ADVFN - Advanced Financial Network.
HOME» NYSE » S » SO Stock Price » SO Stock News

Southern Share News

 Southern Company (the) Stock Price
SO Stock Price
 Southern Company (the) Stock Chart
SO Stock Chart
 Southern Company (the) Stock News
SO Stock News
 Southern Company (the) Company Information
SO Company Information
 Southern Company (the) Stock Trades
SO Stock Trades

Power Companies Await EPA Emissions Rule

--Rule on mercury and other pollutants due Friday --Details expected to be officially announced next week --Rule has wide implications for power sector By Ryan Tracy OF DOW JONES NEWSWIRES WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Power companies are watching closely as the Environmental Protection Agency readies new limits on toxic pollution from power plants in what could be one of the centerpieces of President Barack Obama's environmental resume. A flurry of lobbying from the industry came to a close Friday with the arrival of a court deadline for the agency to act. The EPA was expected to sign the rule Friday and officially announce the details next week. As proposed by the EPA this summer, the rule would impose strict limits on mercury and other hazardous pollutants from power plants that burn coal or oil to produce electricity, forcing older, dirtier plants to install pollution controls or shut down entirely. Some companies may decide it is cheaper to close down a coal plant then to install scrubbers or other controls. Exactly how many plants will have to close as a result of the rule has been hotly debated, but it is clear the rules will benefit companies that rely more heavily on natural gas and nuclear generation, while imposing costs on firms that have more coal plants that will need retrofits. Exelon Corp. (EXC), Constellation Energy Group Inc. (CEG), and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG) are among the companies that have supported EPA's effort. American Electric Power Co. (AEP) and Southern Co. (SO) have lobbied for more time to comply. Unlike EPA limits on smog-forming ozone pollution, which the administration delayed earlier this year, this rule has been explicitly backed by Obama. His campaign website lists the proposed standards among the president's environmental accomplishments, saying they will "help to clear our skies of pollutants that can make health problems like asthma and bronchitis worse." When the EPA proposed the rule this summer, it said it would avert more than 6,800 premature deaths per year, mostly because the equipment installed to capture pollutants like mercury would also catch tiny particles that are known to worsen heart and lung problems. The agency also said the true benefits of the rule are much larger than it can calculate. Mercury, for example, can impair brain development in children, but it is difficult to quantify the societal cost of a child with a lower IQ. Some power companies, however, dispute EPA's analysis, which puts the cost of the rule at about $10.9 billion per year, compared to more than $59 billion in benefits. In particular, Southern, American Electric Power and others have said the agency has not given enough consideration to the consequences of closing or retrofitting so many coal-fired power plants at once. Organizations that oversee the electrical grids in Texas, the Midwest, and New England have said if the EPA rules cause too many plants go offline, they could cause blackouts. "What hangs in the balance is the reliability of the electrical system," said Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, whose members include Southern and American Electric Power. EPA insists the rules are achievable without threatening the reliability of the grid. But it could appease industry by signaling more flexibility on the timeline for complying with the rule. The Edison Electric Institute, which represents the utility industry, has asked EPA to give all plants that choose to install retrofits at least four years to comply, and to make it clear that plants needed for reliability can have five years to comply if necessary. But allowing more time to install pollution controls would irk public health advocates, who have been conducting their own public relations blitz in support of EPA. "We are hoping for a strong rule," said Paul Billings, vice president of national policy for the American Lung Association. "Anything to delay the rules would be a problem." So far, the EPA has said only that it will consider extensions of the existing three-year timeline on a case-by-case basis. -By Ryan Tracy, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9245; ryan.tracy@dowjones.com

Stock News for Southern (SO)
DateTimeHeadline
06/02/201420:23:34Utilities Size Up Emission Cap for Power Plants
04/29/201421:37:21Southern Co. to Take $380 Million Charge for Kemper Coal Plant...
04/28/201416:53:22MARKET SNAPSHOT: Market Leaders Energy, Utilities Face Earnings...
04/27/201406:17:33MARKET SNAPSHOT: Energy, Utilities Companies Face Earnings Tests
02/19/201418:46:18U.S. Loan Guarantee Set for Georgia Nuclear Plant
02/18/201420:20:01U.S. to Clear Guarantees for Two Nuclear Reactors
02/18/201419:39:11Energy Dept to Approve $6.5 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Two...
01/29/201409:39:35U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
01/29/201409:30:14Southern Profit Rises on Improved Weather, Energy Sales
11/15/201309:18:03OZ Management LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases -2-
11/15/201309:18:02OZ Management LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201309:18:02OZ Management LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30 -2-
11/15/201309:18:02OZ Management LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
11/15/201307:04:50Bridgewater Associates LP 3Q 13F: Largest -2-
11/15/201307:04:50Bridgewater Associates LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of -2-
11/15/201307:04:50Bridgewater Associates LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
11/15/201307:04:49Bridgewater Associates LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/14/201307:19:32The Vanguard Group 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
11/14/201307:19:32The Vanguard Group 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases -2-
11/14/201307:19:20The Vanguard Group 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30

Southern and other New York Stock Exchange stock quotes are delayed by at least 20 minutes.
All other stock price data is delayed by at least 15 minutes unless otherwise stated.
By accessing the services available at ADVFN you are agreeing to be bound by ADVFN's Terms & Conditions
Contact Us | Copyright 1999-2007 ADVFN PLC. | Privacy Policy | Investment Warning | Data accreditations | Investor Relations

ADVFNADVFN ItalyADVFN GermanyADVFN FranceADVFN BrazilADVFN JapanADVFN UKADVFN US noad