughly the same at a total of 47 ponds nationwide.
According to the National Inventory of Dams (NID) criteria, “high” hazard coal ash ponds are categorized as such because their failure will likely cause loss of human life. Six states that gained high hazard ponds include:
- Alabama: Southern Company's Gaston Steam Plant, Wilsonville: 1 high hazard pond
Elevated levels of toxic hexavalent chromium found at Lansing Plant
A report released by EarthJustice and the Sierra Club in early February 2011 stated that there are many health threats associated with a toxic cancer-causing chemical found in coal ash waste called hexavalent chromium. The report specifically cited 29 sites in 17 states where the contamination was found. The information was gathered from existing EPA data on coal ash and included locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virgina and Wisconsin. In Florida, the Lansing Smith Generating Plant in Southport was reported as having high levels of chromium seeping into drinking water supplies.
According to EPA data, hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) was reported at the Lansing coal waste sites above 100 ppb (parts per billion) - 5,000 times the proposed California drinking water goals and above the federal drinking water standard.
As a press release about the report read:
- Hexavalent chromium first made headlines after Erin Brockovich sued Pacific Gas & Electric because of poisoned drinking water from hexavalent chromium. Now new information indicates that the chemical has readily leaked from coal ash sites across the U.S. This is likely the tip of the iceberg because most coal ash dump sites are not adequately monitored. According to the report, the electric power industry is the leading source of chromium and chromium compounds released into the environment, representing 24 percent of releases by all industries in 2009.
Southern Company abandons carbon capture and storage project
In December 2009, Southern Company received a $295 million grant from the Department of Energy to retrofit 160MW at the Barry Steam Plant for carbon capture. The company plants to compress and transport the CO2 through a pipeline and store up to one million metric tons per year in deep saline formations. The company will also explore using the captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.
However, on March 1, 2010 it was announced that Southern Company had abandoned its $700 million carbon capture project at the Barry Steam Plant. Company spokesperson Steve Higginbottom said, "It's really about the efficient deployment of resources. Really, we felt it was in the best interest of our customers and shareholders to not move forward with the expanded CCS project at Plant Barry." He added, "The current economic conditions also factored into the decision."
Later in September 2010, Southern Company reported that they had captured carbon emissions at its Yates Steam Generating Plant for the first time and then released it during a pilot project. The technology uses a solvent to remove carbon gas from emissions. The company stated that while the they released the captured carbon at Yates, it will be catching carbon and storing it underground at its Barry Steam Plant in 2011..
Southern Company considering transitions to biomass
On March 19, 2009, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved a request from Southern subsidiary Georgia Power to convert its coal-fired Mitchell plant to burn woody biomass. When the transition is completed, Mitchell will be the first biomass plant in Southern Company's fleet and "the largest biomass facility in the United States," according to COO Tom Fanning. Alabama Power, another Southern affiliate, is also considering a switch to biomass at its coal-fired Gadsden and Barry plants. Southern affiliate Gulf Power is also evaluating co-firing biomass at its Scholz plant near Marianna, Florida.
Southern Company responds to 2011 EPA's Clean Air Act MACT and CATR rules
In response to EPA's announcements of regulatory procedures for the Clean Air Act in the summer of 2011, Southern Company estimated on Aug. 4, 2011 that about 40 percent of it coal fired power plants would have to be either retired or transitioned to natural gas. The full cost of compliance, including air, water and coal ash -- would amount to between $13 billion and $18 billion over eight years (out of a total revenue of $17.5 billion annually). 
Alabama Power Company 2006 - 2008 Clean Air Settlement
On April 25, 2006 the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. EPA announced a partial settlement alleging that the Alabama Power Company, a subsidiary of the Southern Company had allegedly violated New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act at its Miller Steam Plant, a coal-fired power plant. The EPA announced that its decree will reduce emissions of harmful sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the plant, with costs that will reach $200 million.
"We are pleased that Alabama Power has committed to measures that will reduce the pollution from their plants and contribute to overall improved air quality, and this settlement secures for the citizens of Alabama and downwind states a dramatic and permanent reduction of more than 27,000 tons per year of harmful air pollutants from the James H. Miller, Jr. Plant," said Granta Y, Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "EPA will continue to enforce our nation's environmental laws and bring us closer to ensuring clean air compliance across our nation."
