Cobb EMC Gets it Right on Coal-fired Power Plant

Guest Blog | January 25, 2012 | Press Releases

Marietta, Ga. (January 25, 2012) – Yesterday’s decision by the board of directors at Cobb EMC to freeze the EMC’s funding for POWER4Georgians (P4G) marks a tremendous step in the right direction for all of Georgia’s citizens. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy applauds the board of directors who voted for the moratorium on spending on the new coal plants, and encourages the other four EMCs currently participating in the consortium to follow Cobb EMC’s lead by cutting off all involvement with P4G and the proposals to build Plant Washington and Plant Ben Hill.

“We’ve been saying for years that the economics don’t stack up on the new coal proposals, but until recently it seemed like Cobb EMC’s leadership was asleep at the wheel,” said Georgia
Coal Organizer Amelia Shenstone. “This decision is a testament to the dogged persistence of Cobb EMC members who held their utility co-op accountable and ousted directors they felt were irresponsible about this project and other aspects of the utility’s business.”

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy exposed issues of corporate integrity behind
Power4Georgians, including the fact that P4G spokesman Dean Alford worked for now-indicted
Dwight Brown as a Cobb Energy VP, and kept his job even though his projects lost about $11 million over 5 years. Alford’s company, former Cobb Energy subsidiary Allied Energy Services, helped create P4G, then got a no-bid contract to handle coal plant development despite never having built a coal plant before. Cobb EMC’s new directors have indicated they will engage a forensic audit to investigate the business arrangements behind P4G, and other EMC affairs.

“This decision is a win for Cobb EMC members, and if Snapping Shoals EMC, Central Georgia
EMC, Washington EMC, and Upson EMC follow suit, it will be a win for their members, too,”
Shenstone continued. “They’ll protect members and the EMCs from risky new coal spending, and make it awfully hard for P4G to push forward any plans to build coal plants that threaten our air, water, and economy.”

SACE and its partners in the Georgians for Smart Energy coalition, including Sierra Club, the
Fall-line Alliance for a Clean Environment, Environment Georgia, and others, continue to advocate that all the EMCs in P4G conduct a thorough analysis of their needs for new generation in light of reduced power demand trends, as well as a comprehensive assessment of alternative options including energy efficiency, renewables like solar and sustainable biomass, and natural gas. # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the