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Southern Co. responds to Kemper criticism

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World Coal,

US utility, Southern Co., has issued a forceful response to a recent New York Times article that criticises the Kemper County energy facility, an integrated gasification combined cycle plant that will turn lignite into gas, which in then used to generate power.

“Southern Co. is proudly investing America’s – and the world’s – energy future through the development of the world’s advanced coal plant,” the company said in a press release.

“Rather than educate readers on the worldwide benefits of this cutting-edge first-of-its-kind facility, the New York Time’s article on the Kemper project provides a negative recap of previously disclosed developments that have already been addressed.”

According to the New York Times, the project is currently more than two years behind scheduled and more than US$4 billion over its initial budget: “Members of Congress have described the project as more boondoggle than boon.”

In response, Southern Co. accuses the New York Times article of attempting to “deliver a pre-conceived narrative” and of failing to “mention key facts communicated to the reports that would clearly illustrated the company’s commitment to completing the project the right way for the benefit of customers.”

It also noted that concerns raised by the former Kemper employee, Brett Wingo, in the New York Times had been previously investigated through internal and third-party investigations that concluded the concerns were unsubstantiated and “not otherwise supported by the facts.”

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