Billionaires for Coal Celebrate Dirty Industry at Climate Conference

July 18, 2008 at 7:41 pm 4 comments

Local youth activists posing as billionaires gathered outside the “Climate Change: The Issue, Registries, Forestry Offsets & Strategies” Conference at the Wyndham Hotel in Midtown Atlanta on Friday, to celebrate the proposed construction of a new 850 MW coal-fired power plant by Power4Georgians. The group, calling itself “Billionaires for Coal”, posed as supporters and publicly inducted CEO Dean Alford, President of Power4Georgians, into their society of fossil fuel profiteers.

The conference, hosted by industry law firm King and Spalding, held a variety of  ‘industry strategy’ seminars for utility industry executives looking to find business opportunity in a world concerned with climate change.  During Friday’s lunch break, activists entered the conference calling for Dean Alford to accept his induction, citing Power4Georgians plans as a success for the extremely wealthy at the expense of Georgia’s middle class.  Power4Georgian’s a consortium of 10 Georgia Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMC), including Cobb and Greystone EMC, recently announced plans to build the proposed Plant Washington outside of Sandersville, Georgia.

“As energy prices continue to skyrocket, CEO’s like Mr. Alford who invest in coal and oil help to ‘green’ the pockets of billionaires like ourselves, all at the expense of the average rate-payer” said Jackie Murray, a student from Valdosta State University.  The group, an offshoot of the local Georgia Students for Sustainability, pointed to the rising price of fossil fuels like coal in contrast to recent utility company reports of record-breaking profits.  Young activists also facetiously denied the benefits of renewable energy as a means to bolster the local economy, saying that new technologies put “people before profits”.   CEO Alford’s speach was entitled “Climate Change and Corporate Oppurtunity”.

Georgia Students for Sustainability, a coalition of university and high-school environmental and social justice groups from across the state, has joined with community organizations and national environmental groups to oppose the coal-plant proposed for Sandersville, Georgia.  Several community organizations have formed to oppose the plant in EMC territories around the state, including Cobb and Washington EMC, citing health, environmental, and economic issues among their concerns.

“We are truly happy that coal investment opportunities continue to be available, despite rising prices and environmental concerns that leave behind America’s lower and middle class communities,” said Natasha Fast, organizer for the Southern Energy Network, “role models like Dean Alford provide a great deal of wealth security to billionaires like us.”   Dean Alford, who has acted as spokesman for the protested project, also owns Allied Energy Services, the contract company chosen by Power4Georgians to construct the proposed $2 billion dollar facility.

Georgia Students for Sustainability is supported by the Southern Energy Network, an inclusive youth based organization which works to promote environmental and social justice acorss the southeast.  The group works in partnership with the Energy Action Coalition a national youth-based organization focused on creating economically sound solutions to the climate change crisis.


Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Greg Stewart  |  July 18, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Friday afternoons are always a good time to invest in reading about simpletons demonstrating against issues that they are so poorly informed about. Citiznes Against Virtually Everything (CAVE) will certainly find plenty of recruits in this partially educated group of kids. Hopefully when they finish the education and join the REAL world, they will develop an understanding of what is necessary for community growth and economic survivability. Until them, will someone please help them use the crosswalks.

  • 2. tashatree  |  July 19, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    For more photos, 🙂

  • 3. moe33  |  August 27, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Biting back a scathing reply to comment #1, I encourage everyone who is interested in being “informed” and “educated” to check out It’s an interactive database that lets you see how much your representatives have accepted in contributions from the coal industry, and then how they’ve voted on key energy and environmental bills. The relationship between the two isn’t surprising, but it provides great ammo for convincing skeptics.

  • […] members in forming the local Fall-Line Alliance for Clean Environment, and have taken various action to stop the plant. Recently, concerned Students with Georgia Students for Sustainability joined […]


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