Tag Archives: mismanagement

Already: Solar grid parity without subsidies in India and Italy

Solar power is going so well worldwide that Deutsche Bank has just increased its projections for global demand, noting that India and Italy have already in 2013 reached grid parity without subsidies with other sources of energy, and it expects the rest of the world to follow as early as 2014. The big winner is rooftop solar. Is Georgia paying attention?

Becky Beetz wrote for Global PV 26 February 2013, Deutsche Bank: Sustainable solar market expected in 2014,

Buoyed by bullish demand forecasts, and increasing utilization rates and pricing, Deutsche Bank forecasts a solar market transition from subsidized to sustainable in 2014. Italy REC solar photovoltaic plant

The German bank has raised its 2013 global solar demand forecast to 30 GW — representing a 20% year-on-year increase — on the back of suggestions of strong demand in markets including India, the U.S., China (around 7 to 10 GW), the U.K. (around 1 to 2 GW), Germany and Italy (around 2 GW).

Rooftop installations are, in particular, expected to be a main focus, says Deutsche Bank. A trend for projects being planned with either “minimal/no incentives” has also been observed, despite the belief that solar policy outlooks are improving, particularly in the U.S., China and India, and “other emerging markets”.

More analysis by Jeff Spross in ThinkProgress 3 March 2013, Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity Has Been Reached In India’, Italy–With More Countries Coming in 2014.

As Renew Economy also points out, this is the third report in the past month

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Levy Co. FL nuke likely not to be built

Cost already sunk Kewaunee, Calvert Cliffs, Crystal River, and are gnawing away at San Onofre: now it looks like new owner Duke is not likely to build Progress Energy's Levy County, Florida reactor. All that plus even in Georgia, even against all-powerful Georgia Power, there's a reaction against the cost of the always-later always-more-expensive new nukes at Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River. A reaction that's getting written up in the Valdosta Daily Times.

In the VDT today from AP, Some leaders souring on nuclear power costs. I'm quoting from the abcNews version because it includes the author's name, Ray Henry, and the original date, 3 March 2013. I added all the links and images.

As the cost of building a new nuclear plant soars, there are signs of buyer's remorse.

The second-guessing from officials in Georgia and Florida is a sign that maybe the nation is not quite ready for a nuclear renaissance. On top of construction costs running much higher than expected, the price of natural gas has plummeted, making it tough for nuclear plants to compete in the energy market.

In Georgia last week, Southern Co. told regulators it needed to raise its construction budget for Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia by $737 million to $6.85 billion. At about the same time, a Georgia lawmaker sought to penalize the company for going over budget, announcing a proposal to cut into Southern Co.'s profits by trimming some of the money its subsidiary Georgia Power makes.

And Southern Company and Georgia Power slipped the Plant Vogtle schedule still more, from 15 to 19 months late.

The legislation has a coalition of tea party, conservative and consumer advocacy groups behind it, but faces a tough sale in the Republican-controlled General Assembly. GOP Rep. Jeff Chapman found just a single co-sponsor, Democratic Rep. Karla Drenner.

That's HB 267: Financing costs; construction of nuclear generating plant. And AP failed to mention Georgia Sierra Club's support for HB 267.

As a regulated monopoly, Georgia Power currently earns about 11 percent in profits when it invests its own money into power projects. Chapman's legislation would reduce those profits if the nuclear project is over budget, as is the current projection.

In Florida, there's a move to completely eliminate Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) such as is being used in Georgia to pre-fund the new Plant Vogtle nukes.

In Florida, lawmakers want to end the practice of utilities collecting fees from customers before any electricity is produced.

Florida only recently got CWIP, but Progress Energy has been quick to profit by it:

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HB 267 Would Limit Georgia Power’s Profits on Vogtle’s Cost Overruns —GA Sierra Club

There’s still time to contact your state legislators about stopping Georgia Power profitting from cost overruns on the new nukes at Plant Vogtle. Georgia Sierra Club spells out why.

Georgia Power’s expansion at Plant Vogtle will bring us power that is dangerous, expensive and unnecessary.

You may remember a controversial bill the Georgia Legislature approved in 2009, SB 31, the Nuclear Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) bill, which forces Georgia Power ratepayers to pay the financing costs during construction, rather than over the life of the plant. Large users of electricity are exempt from the charge, but residential and mom and pop businesses have been paying for two years.

Even after that sweetheart deal, the Public Service Commissioners scrapped their staff proposal to stop the company from profiting on cost overruns for the project after they top $300 million.

The most recent reports from the independent monitor established by the PSC says

that the project is months behind and as of December, $88 million over budget. Georgia Power gets to earn 11.15% return on all expenses approved by the PSC, so the more they have to spend, the more they get to make and the more ratepayers get to pay!

Putting the profit issue aside for the moment, if the Georgia PSC ever decided to disapprove cost overruns, Georgia Power could take a page from the Mississippi Power playbook and just get the Legislature to let them issue bonds to pay for the work.

HB 267 by freshman Rep. Jeff Chapman excludes the collection of any profits on cost overruns beyond the $6.4 billion the Public Service Commission has approved. The bill is co-sponsored by Avondale Estates Democrat Karla Drenner, who is a member of the Utilities Committee, to which the bill was assigned. Passage of this bill would provide an incentive for Georgia Power to keep expenses down at Vogtle, something that SB 31 failed to do.

