Energy giant Southern Co. is donating — from corporate coffers — to President Obama’s inauguration, Bloomberg reports.
Of course, this undermines Obama’s talk about battling the special interests and getting corporate money out of politics — again. But it’s interesting because of Southern’s relationship with the federal government, and Obama’s agenda on climate change.
Southern Co. CEO Thomas Fanning spoke at an event down in Tampa, where he laid out a fairly free-market agenda of tax reform, freeing up oil and gas for drilling, and “reducing overreaching regulation.” But Fanning also told me that he thinks Washington should be funding energy research.
Southern has received stimulus grants and other federal funds, adding up to $825 million over the years, for smart grid, coal gasification, and carbon capture. Now they’re sending some of that taxpayer money to Obama’s inaugural.