Tag Archives: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Putting conservation into conservatives —John S. Quarterman

My op-ed in the VDT today. -jsq

Gov. Deal (WABE, 14 Nov 2012) temporarily forgot that “conservative” includes conserving something, like Theodore Roosevelt and national parks, or when Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge which also administers Banks Lake, when Richard Nixon started the EPA, and when Jimmy Carter signed the Soil and Water Conservation Act. If Gov. Deal wants to call conservation “liberal”, I’m happy to be a liberal working for water for our state!

Georgia Water Coalition’s Dirty Dozen

listed the biggest boondoggle of all as #11: the nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle suck up more water from the Savannah River than all local agriculture and almost as much as the city of Savannah.

If the new Plant Vogtle nukes are ever completed, all four will use more water than Savannah. In 2009 the legislature approved and Gov. Deal signed a law letting Georgia Power charge its customers in advance for building that boondoggle, to the tune of about $1.5 billion so far!

Let’s not forget

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Dear Southern Company: Green Energy Now! –Protesters

At yesterday’s Big Bets movie premiere, Southern Company doubled down and dug deeper in the hole.

Joeff Davis wrote for Fresh Loaf yesterday, Protesters picket utility’s Midtown film premiere, blast construction of new nuclear reactors

On the same day that tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Tokyo against the restart of Japan’s nuclear reactors, roughly 30 protesters chanted, marched, and handed out flyers today in Midtown to protest against Georgia Power’s construction of two new nuclear reactors in eastern Georgia. The two units, which are located about 175 miles from downtown Atlanta, are the first to be built in the United States in nearly three decades.

“Georgia Power is using our money to pay for something we don’t need, we don’t want and is killing us,” said Margie Resse as she handed out flyers outside the Fox Theatre. Southern Company, Georgia Power’s parent company, had reserved the historic Midtown venue to screen a documentary that it commissioned about the utility’s 100-year history for shareholders and executives.

The flyers claimed that Southern Company used “its notorious lobbying machine to

push a $2 billion rate hike” onto Georgia ratepayers to build “two risky nuclear reactors on the Savannah River,” which the groups say are months behind schedule and $900 million overbudget. The flyer urges ratepayers to refuse to pay a fee tacked on to utility bills that helps pay for the reactors’ construction.

Southern Company Spokesman Steve Higginbottom, standing just inside the Fox Theatre’s entrance and speaking barely above the protesters’ chants, said that Southern Company supports the rights of protesters but disputes their claims.

The “$900 million” figure cited by protesters, he said, has been alleged by Westinghouse, the manufacturer of the reactor, and Shaw, the project’s general contractor.

Um, Southern Company’s response is to talk about infighting among the consortium building the new nukes? SO could be digging themselves a hole deeper than the one the reactors sit in….

I do compliment Higginbottom and Southern Company on being consistently civil, however.


Southern Company movie Big Bets at the Fox in Atlanta this afternoon

If you happen to be in Atlanta, there's a movie premiere this afternoon! Southern Company has made a movie out of its corporate biography, Big Bets, and is showing it today.

1:30 PM 16 July 2012
The Fox Theatre Atlanta
660 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30308

Oh, sorry, SO didn't send you a ticket? Well, I hear there will be people standing outside with signs starting around 1:30 PM. Maybe you'd like to join them. And if you're not in Atlanta, maybe you'd like to do something where you are.

Here's a preview of the movie, starring FDR: as the villain!

This appears to be the entire book online as a PDF. It starts in on FDR on page 100:

FDR had become known in utility circles as a “dangerous man” for advocating state ownership of power projects and denouncing the “sins of wildcat public-utility operators” and the “Insull monstrosity” with insinuations that all utilities were guilty of betraying the public's trust. He also proclaimed the rights of any community unhappy with its service to take over private utility operations and develop their own power sites—a “birch rod in the cupboard” to be used when good service was not provided by private companies.

Imagine that, generating your own community power! Imagine it, but you can't do it. Southern Company and Georgia Power fixed that in the 1973 Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act.

What you won't see in the movie or read about in the book, Big Bets, is much about the bet-the-farm risk of nuclear power (bond-rater Moody's phrase), or how much water nuclear uses, or the profit opportunity of renewable energy such as solar and wind power. You can see some shareholders ask SO CEO Thomas A. Fanning about some of those things in these videos from the shareholder meeting back in May. If you run into him at the movie premiere, maybe you can check in with him on whether any of his answers have evolved, for example, does he still think SO won't get to solar or wind power this decade? Or maybe you’d like to ask Southern Company some questions online.