Defend democracy in the South.

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INSTITUTE INDEX: Southern utilities fiddle with inadequate emissions cuts as Earth burns

Sue Sturgis

Warning that human activity continues to intensify global warming, the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also says the most dangerous effects can still be avoided if we act now. But the South's two worst climate-polluting electric utilities — Duke Energy and Southern Company — are dragging their feet with transition plans that don't do nearly enough to curb heat-trapping emissions.

GOP state attorneys general spread election lies that fueled Capitol riot

Sue Sturgis

The Republican Attorneys General Association, currently led by Chairman Chris Carr of Georgia and Policy Chair Steve Marshall of Alabama, is under fire for its role in amplifying false claims of presidential election fraud. We look at the group's history and its corporate funders — some of whom are now reconsidering their support.

Secret industry money helped utility interests win Georgia runoff

Sue Sturgis

The latest tool that industry has used to tilt Georgia's regulatory field against electric utility ratepayers? An outside spending group tied to the faltering nuclear power industry, which helped Georgia Power's candidate of choice hold his seat on the state commission that oversees utilities.

New challenges for the disputed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Sue Sturgis

A key permit voided. An environmental justice complaint. Accusations of fraud. In recent weeks, Dominion and Duke Energy's proposed pipeline to carry fracked gas from West Virginia at least as far south as North Carolina has faced several setbacks. But the developers plan on moving ahead with the $6.5 billion project anyway — and they're investing in creating a political climate favorable to those plans.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Proposed gas pipelines put Southern ratepayers at financial risk

Sue Sturgis

A new report by Oil Change International shows how federal regulators' failure to adequately consider companies' justification for new fracked gas pipelines means utility ratepayers could end up footing the bill for costly and environmentally harmful projects that aren't needed.

Westinghouse bankruptcy leaves costly nuclear mess for Southern utility customers

Sue Sturgis

The main contractor for four nuclear reactors under construction in Georgia and South Carolina declared itself broke this week due to massive cost overruns on the projects. Ratepayers have already forked over billions of dollars for the long-delayed reactors, but their future is now uncertain.

Vogtle construction

Gas pipeline fights heat up in the South

Sue Sturgis

While the high-profile battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline continues, fights are also underway around the South to block new gas pipelines. Protests are planned in North Carolina this week against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, while opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline just had a big court win in West Virginia.

Southern Company caught promoting bad climate science again

Sue Sturgis
The Atlanta-based utility giant is in the news for funding a controversial researcher whose work has been used to cast doubt on the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is driving global warming. It isn't the first time the company has been involved in promoting questionable climate science.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Tallying up returns on corporations' political investments

Sue Sturgis
A report released this week by the Sunlight Foundation calculated what 200 of America's most politically active corporations invested in federal lobbying and campaign contributions over six years -- and the value of what they got in return: $760 in federal support and contracts for every $1 spent.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Secret sweetheart deal for Georgia nuclear reactors puts taxpayers at risk

Sue Sturgis
The U.S. Department of Energy has been less than forthcoming with details about a loan guarantee to help Georgia Power and its partners build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia. As it turns out, the company is getting quite a deal: absolutely free credit. Will taxpayers get burned again?