Ala. governor warns utility on water feud

WASHINGTON (AP) - Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is warning utility giant Southern Co. to stay out of the region's tri-state water war.

In a letter to company CEO David Ratcliffe Wednesday, Riley said he was surprised to learn that the head of Southern subsidiary Georgia Power was leading a Georgia "impact team" formed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to work on the state's strategy in the dispute, including lobbying Congress.

Riley said having Georgia Power's involvement was "counterproductive" and could lead the states to harden their
negotiating positions.

Along with Georgia Power, Southern owns Alabama Power and northwest Florida's Gulf Power, putting it in a tricky position as the states fight over rivers they share. The utilities are among the region's largest water users. A Southern spokesman could not be reached.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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