Tag Archives: Ben Hill County

Ben Hill Coal Plant Cancelled

Ben Hill Coal Plant was cancelled today by Power4Georgians (P4G). Losing Cobb EMC funding plus new air pollution regulations finally had a good effect.

According to SACE PR today, Proposed Ben Hill Coal Plant Cancelled in Georgia: Power4Georgians in Tenuous Position on Plant Washington After Legal Agreement

Clean air advocates and environmental groups won a victory today when Power4Georgians (P4G), the only company trying to develop expensive new coal plants in Georgia, agreed to comply with critical new safeguards against mercury pollution. The company also agreed to cancel the proposed Ben Hill coal-fired power plant and invest $5 million in energy efficiency and renewable projects. The Sierra Club, the Fall Line Alliance for a Clean Environment (FACE), Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), and the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, represented by GreenLaw and the Southern Environmental Law Center, successfully challenged the permit for Plant Washington issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, and the settlement agreement is pending approval by each group. If built, Power4Georgians’ Plant Washington will have to meet the much more protective emission standards for mercury and other air toxins.

The longterm implications are even better:

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Bulgaria cancelled a new nuke

If Bulgaria can do it, Georgia can do it: end a new nuke boondoggle. Bulgaria started opposition when building the plant seemed irreversible, yet they reversed it. We can, too. And we can get on with solar and wind.

Rayna St. wrote for Global Voices 31 March 2012, Bulgaria: Construction of the Nuclear Power Plant “Belene” Cancelled,

On March 28, Bulgaria officially announced the cancellation of its newest nuclear power plant (NPP) “Belene” construction. The Parliament has stopped this controversial project after years of discussion and more than half a billion euros invested in the construction of the first reactor.

Nuclear opponents in Bulgaria undid a done deal, starting with this:

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Insurgents win majority on Cobb EMC board

According to the Cobb EMC board election results, even without two runoffs, four new members were elected yesterday, so added to the 4 new members elected in November, that’s 8 out of 10 members opposed to coal plants, opposed to corruption, and for transparency.

Kim Isaza wrote for MDJOnline today, Four new Cobb EMC directors elected,

Four more seats on the Cobb EMC board of directors are now in new hands, and two more will be settled in unprecedented runoff elections on April 21.

The winners are: Rudy Underwood, who was unopposed in Area 2; Kelly Bodner in Area 3; Bryan Boyd in Area 8; and Eric Broadwell in Area 9.

One runoff will be for Area 4, where Jim Hudson won 681 votes (42 percent) and David McClellan won 601 votes (37 percent). There were eight candidates competing in Area 4.

The other runoff will be for Area 5, where Tripper Sharp — one of the plaintiffs to the 2007 lawsuit against the EMC — got 775 votes (46 percent), and Charles A. Sevier got 502 votes (30 percent). Nine candidates were vying for that seat.

To quote from Rudy Underwood’s platform:

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Coal Plants Washington and Ben Hill not quite dead yet

Somebody’s been watching too much Twilight. Plant Washington now joins the undead. But maybe Plant Ben Hill is really dead.

Dave Williams wrote for the Atlanta Business Journal yesterday, Georgia coal plant project to push on,

Cobb Electric Membership Corp.‘s board of directors voted Tuesday to pull out of the $2.1 billion 850-megawatt Plant Washington project, citing the uncertain impacts of tightened federal regulation of carbon emissions. Cobb EMC was the largest participant in the consortium Power4Georgians.

The consortium began looking for other partners to replace Cobb EMC well before Wednesday’s decision, which had been anticipated, said Dean Alford, spokesman for Power4Georgians.

“This in no way changes the course,” he said. “It’s still full steam ahead.”

But he wouldn’t say who else would help fund it. We’ll see whether he’s blustering or actually has any further backers.

John Roach and Kim Isaza in MJDOnline yesterday, EMC backs out of plan to build coal-fired plant, had a list of the other current partners: Continue reading

Cobb EMC loses special election by huge margin

Cobb EMC lost a court-ordered special election yesterday by 2561 to 1113, according to Take Back Cobb EMC’s facebook page. That was the vote against mail-in voting, because the insurgents believe mail-in voting helps incumbent directors win re-election. It’s Cobb EMC’s incumbent directors who want to build a coal plant in Ben Hill County, about 70 miles north of here.

MJDOnline explained the issues 14 September 2011, Don McKee: Decision day comes Saturday for Cobb EMC members

There are two questions in the form of proposed bylaw amendments to be decided by members Saturday: (1) whether to allow mail-in voting for directors, and (2) whether to prohibit payment of retirement benefits to directors.

Reform groups Cobb EMC Owners Association, Take Back Cobb EMC and Cobb EMC Watch strongly oppose allowing mail-in voting until new directors are elected. They argue that mail-in voting would give an overwhelming advantage to incumbent directors with unlimited EMC member funds at their disposal in campaigning for re-election versus the very limited funds available to challengers.

“The historical evidence of mail-in voting shows that it favors the incumbents over challengers,” Cobb EMC Watch says. “It gives the corporation tremendous leverage to manipulate and influence the voting process. The corporation can use its much greater financial resources to back its slate of candidates.”

One would guess the second item on the ballot passed: Continue reading

Coal-planning Cobb EMC board to meet

Cobb EMC to hold first member meeting since spate of legal problems. Its current directors still want to build a coal plant in Ben Hill County.

Kim Isaza wrote for MDJonline.com today, Sides set for first EMC meeting: Date set for Sept. 17, but Cobb Superior court judge must first grant approval

Pending approval from Judge Stephen Schuster, the first meeting of Cobb EMC members in nearly three years will convene at 10:15 a.m. Sept. 17.

At that meeting, members will decide two issues: whether to allow voting by mail-in ballots at future elections, and whether to amend the electric cooperative’s bylaws to limit director compensation to a daily rate while also prohibiting future directors from being paid retirement benefits. Previously vested benefits would not be affected.

And look which one the directors really don’t like: Continue reading

No land for solar in Georgia?

Nelson Hawk, after an excellent panel presentation at the Georgia Solar Summit, repeated the old canard that there’s not much land available for solar in the southeast. I couldn’t stand it, and blurted out “parking lots!” And airports, and road rights of way, and, let me think: rooftops! Or waste water treatment plants, like Valdosta just used, or barns on the north edges of fields, or the acreage Georgia Power is wasting on nuclear plants, or….

Gretchen Quarterman and Dan Corrie
Dan Corrie notes that Cobb EMC bought up 3600 acres in Ben Hill County for a coal plant. That acreage could generate quite a bit of solar power!


High-Voltage Grid of the Future — Daniel E. Frank

No new grid is needed to profit by becoming electrical generators on your own rooftops, but with a smarter grid south Georgia can export power to Atlanta and beyond.

I found this over in NO COAL PLANT IN BEN HILL COUNTY! with this comment by Dan Corrie:

This Georgia Tech announcement emphasizes how quickly technology is changing toward healthier energy production and away from coal. I would hate to see our South Georgia stuck with a contaminating, health-harming coal plant for 50 years while so much progress would be going on during that time.
The article by Daniel E. Frank dated 18 May 2011 appears on a law firm’s page, Georgia Tech Clean Energy Speaker Series: “High-Voltage Grid of the Future”: Continue reading