April 25, 2017 Read More →

Southern Co. Investors Question Executive Bonuses as Flagship Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Plant Disappoints

Dow Jones:

Several public pension funds and a foundation issued an open letter Monday to Southern Co. criticizing executive compensation at the Georgia-based utility and urging shareholders to vote against two board members because of the issue.

The investors, including the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, argue executives are being rewarded despite severe problems at two flagship power projects.

The letter asks shareholders to vote against the re-election of board members Steven R. Specker and Dale E. Klein. Both sit on the compensation committee and the panel that oversees operational issues.

Southern is struggling to complete two large construction projects, including a clean coal power plant in Mississippi and a nuclear power station expansion in Georgia.

The power plant in Kemper County, Miss., which is designed to burn coal and capture much of the carbon-dioxide emissions, is several years behind schedule and suffering from cost overruns. After seven years and $7.1 billion, the plant still isn’t fully operational and Southern has taken $2.76 billion in charges against earnings over the past four years.

Southern is also over budget and behind schedule on two new nuclear-power generating units in Vogtle, Ga.

Pension Funds, Foundation Criticize Southern Co. Executive Compensation

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