Incumbents win GA PSC primary, face general election challengers

At least they had primary opposition, and there’s still the general election in which to challenge the Georgia PSC incumbents. Even the incumbents aren’t defending coal anymore. Keep up the pressure and maybe they’ll finally get us solar and wind energy, or, even better, we’ll elect someone who will. Steve Oppenheimer and David Staples are running in the general election.

GA PSC primary results

Ray Henry wrote for AP today, Chuck Eaton, Stan Wise win Republican primaries for Ga. Public Service Commission

Republicans Stan Wise and Chuck Eaton fended off GOP challengers in Tuesday’s primary, winning a chance to keep their seats on Georgia’s Public Service Commission, which regulates gas, electric and telephone utilities.

Unofficial results showed that Wise, 60, of Marietta won roughly 57 percent of the vote against Pam Davidson, 49, an energy consultant from Douglasville. No Democrat qualified for the seat, so the winner of Tuesday’s primary will likely claim a six-year term on the commission….

Early results showed that Eaton, 43, of Atlanta took about 60 percent of the vote against Matt Reid, 56, an engineer from Decatur. Eaton was elected to the commission in 2006 and cited a recent reduction in the rates that Georgia Power charges its customers as proof of his financial stewardship.

With 151 of 159 counties reporting, Georgia Secretary of State Elections Division still shows about the same percentages.

Wise doubled down on fracking:

“We’ve made a commitment over the years of promising just a few things — reasonable rates, reliable generation and clearly we’re building an infrastructure for the future, whether it comes from increased natural gas infrastructure in the state or growing nuclear transmission for generations to come,” Wise said after he won.

Those electricity prices aren’t so reasonable when you figure in the poisoned groundwater from fracking and the bet-the-farm risk of nuclear. As for reliable, we’ve just seen in the U.S. northeast and in India what happens when a rigid grid of big baseload generation gets overloaded in the heat: millions go without power.

Eaton bragged about reducing Georgia Power rates while not mentioning the CWIP surcharge for Plant Vogtle nuclear electricity nobody will receive for years, if ever. Then he alluded to his promotion of solar power:

“I think that my work to keep rates low and create jobs here in Georgia resonated with the voters, so we were obviously pleased with the results and I’m honored that the people of Georgia have chosen me as the Republican nominee,” Eaton said.

Instead of that 50 MW of promised solar generation, we could have had 3000 MW by now with that $8.3 billion Southern Company is wasting on Plant Vogtle. I think Eaton and Wise won their primaries because of name recognition and more because of massive campaign promotion funded by their regulated utility sugar daddies: I got half a dozen robocalls from their backers.

The real fat lady ain’t sung yet.

A Libertarian candidate, David Staples, 31, said he will attempt to qualify for the race Wednesday….

Eaton will face Democrat Stephen Oppenheimer, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Three months left to vote in some new blood for new energy for Georgia.