close
close

Rally outside Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting highlights multi-state, anti-consumer energy policies

Energy customers concerned that Buffett successor Greg Abel wrote the Berkshire Energy Playbook

OMAHA, born, May 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Outside of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting today, nonprofit organizations organized a rally to raise awareness about the anti-consumer policies of the company’s energy division. The energy companies managed by Berkshire, unlike other companies in the Berkshire portfolio, have complete monopolies over their service area.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy owns and operates utilities serving eleven US states, including PacifiCorp (Western US), MidAmerican Energy (Iowa), and NV Energy (Nevada). Operating one of the largest fleets of coal-fired power stations in the country, Iowa And Nebraska residents have borne the health and financial costs of their polluting facilities. Two large coal units operated by Berkshire’s MidAmerican Energy Company in Council Bluffs, IA loom across the river Omaha. Coal ash from these plants, including the Walter Scott Jr. Energy Center in Council Bluffsis found leak toxic amounts of arsenic, lithium, boron and more into nearby groundwater.

In recent years, these utilities have pursued anti-consumer policies in the states where they operate, including attempts to roll back energy efficiency programs, efforts to end net metering for distributed solar customers, and more.

“Rocky Mountain Power (PacifiCorp) has recently stepped up its attack on renewables. RMP has withdrawn from its Community Renewable Energy Program agreement with 18 Utah cities/counties that have pledged to achieve 100% net zero by 2030,” said Stan Holmes, volunteer leader of the Utah Sierra Club. “This follows other moves to move away from renewable energy sources in favor of fossil fuel power generation.”

“MidAmerican’s anti-consumer lobby is coming in Iowa has left the state with one of the highest energy costs in the country,” he said Kerri Johannsen, Energy Program Director at the Iowa Environmental Council. “From leading the charge to undermine energy efficiency programs, halting efforts to require utilities to consider the costs of new generations, and proposing to dump coal ash leachate into the Missouri River, MidAmerican continually demonstrates that their profits are more important than their customers.”

“Nevada Energy, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is interfering with Nevadans who want to install solar panels on their own homes or in their own communities. Because of this anti-consumer activity from Berkshire Hathaway, we will see more climate chaos. and higher electricity rates,” the spokesperson said Cathy FulkersonCo-facilitator Third Act Nevada.

Greg Abelchairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, has been named chairman of Berkshire Warren Buffets successor.

Greg Abel wrote the playbook for Berkshire’s anti-consumer energy policies, which have negatively impacted countless energy customers in states across the US,” said Steve Guyer, Energy Policy Advisor, Iowa Environmental Council. “It’s time to rewrite the playbook and put consumers first. Berkshire shareholders should be concerned about the company’s future with a new leader who has a track record of anti-freeze market and monopolistic decision-making.”

“In Nevada, consumers cannot afford to keep pace with NV Energy’s rate increases,” a spokesperson said Mary Prentice, promoter with Chispa Nevada. ‘Instead of investing in clean solar energy, NV Energy is building new dirty gas plants that will pollute our air and make electricity prices more unpredictable. Nevada Families are demanding that Berkshire Hathaway and its utilities put people and the environment before profit.”

At a time when wind and solar energy are the cheapest sources of new energy generation, Berkshire Hathaway operates one of the largest fleets of coal-fired power plants in the country. According to the “Benchmarking air emissionsAccording to the report, Berkshire Hathaway Energy had the fourth highest carbon emissions2 emissions among U.S. electricity producers, even though they generate the ninth most electricity.

The MidAm cleanup campaign is a coalition of organizations including the Iowa Environmental Council, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Clean Energy Districts of Iowa, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, the Sierra Club, Moms Clean Air Force, Action for the Climate Emergency, Great Plains Action Society and countless Iowans who care about our future. More information at www.cleanupmidam.com.

The Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) is the state’s largest and most comprehensive environmental alliance, made up of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect of Iowa natural environment. Through education, advocacy and coalition building, the Council raises awareness, generates action and creates large-scale change. We work on federal, state and local public policy issues to ensure a just, healthy environment and sustainable future for all Iowans. More information at iaenvironment.org.

Chispa Nevada is a program of the League of Conservation Voters that builds the power of Latinx communities to fight for climate justice and our democracy. Visit us at https://chispalcv.org/state/nevada for more information.

SOURCE Iowa Environmental Council