It isn’t fair for Georgia Power to profit to the tune of over 11% on delays, overruns and mismanagement, so ask your State Representative to support HB 267.


Animal cruelty does not require malicious intent to be illegal

A blog called Rattlin’ Georgia’s Cages wrote at some unspecified date recently:
I beg to differ with Mr. Pritchard’s opinion regarding “malicious intent”.

Lowndes County Manager Joe Pritchard says, “I don’t believe through our investigation, nor through any info we received from the Department of Ag, are able to indicate any malicious intent.”

Mr. Pritchard should understand that it matters not if this was done with “malicious intent” or not. “Malicous intent” should be determined by the investigating criminal agency, not a county manager. “Malicious Intent” is only important in determining whether the crime should be filed as a felony, or a misdemeanor.

The law is crystal clear regarding the denial of necessary medical care, and/or humane euthanasia, for any animal deemed to be in need of such. Any time a shelter impounds/houses a live animal, the shelter is required, by law, to afford that animal with humane care – to include necessary medical care or treatment.

The blogger then goes on to quote Georgia Code, which only brings in the word “maliciously” for higher fines or imprisonment for aggravated cruelty to animals.

The blogger summarizes: Continue reading

I am disappointed these matters are being swept under the rug —Susan Leavens

These comments came in yesterday and today on Find out the truth about allegations of animal cruelty and abuse. -jsq


Tomorrow will be a week and I have had no response! Very disappointing.

-Jane Osborn


Mrs. Osborn,

Thank you so much for your support. The County manager and several county employees interviewed all the workers after a drug screen was conducted on all employees back in late august of 2010. Several (4) employees advised the people conducting the investigation (Joe Prichard, Mickey Tillman, Page Dukes and Suzanne Pittman) of the charges brought to the Department of Agriculture. From the

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Find out the truth about allegations of animal cruelty and abuse —Jane Osborn

This came in to the submission address Thursday. More in this topic and this VDT story. -jsq
From: “Jane Osborn”
Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 23:21:09 -0400
Subject: criminal issues

Here is what I just sent to the Sheriff’s office by email:

I wanted to ask if someone who witnessed the alleged abuse of animals at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter has to make a direct report to law enforcement for an investigation to be started or if second-hand information from the media would be good enough. I will include a link to a video of the testimony of a shelter officer at the Lowndes County Commission meeting this week. I am under the impression that animal abuse is a criminal offense and that just having these reports go to the Department of Agriculture will only result in a fine for the shelter, not resolution of possible criminal wrongdoing.

Here is the link: http://lake.typepad.com/on-the-lake-front/2011/05/neglect-abuse-suffering-falsifying-documents-susan-leavins-lcc-24-may-2011.html

Please let me know if it is possible for a criminal investigation can be started to find out the truth about allegations of animal cruelty and abuse.

Thank you. Jane Osborn

If the commissioners will not handle this, perhaps law enforcement will. Jane

Jane F. Osborn, MSSW
Valdosta, GA

Restudy that those are the right people

The last animal shelter speaker said she was looking at it from a business perspective. She called Commissioner Powell and they had a conversation. She got a copy of the animal control ordinance. She said she thought she had seen some things that others had not. She complimented the Commissioners:
I know you to be people of your word.
After all that she indicated:
I guess I’m just asking that you restudy… that those are the right people.
After she finished, Chairman Ashley Paulk said there would be a tour of the shelter and everyone was invited.

Here’s the video:

Restudy that those are the right people
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 24 May 2011.
Videos by Johh S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Why do you not fire that person? —Judy Havercamp

Judy Havercamp wonders:
If you have an employee who is abusing animals, why do you not fire that person?
She indicates urgency:
Things need to be changed now.

Here’s the video:

Why do you not fire that person? —Judy Havercamp
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 24 May 2011.
Videos by Johh S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


The VDT was kind in their reporting —Jessica Bryan Hughes

This speaker talked about when her mother took her to volunteer at the old shelter, and how bad it was, then about how the current shelter started.
When I moved back to Valdosta five years ago, I couldn’t believe the change. A real shelter and animal control officers that had compassion. I personally know some current and former animal control officers. They are caring compassionate people with a deep love of their jobs.

When I read about the cruelty and neglect allegations in the paper, I couldn’t believe we had reverted back 25 years.

So she looked into it, requesting the files from the Dept. of Agriculture.
What I received was a slap in the face. The Valdosta Daily Times was kind in their reporting….
You can listen to her yourself. Continue reading

If we can’t take care of animals and children…. —Cheryl Hatcher

If taxpayer money isn’t being used to defend the defenseless, what should it be used for?

Cheryl Hatcher said she has been involved with Humane Society for a long time (which the Chairman vouched for) and was among those who actually helped build the shelter.

There have been many discussions and conversations about things not being done properly at the shelter. And I really urge that you investigate what’s going on in the shelter. I applaud you for putting cameras in the tack room, although I think it’s been way too long to do that, but I applaud you for doing that.

I really think that it is not a waste of taxpayers’ money when you’re investigating to make sure that animals will be taken care of properly. If we can’t take care of animals and children, then the world is going to suffer.

I think that if it’s necessary to put cameras in the tack room there are bigger problems that need to be taken care of at higher levels.

Here’s the video:

If we can’t take care of animals and children…. — Cheryl Hatcher
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 24 May 2011.
Videos by Johh S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.