One of the projects ACCCE highlights as an advancement for clean coal technologies is Southern Company’s Kemper Power Plant in Mississippi. On May 5, 2016, Southern Company revealed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was conducting an investigation of costs and delays at the Kemper Project. Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power’s 186,000 customers in south Mississippi have borne a significant portion of the construction costs – the price tag of Kemper has increased from an estimated $1.8 billion when it was first proposed in 2006 to $6.72 billion.Over the past eight years, ACCCE has lobbied state legislators through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), released flawed reports on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s clean air rules, and launched a public relations campaign around the 2008 presidential election (among other activities).
ACCCE Involvement in American Legislative Exchange Council
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has been a sponsor of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meetings since at least 2011. The organization sponsored the following meetings according to documentation from Center for Media and Democracy’s Sourcewatch profile on American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity:
- “Chairman” level sponsor, 2011 Annual Conference – $50,000
- “Chairman” level sponsor, 2013 Summer Meeting – $50,000
- “Chairman” level sponsor, 2013 Annual Conference – $50,000
- “Director” level sponsor, 2014 Annual Conference – $Unknown
Reports on Proposed EPA Power Plant and Clean Air Rules
On October 23, 2015, ACCCE was one of the first organizations that immediately filed a petition for review when EPA published the Clean Power Plan. ACCCE is also a member of the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG), which is suing the EPA over the Clean Power Plan as well.
Besides litigation, ACCCE commissioned a report from an economic research firm, National Economic Research Associates, Inc (NERA), that claimed the clean air regulations proposed by President Barack Obama’s administration would cost utilities $17.8 billion per year and have serious impacts on electricity rates.
Dr. Laurie T. Johnson, chief economist of the Natural Resources Defense Council pursued a review of the NERA study and concluded, “The report makes assumptions that artificially inflate costs, and displays a level of (non)transparency so egregious it would never pass a peer-review process.” The ACCCE report also ignored clean energy and energy efficiency as two key compliance options for polluters to meet the Clean Power Plan standards and inflated the cost of energy efficiency solutions.
ACCCE Actions Around 2008 Presidential Election
As of April 2016, the members of American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity include (among others):
- Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.
- Alpha Natural Resources (filed for bankruptcy protection on August 3, 2015)
- American Electric Power
- BNSF Railway (a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway)
- Coal Utilization Research Council
- Murray Energy Corporation
- Natural Resource Partners
- Norfolk Southern
- Oglethorpe Power Cooperative
- Peabody Energy (filed for bankruptcy protection on April 13, 2016)
- Southern Company
- Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.
- Troutman Sanders
- Union Pacific
- Western Fuels Association