How to find out if your energy supplier is trustworthy
The energy market has been in turmoil for more than a year, and the energy sector is now under intense scrutiny.
The industry’s stock market crash and massive cost-cutting at utilities, including the bankrupting of Exelon and Southern Co., have been a boon to energy companies, but consumers have been hurt by a series of cost-saving measures, like cutting bills and switching to alternative energy sources.
Energy companies and consumers have had their day in court in the past.
And yet, there is one company that is seemingly immune to the criticism that is being thrown its way: Exelon.
ExxonMobil has had a rocky relationship with the Obama administration for years, and it’s been one of the biggest losers of the economic crisis.
During a Senate hearing last month, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., asked whether Exelons actions had contributed to the energy crisis, to which she was told that Exelos actions were a result of its inability to pay utility bills.
“The answer is, yes,” Heitkop said.
In March, the Energy Department announced a $100 billion settlement with Exelontes in connection with its 2010 coal ash spill in West Virginia, which killed 1,200 people.
It’s an unlikely partnership for a company that’s been fighting for years to get its coal ash out of the air.
Heitkamp then asked Exelomers executive vice president of communications, Brian Kallman, to address the energy industry’s “corporate transparency” problems.
Kallman responded by saying, “There are a lot of different types of transparency that you could be working on in the energy market.”
While Exel on its face might seem like a reasonable company to be working with, there’s another reason why Exel would want to work with a company like Exxon.
Former Exel chief executive Officer James Quigley once told reporters that the company is the “savior” of the energy economy.
When it comes to energy, Exel is not only responsible for keeping energy prices low, it’s also responsible for saving millions of lives and trillions of dollars in pollution, Heitkowski said.
Exel was the only company that met the government’s definition of a “non-compliant” coal ash disposal facility, meaning it did not follow the requirements of the Clean Air Act, Heimkop told reporters.
So when the Trump administration threatened to slap sanctions on Exel, the company was quick to respond.
But the sanctions have not only hurt Exel and its shareholders, but also the country’s economy, Heifkop added.
With the economy hurt by the government, Exels investors are less inclined to invest in energy companies like Exxon, he said.