Energy alert: PACE is a dangerous deception

Published 8:00 pm Friday, August 12, 2011

Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy Is Dangerous Deception!

From Sourcewatch: The “Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy is an Alabama-based is a 501(c)(4) group that describes itself as “ a coalition of working people, business owners, environmentalists, and trade organizations who are fighting for fair, responsible energy policies. PACE believes that the national conversation about the future of energy must include discussions about the cost of particular energy alternatives, not just their environmental benefits.” The group lists the Alabama Pulp & Paper Council, Manufacture Alabama and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers as its “Official Partners”.

PACE was incorporated in February 2009 by William D. Lineberry, an attorney with the Birmingham, Ala. office of Balch & Bingham — a firm that lobbies on behalf of the Southern Company and its Alabama Power subsidiary. Lineberry also serves on the tax committees of the Business Council of Alabama as well as Manufacture Alabama — both of which are partners in PACE. PACE’s other members include the Chamber of Commerce divisions in Alabama and Tennessee, and the IBEW System Council U-19, which represents 3,000 Alabama Power employees.” Source:

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PACE is nothing but a front for Alabama Power Company, its parent Southern Company and other large fossil fuel burning pollution sources. It should drop clean from its name.

Going all the way back to the earliest clean air legislation efforts Southern Company and other power companies have grossly overestimated the cost of pollution controls while downplaying the benefits of those controls. Those who support PACE would like for you to believe that clean air costs too much. They do not want you to know that since its passage that the Clean Air Act has provided an estimated 50+ TRILLION dollars in benefits to society. These benefits have largely been in the form of fewer asthma attacks, fewer doctor visits, fewer hospitalizations and fewer deaths due to reduced respiratory impacts created by cleaner air. PACE would have you believe that the large societal cost savings from incremental improvements in air quality are not worth small incremental increases in energy costs. Our wonderful Public Service Commission passes most all of the costs of pollution controls on to ratepayers so what beef does the power industry have?

The power company is concerned that more people might wake up to truths that are becoming more evident every day. First, coal is dirty, dangerous and deadly at every step in its extraction and use up to and including disposal of hazardous and toxic ash. Second, clean, renewable energy is competitive with energy from dirty coal if subsidies for coal (from road costs to medical costs and other externalities already borne by individuals and society) are considered. Other pollution costs of coal, those related to global climate change are probably just beginning to become noticeable and are likely to escalate rapidly and cost society much, much more in both dollar and human deaths than other past and present external costs.

People can start to make a difference today by taking low cost steps to make their homes more energy efficient and by conserving energy. Those who can should invest in solar water heating systems. These systems more than pay for themselves. People in many locations can also arrange through their electricity provider to purchase some part or all of their electricity from clean renewable sources. This isn’t only a wise thing to do it is the best thing to do for the health and future of our children and our neighbors.

Michael William Mullen

Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, Inc.

Banks, AL