News

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 31, 2017

Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund, jennifer@cleanenergyactionfund.org

Next Year’s Public Service Commission Elections Present Opportunities for Clean Energy in Georgia

Advocates highlight the need for commissioners who balance consumer protection and utilities’ needs

Atlanta, Ga. (May 31, 2017) – In 2018, Georgia voters will fill two seats on the state’s state’s Public Service Commission (PSC), those currently held by Commissioner Chuck Eaton and Chairman Stan Wise. The first challenger in the races officially announced his candidacy today: John Noel of Atlanta, Georgia.

The commission is composed of five popularly elected members who serve staggered, six-year terms. The Commissioners regulate the state’s utilities, determining which sources of power utilities will use to meet energy demand and setting the rates that utilities can charge customers for the services provided.

Because PSC decisions have a significant impact on both consumers and the environment, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund’s executive director, Dr. Stephen A. Smith, issued this statement in light of today’s announcement:

“We welcome any and all serious candidates for Georgia’s Public Service Commission that are committed to finding the right balance between the needs of the utilities and the importance of consumer and environmental protection.

While the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund is not endorsing any candidates yet, we see this race as particularly important for the citizens of Georgia given the high stakes resulting from significant delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns in the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion. Now, more than ever, Georgia residents and energy consumers need a responsive and independent PSC that will protect consumers and not just utility profits. Since 2009, Commissioners have had many opportunities to rein in the spiraling costs of Plant Vogtle’s expansion, and hold Georgia Power accountable, but they have yet to do so.

In addition to myriad issues directly related to Plant Vogtle, there will be other critical decisions facing the PSC in the coming years, such as Georgia Power’s next long-term energy plan – the Integrated Resource Plan – and a fuel case in which the PSC will consider increasing Georgia Power customers’ rates.

We welcome a robust field of candidates who are committed to protecting Georgia consumers and supporting the current transition to a clean energy economy.”

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About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund (SACE Action Fund), the political arm of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), is a non-partisan, non-profit (c4) organization striving to make clean energy solutions to climate change a top priority for our region’s elected leaders. SACE Action Fund engages in public education, legislative action and electoral accountability here in the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergyactionfund.org.