New records suggest Alabama Power paid millions to shadowy consulting groups involved in scandals throughout the Southeast

Recently posted documents online suggestThat Alabama Power engaged in a multi-million dollar effort to monitor environmental groupsYou can exert pressure on regulators and engage in other political activities. 

The recordsAppear toContracts between Alabama PowerJoe Perkins is a long-time CEO of several companies. AlabamaConsultancy firm based in London whose businesses have been at theMany utility-adjacent controversies are at the center, including the “ghost-candidate” election scandals inFlorida theNorth Birmingham Bribery Scandal in2018, which was referred to as “Alabama’s Watergate”.

The contracts were posted theDonald Watkins’ blog shortly after Christmas 2021. Watkins, an attorney, was last year sued by Perkins for $1.5 million in defamation. He is currently on time. inFederal prison for wire fraud and bank fraud.

These are the latest recordsAppear toShow two Alabama Power contracts, one for “consulting services” with Perkins Communications LLC, and another for “governmental relations” with Matrix LLC; both corporations are owned by Joe Perkins. From January 1, 2018, the contracts were worth less than $2.5million to31 July 2019. They contained reporting provisions, which required Matrix Communications and Perkins Communications to be notified. toPlease provide more information to Alabama PowerUpon request to keep detailed recordsActivities performed on behalf the utility.

EPI reached out to Alabama PowerYou are invited to comment theSigned contracts theBlog Alabama PowerAnswered with the following statement: “Matrix has provided strategy and policy advice to Alabama Power for many years.” 

Perkins, who co-founded Matrix, is currently involved inA legal battle with the consultancy’s former CEO Jeff Pitts, who is now theCanopy Partners is a competitor company.

Alabama Power tasked Matrix to “monitor” environmental groupsRegulators

The purported contract between Alabama PowerMatrix LLC was worth $90,000. Matrix performed a range of monitoring and tracking duties from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. to “monitor the policies of” existing environmental groups?, and toPay attention theNew environmental solutions groups. The contract tasks Matrix with monitoring the actions of regulatory boards and agencies – likely including the Alabama Public Service Commission – and maintaining relationships with those who influence state environmental policy. Alabama PowerMatrix to “continue the development and maintenance of a grassroots database of organizations.”

Alabama Power’s contract with Perkins Communications LLC, worth $124,000 per month from August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2019, tasked Perkins with monitoring and providing “direct relations” with groupsThat impacted Alabama PowerYou can find them at the AlabamaEducation Association the Alabama AFL-CIO. Later, the contract was extended toInclude any other organization that could have an impact Alabama Power. Perkins was also responsible for promoting Alabama Power in the Black Belt (theThe region from which it gets its name theMississippi was known for its rich soil, which made it an agricultural hotspot. AlabamaGeorgia The company is listed as “Perkins Communication L.L.C.” by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office and is registered toJoe Perkins, Amy Todd Perkins

Contracts allowed theTwo companies toCharges may be collected Alabama Power “without invoicing” or theSubmit documentation toJustification for a payment Unter the contract, Alabama PowerHad theRight to request a report describing the work theCompanies did this for theutility, however it is not yet known whether such reports exist.

Additional requirements for the apparent contracts were also required the companies toMaintain recordsSimilar toTheir work is greatly appreciated. theutility for at most three years, and gave Alabama Power thePermanent right toMake copies and audit such records.

The most recent publication recordsAlso available toShow that Alabama PowerPerkins Communications and Matrix LLC were contracted during a time period in2018 was the year that Oliver Robinson, a former state representative, was brought to trial by Joel Gilbert, a former partner of Balch & Bingham, and David Roberson, formerly executive at Drummond Company. Robinson, who represented Alabama’s House District 58 from 1998 until he resigned on Nov. 30, 2016, sold his influence as a state legislator toDrummond and Balch & Bingham need your support inOpposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to prioritize and expand a Superfund site near Robinson’s legislative district. Drummond was a traditional one. theThe largest coal suppliers to Alabama Power?, and theTwo have had a long-lasting relationship that spanned decades. This includes a price fixing scandal. in theLate 1970s

Later, all three men were convicted and their appeals were denied. Balch, Bingham was theDrummond Company law firm. theFor law firm Alabama Power.

Alabama PowerContributed minimum $30,000 in 2015 to the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy, theShell group theHeart of funneling money theNorth Birmingham Bribery Scandal. Pitts testified in 2018 that he had met Balch and Bingham, and that the Matrix was. involved inFaking grassroots support toDrummond Balch, Bingham. Alabama PowerRefrain from adding a North Birmingham neighborhood to the list to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List for Superfund sites.

Matrix LLC, and its utility connections

Matrix LLC, a lobbying and opposition research company that has provided political assistance, is Matrix LLC consultingServices to Alabama Power for decades. Utility-backed Front groupsEnergyFairness and JobKeeper Alliance are included. theThe latter was previously known as thePartnership for Affordable Clean Energy was born from Matrix and has been supported thePositions Alabama Power. 

These are the fronts groups worked toStop a 2013 formal rate-review Alabama Power, which was not complete since 1982. Terry Dunn, Republican commissioner for public service at theTime, pushed for theDue for formal rate review toHe believed these were his beliefs Alabama Power’s excessive profits, saying, “They’ve [Alabama Power]Received a complimentary pass theLast 30 years. That’s what theThe problem is. It’s time to have a checkup.” 

GASP, an environmental group has claimed that its website was hacked following criticisms. theRegulating process in AlabamaDunn said that he was followed by private investigators. The AlabamaThe Public Service Commission was eventually changed theFormula used toCalculate Alabama Power’s profits inAn attempt to quell thePublic scrutiny was not allowed, but an Energy and Policy Institute analysis concluded that Alabama PowerIt is still ranked among the top 10. theMost profitable utilities in theCountry, pulling inMore than one million dollars inProfits on top theAverage electric utility industry from 2014 to 2018.

EnergyFairness, JobKeeper Alliance, and EnergyFairness also work for utilities in the Southeast. EnergyFairness supports Florida Power & Light (FPL)’s attempts toRoll back net metering, which is a policy that requires utilities toRooftop solar owners who send excess energy should be compensated to the grid.

Matrix and its former employees like Pitts have worked toInfluence elections in Florida in theSeveral election cycles ago. Richard Alexander, a Matrix operative, ran theGrow United theNon-profit organisation the heart of Florida’s “ghost-candidate” election scandalsProsecutors are investigating the case against. inAccording to South Florida toA report by the Miami Herald. Alexander also invented the Miami Herald. groups toPromote theAgenda of FPL according toReporting starting the Orlando Sentinel.

Eric Silagy (FPL CEO) was presented by Pitts with a detailed plan on how FPL money can be hidden through a number of entities, which could then make campaign contributions to politicians to “minimize all public reporting of entities and activities,” according toReporting by the Orlando Sentinel. Silagy received thePitts emails under the pseudonym of “Theodore Hayes,” the Sentinel reported.

Photo credit: Alabama Power

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