Ed Muller

“The public and the political and regulatory world will have to come to grips with the fact that we're going to have to build things that people don't find attractive: coal and nuclear.” - Ed Muller
Employer: 
Position: 
Chairman and CEO
Biography: 
  • Education: Dartmouth College, B.A. in History (1973); Yale Law School, J.D. (1976)
  • 2010 – Present: GenOn Energy, chairman and CEO.
  • 2005-2010: Mirant Corporation, chairman, president and CEO.  Mirant and RRI Energy merged in 2010 to form GenOn Energy. Mirant was itself a spinoff of the utility giant Southern Company.  
  • 1993-2000: Edison Mission Energy, president and CEO. Edison Mission Energy is a subsidiary of Edison International.
  • 1983-1993: Whittaker Corporation, assorted positions including chief financial officer, chief administrative officer, general counsel, secretary, and vice president. Whittaker Corporation is the parent company for Whittaker Controls, which produces fluid control systems for major manufacturers of commercial and military aircraft.
  • 1977-1983: Leva, Hawes, Symington, Martin & Oppenheimer, Lawyer
  • 1976-1977: Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Weigel.
 
Current Board Positions:
  • Transocean, Ltd, Board of Directors, Executive Compensation Committee. 
  • Riverview School, Board of Trustees.  Riverview School serves students with cognitive and learning disabilities.
 
In 2010, Ed Muller received $6.08 million in total compensation for his work with GenOn and Mirant. In 2009, Muller received over $338,000 in compensation for serving on the Board of Directors for Transocean, Ltd. 
Quotes: 
“When you plug in your iPod, Blackberry or cell phone - and it's nifty new technology that's small, modern and exciting that didn't exist five years ago or thereabouts, you don't think that you're plugging it into a lump of coal, but you are.  We are.  I am.  But is that the ideal for the future? No.”
 

“The public and the political and regulatory world will have to come to grips with the fact that we're going to have to build things that people don't find attractive: coal and nuclear." Merrill Lynch Global Power and Gas Leaders Conference, September 27, 2006 (pdf)

 
“Coal and nuclear technologies produce 70% of all of the electricity in this country and no sharp changes are coming. Does the public know that? No. Have we done a good job? We, in the industry, including me, have we done a good job of explaining that to people? No.  Do we need to? Yes.”
Evidence: 

In April 2011, Ed Muller, as a member of Transocean’s three-person executive compensation committee, awarded the corporation’s CEO a $6.3 million bonus, citing their “best year in safety performance.”  That year, however, had seen the Deepwater Horizon explosion that cost eleven Transocean employees their lives and released close to five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. 

During Ed Muller’s time as CEO, GenOn has spent considerable amounts of money on lobbying for the interests of energy producers.  Since its formation in December 2010, GenOn’s lobbying expenditure totaled $440,000 and during Muller’s time as CEO of Mirant (2005-2010), the company spent $5,175,000 on lobbying and $534,422 on political donations.

As GenOn’s CEO, Edward Muller is responsible for the company’s forty-eight generating facilities, all of which are powered by fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas. During his time at GenOn and Mirant, Ed Muller has seen several of the company’s generating facilities come under fire from environmental organizations, as well as state and federal agencies, for violation of pollution laws.

The Keystone Generating Station in Pennsylvania, for example, is responsible for more toxic (pdf) air pollutants per year than any other plant in the country. In a lawsuit settled in April 2011, GenOn was fined $5 million for a cited 8,684 violations of the Clean Water Act at the Conemaugh Generating Station, which at times released 500 gallons of polluted water per minute, containing mercury, iron, aluminum, manganese, selenium, and boron. The Seward Generating Station was cited by environmental organizations in 2010 for over 12,000 violations (pdf) of state and federal water laws.

As of 2011, only two of GenOn’s coal-fired generating facilities have mercury control mechanisms installed (data provided by Ventyx, 2011), leaving the majority of the company’s plants to release high levels of mercury into their surrounding communities. The Keystone and Conemaugh plants are ranked second and fourth, respectively, on Environment America’s list of worst power plants for mercury (pdf) pollution. Exposure to mercury is known to negatively impact the neurological development of fetuses, infants, and children, causing cognitive and learning disabilities

For more information on GenOn’s polluting facilities, see the GenOn Energy profile.