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CEO Column

Is Solar Cheaper Than Natural Gas?

I apologize for all the numbers. They are geeky, but important if you are interested in the true cost of electricity. If you aren’t, you can stop reading now or skip to the fourth from last paragraph and see the answer. A few weeks ago, environmental protesters argued that the Alabama Public Service Commission should …

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Just Asking…For A Friend

A friend told me Joe Biden said on Face the Nation the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential elections and continue to try to interfere in U.S. politics to influence the 2020 presidential election. The Washington Post and other media outlets report U.S. officials have told Senator Bernie Sanders that Russia is attempting to help …

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Doing What We Can

A few months ago, I wrote about comments I receive on my articles. I quote another reader this month.

Inconvenient Energy Realities

Every week it seems another city or county announces that they will no longer allow new natural gas connections or mandate that their energy providers – electric utilities, natural gas suppliers and transportation companies – must provide carbon-free services by a certain date not too distant into the future.

The Circle of Life Continues

The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is over, and we are preparing for Christmas. As we get older, we recognize holidays are more a time for giving thanks for the many blessings of life and for remembering family than they are about turkeys and presents.

We Should Have Known

The Democratic Presidential Candidates held their Climate Change Debates earlier this week. They laid out extensive plans to save the planet from what they say is the greatest threat to our existence today. Joe Biden put forward a $1.7 trillion plan for zero carbon emissions. Sen. Bernie Sanders described the situation as similar to the crisis faced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940s. He says his $17 trillion plan will save the planet.

What If It Doesn’t Work?

I watched the second round of the Democratic Presidential Debates this week. Among other issues, all 20-something Democratic presidential candidates endorse plans to reduce carbon emissions by 2025 or proposals to ban all carbon emissions by 2050 as a major plank in their platforms.

The Solar Tax, Part 2

Last month I discussed Al Gore’s visit and talk in Hayneville in February and his criticism of Alabama Power Company’s Capacity Reservation Charge. I also discussed how electric utilities’ costs are incurred and how utilities recover their costs. This month I will close out the article with a discussion on how Alabama Power Company’s Capacity Reservation Charge prevents subsidization of solar customers by non-solar customers and saves poor electric customers money on their electric bill.

Solar Tax Matrix Part 1

This article is longer than usual, so I have broken it into two parts. I start this month with a discussion on a utility’s fixed costs incurred to provide service to all customers when they need it and how those costs are recovered. I will conclude the article next month with a discussion on how solar customers are subsidized by non-solar customers without a specific solar charge.


Paying tribute to fallen members of the cooperative family is like writing a love letter to your sweetheart who is far away. It should have the right tone, the right words and touch on all the right things. There’s no one better at that than local writer Sean Dietrich. He is a columnist, novelist, and podcast/radio show host, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, The Tallahassee Democrat, Good Grit, South Magazine, Alabama Living, the Birmingham News, Thom Magazine, The Mobile Press Register, he has authored seven books, and is the creator of the Sean of the South blog and radio show. In the following, Sean tells the story of three good linemen who were tragically taken away much too soon.

Energy Security

The Future

The Rest of the Story

When Reality Sets In


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