Two heavyweight skeptics are taking on the “we’re-so-green” electric power utilities where it counts, by becoming stockholders with a voice. Fred Palmer and Steve Milloy have launched Burnmorecoal.com and they are collecting proxies, filing stockholder motions and sending letters to senior management. This action all in the name of stopping the green mania that is sweeping the U.S. electric power industry.
Palmer and Milloy have already collected a sizable portfolio of major power utilities. These are listed along with some useful notes on the specific green silliness of each, plus SEC information, their hyperbolic news releases, etc. They also include a proxy statement for each utility.
This Portfolio list makes clear that there is a major damaging fad going on in utility boardrooms. The war on coal is still going on, big time.
Rather than serving their customers with least cost reliable power, these utilities are competing to see who can be the greenest. This even includes shutting down running coal fired units in favor of wind and solar stuff. Of course the utilities make a lot of new money this way, basically shuffling their asset base, which their customers pay for.
Here are just a few examples of major electric utilities gripped by green mania:
Alliant Energy (LNT) plans to reduce carbon (dioxide) emissions by 40% in 2030 and 80% in 2050. These are increasingly popular targets, pushed originally by the Obama Administration and the Sierra Club.
Ameren (AEE) matches this with an expensive plan to cut harmless emissions by 35% in 2030, 50% in 2040 and 80% in 2050.
DTE Energy (DTE) aggressively promises “steady retirement of all our coal plants” plus a 30% cut in harmless CO2 emissions by the early 2020s, 45% in 2030, 75% in 2040 and 80% or more in 2050.
MidAmerican Energy (part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy) tops the list with a goal of 100% renewables, mostly from wind. What they do when the wind fails to blow the required 20 to 30 mph, which is more often than not, they do not say. This is a clear case of what I call 100% renewable deception.
Palmer and Milloy have both been active for a long time and both are bulldogs. Palmer founded and ran the Greening Earth Society in the 1990s. GES produced a series of important studies, reports and videos, including predicting the beneficial effects of increasing CO2 on global plant productivity, which NASA recently confirmed. Milloy founded and ran the famous Junk Science website, which is still going strong. Both have strong ties to the coal industry.
Here is their compelling pitch:
From BurnMoreCoal.com: “Welcome. We love coal. Beautiful clean coal. We want electric utilities to drop their foolhardy anti-coal political correctness so they can burn more coal to power our economy, raise our standard of living, secure our nation and set an example for the rest of the world. We own stock in electric utilities whose announced shuttering of coal plants makes the Obama Clean Power Plan look mild by comparison so we can advocate for coal as shareholders. You can help us buy stock and support our campaign for coal. You can also help out by giving us your proxy in electric utility stock you own. Check out ABOUT, MANIFESTO, ADVOCACY and PORTFOLIO to learn more about us.
Here is an excerpt from a stockholder motion filed with Duke Energy:
“We are asking Duke Energy to perform a Greenwashing Audit. Though existing coal plants are dramatically less expensive than any form of new electricity generation, Duke is planning to shutter its 14 coal plants — even as 1,600 others are being built around the world. China, alone, is adding coal capacity worth the entire US coal fleet. What benefit is Duke producing to anyone or anything by shuttering its coal plants? Is any claimed benefit real or is it greenwashing? Shareholders want to know!”
I urge people with stock in green mania utilities to seriously consider giving Burnmorecoal.com their proxies. The more votes they have the louder their voice.