North Birmingham Bribery Case,  Southern Company,  Spotlight on Balch & Bingham

Part 8: $400 Million More – “Worshipping” Public Service Commission Rubber Stamped Alabama Power’s Rate Increases

This is our eigth installment on the controversies surrounding why Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite was ousted, sugar-coated as a retirement, in late November.

Pulitzer-winning columnist John Archibald on Monday wrote a powerful column on how Alabama’s Public Service Commission worships Alabama Power. He described the situation:

It was Alabama Power’s third rate hike of the year, the second in as many months, and it passed without discussion or debate or even the sign of the cross. It took a press release from Alabama Power itself later that day to translate the events of that meeting, to acknowledge the rate increase, effective in January, would add about $6.81 per month for the typical residential customer. After rate increases in July and November, the average customer will pay about $22.81 more per month than at the start of this year. That’s $273.72 more a year.

The Public Service Commission has rubber stamped the Alabama Power rate increases with no debate, no thought whatsoever.

And who are the commissioners? Three of them, all elected. Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, Chip Beeker, and Jeremy Oden (pictured above).

All three commissioner have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in election support in a web of PACs and independent committees affiliated with or allies of Alabama Power.

Sources claim that Alabama Power was allegedly involved in extensive corruption utilizing a web of shady operatives, obscure consulting firms, and a network of pay-through entities to allegedly compromise elected officials.

Robinson: Bought and paid for by the AJE

Just like the corrupt Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE), the entity that funneled $360,000 in bribes to convicted felon and ex-State Representative Oliver Robinson, how many other front groups and entities were used to compromise elected officials on behalf of Alabama Power?

The financial documents we received anonymously show that several unknown or obscure entities in Birmingham, Montgomery and Auburn were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Alabama Power through Matrix.

For what purpose? To what end?

Were they pay throughs? Were they entities set up to help launder money to elected officials?

Were they part of an organized criminal effort to attack perceived enemies and innocent families and their children? Or were they set up to buy a politician or three?

The bottom line is with the three rate increases, Alabama Power will generate $400 million in additional revenue.

Vogtle Nuclear Plant in Georgia

These rate increases were key to help pay down the billion-dollar cost-overruns of the boondoggle Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant.

Crosswhite, we are told, allegedly demanded these rate increases so he could be the “knight in shining armor” that saved Southern Company financially and would be easily promoted to CEO and Chairman of Southern Company.

Instead, Crosswhite is leaving like “a donkey with his tail between his legs.”

The irony is the Vogtle Power plant is named after former Alabama Power and Southern Company Chairman Alvin Vogtle. After 31 years, Vogtle’s grandson Jesse S. Vogtle, Jr. left Alabama Power’s sister-wife Balch & Bingham during an exodus in 2020. Vogtle exit appears to have tarnished Balch’s relationship with the utility and hurt Vogtle’s former colleague Crosswhite, who had previously worked at Balch for 17 years.

Vogtle’s exit ended some of the worshipping, and Crosswhite’s reputation has tumbled ever since.


Enjoying BanBalch.com? Please spread the word.