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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Southern Co. crowds D.C. lobbying scene on global warming bill

Much like its subsidiary Georgia Power did under the Gold Dome with its controversial Plant Vogtle bill earlier this year, Atlanta-based Southern Co. has cranked up production in its lobbyist factory and ordered more than 60 well-dressed foot soldiers to march through the halls of Congress.

Their mission: Twist lawmakers' arms about the global warming bill that last week narrowly passed the House and is on its way to the Senate.

From the Center for Public Integrity:

Southern Company, the nation’s largest electric power generator, also had the largest force of lobbyists among the hundreds of businesses and interest groups that were seeking to influence the landmark climate change legislation that just passed the House.

With 63 lobbyists, the Atlanta-based energy giant had nearly twice as many climate lobbyists as any other company or organization, according to registration statements filed with the Senate Office of Public Records for the first quarter of 2009. (The second quarter filings won’t be available for a few weeks.) Eleven of Southern’s climate representatives were in-house, while the rest came from a dozen different lobbying shops.

It's for good reason, too. The center reports that "more than 80 percent of the 200 million megawatt hours of electricity [Southern Co.'s] plants generate annually is fired by fossil fuel — the main source of greenhouse gases." Should the bill pass, it could greatly impact Southern Co.'s — and in the process, your — bottom line.

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