Southern Co.’s David Ratcliffe heading to D.C. for energy and climate change hearings

Southern Co. CEO David Ratcliffe is on his way to Washington D.C. to represent the power company’s point of view on the proposed Waxman-Markey bill on energy and climate change.

Starting today, there will be four days of hearings on the draft 648-page bill. The bill is far-reaching and would begin to frame a program on a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

In the past, Ratcliffe has voiced his opposition to the establishment of carbon fees as a way to reduce emissions.

Ratcliffe was the keynote speaker this morning at a breakfast meeting of the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility, which is part of Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business.

In response to a question, Ratcliffe said all the stakeholders are trying to work through the legislative process, but it’s all a question of balance.

Ratcliffe mentioned that all the stakeholders have a desire to have reliable energy, a desire to create a cleaner environmental footprint and a desire for affordable energy.

“The people who make policy decisions must find a way to balance all of those,” Ratcliffe said. “These are complicated issues — climate change, reliability. All us need to understand the implications.”

Ratcliffe did say that the nation and the world is moving in a direction to try to find a balance between being environmentally responsible and providing reliable and affordable energy.

“We have already moved significantly in that regard,” Ratcliffe said.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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