Southern Company CEO: Customer-focused energy investments backed by sound policy critical to economic recovery

Mar 18, 2013, 13:00 ET from Southern Company

ATLANTA, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning today outlined his company's strategic approach to addressing America's energy challenges during a presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Focusing on the role of energy in achieving a sustained economic recovery, Fanning emphasized the need for a cohesive national energy policy.

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"Energy drives economic development, job creation and personal income growth," said Fanning. "In order to restore America's financial integrity, we need a sound, sensible national energy policy that puts the full portfolio of energy resources to work for American families and businesses."

Since 1970, 78 percent of the growth in energy consumption has been driven by the electrification of the U.S. economy. In addressing the challenges facing the energy industry, Fanning stressed the importance of pursuing a diverse generation portfolio that includes new nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency while maintaining a commitment to energy innovation. Guided by its customer-focused business model, Southern Company is building toward America's energy future in a $20 billion effort that is helping the nation achieve energy independence.

"In a still-fragile global economy, America cannot afford to passively accept the 'new normal,'" said Fanning. "To achieve North American energy security, we need to play offense and defense by finding real, meaningful solutions to our energy challenges. Today's electric system was built by American ingenuity, and our continued commitment to energy innovation will help us prepare for tomorrow."

Edison Electric Institute President Thomas R. Kuhn joined Fanning for the presentation.

With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at

SOURCE Southern Company