By May 1, 2008, the Miller plant will commence year round operation at both it units in order to reduce emissions. The EPA also noted that in order to "further reduce SO2 emissions into the atmosphere, Alabama Power will purchase and retire $4.9 million worth of SO2 allowances (each allowance is equal to one ton of SO2) under the acid rain trading program of the Clean Air Act, which will reduce SO2 emissions nationwide by an estimated 6,600 tons." This partial settlement resolves the claim brought to Alabama Power that they allegedly violated NSR requirements by not completing construction of two units at the Miller plant within the time frame required to qualify as "existing" rather and "new" air pollution sources.
Gadsden Steam Plant and Environmental Justice
Southern Company's Gadsden Steam Plant has 24,955 residents within a 3-mile radius and 3,487 within a one-mile radius; in the 3-mile radius, 49.9% of residents are non-white with a per capita income of $13,600, below the U.S. per capita income of $21,587, raising issues around environmental justice and coal. The plant does not have a scrubber to reduce emissions. Gadsden Steam Plant is among over 100 coal plants near residential areas.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Christopher C. Womack, the Executive Vice President and President-External Affairs is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Articles and Resources
- Southern Co., BusinessWeek Company Insight Center, accessed Aug. 2008.
- “Southern Company CEO Shared Details of Successful Hurricane Katrina Response With Senate Committee” Transmission and Distribution World, November 16, 2005
- “Southern Co. takes aim at a renewable-energy bill The Hill, May 8, 2007
- “The Record vs. the Rhetoric” Carrie Teegardin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 8, 2003
- David Ibata , "Study: Southern Company plants are 3 biggest greenhouse gas emitters" Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 11, 2012.
- Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information of the American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
- Southern Company HistoryFunding Universe
- Justin Gillis and John Schwartz, "Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher," The New York Times, February 22, 2015.
- "Southern Company", Center for Public Integrity, accessed July 2009.
- Coal-Fired Utilities to American Public: Kiss my Ash DeSmogBlog.com & PolluterWatch, October 27, 2010.
- David Ibata, "Study: Southern Company plants are 3 biggest greenhouse gas emitters" Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 11, 2012.
-  Forbes.com, March, 2011.
- Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
- Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
- Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed Aug. 2008.
- "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
- "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
- "5 Highest CO2 Emitting Power Companies in the World" CARMA Website, September 2009
- David Ibata , "Study: Southern Company plants are 3 biggest greenhouse gas emitters" Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 11, 2012.
- Shaila Dewan, "E.P.A. Lists ‘High Hazard’ Coal Ash Dumps," New York Times, June 30, 2009.
- Fact Sheet: Coal Combustion Residues (CCR) - Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings, Environmental Protection Agency, June 2009.
- Ken Ward Jr., "EPA data reveals more dangerous coal ash ponds" Coal Tattoo, Oct. 31, 2011.
- "EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash" Earthjustice & Sierra Club, February 1, 2011.
- "Coal ash waste tied to cancer-causing chemicals in water supplies" Alicia Bayer, Examiner.com, February 1, 2011.
- "Laura Miller gets her clean coal grant," Dallas News, December 4, 2009.
- " Daniel Kessler Treehugger.com March, 1 2010.
- "Southern captures carbon emissions for first time" Margaret Newkirk, Atlanta Journal-Constitution September 23, 2010
- Joseph Romm, Biomassive plans: Southern Company embraces the only affordable way to 'capture' emissions at a coal plant today, Grist, March 19, 2009.
- Southern Company Files Comments on Proposed EPA Rule Southern Company Press Release, Aug. 4, 2011.
- Gabriel Nelson "Southern Co. Sees Price Tag of at Least $13B for New EPA Rules" New York Times, Aug. 6, 2011.
- "Alabama Power Company to Spend More Than $200 Million Under Clean Air Act Settlement," U.S. EPA, April 25, 2006
- United States - Income and Poverty in 1999: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.
- Clean Air Markets - Data and Maps, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2009.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "Board of Directors", U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, accessed July 2011.
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