Tag Archives: Sierra Club

Sierra Club Chapters Oppose Sabal Trail Gas Pipeline –read by Danielle Jordan @ FERC 2014-03-04

Danielle Jordan, VSU student and president of Students Against Violating the Environment, stood up for local landowners and the environment against Spectra’s Sabal Trail pipeline at the Valdosta FERC Scoping Meeting 4 March 2014, by reading a statement against the pipeline by the Sierra Club chapters of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

Here’s the text she was reading: TRI-STATE SIERRA CLUB CHAPTERS OPPOSE GAS PIPELINE: Statement of the Georgia, Florida, and Alabama Sierra Club Chapters Opposing the Sabal Trail Pipeline.

Here’s the video:

Sierra Club Chapters Oppose Sabal Trail Gas Pipeline –read by Danielle Jordan
Sabal Trail Methane Pipeline,
Scoping Meeting, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC),
Video by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 4 March 2014.


Coal tax and a gas pipeline for Christmas?

This was an op-ed submission to the VDT, which didn’t respond. Today’s the GA PSC vote, so I’m blogging it now.

On Tuesday, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) wants to do for coal what the Florida PSC already did for that gas pipeline Sabal Trail wants to gash through here: raise utility customer rates!

Who wants a Christmas present of higher electricity rates and continued coal smoke, plus increased guaranteed profit for Georgia Power of 11.5%? They already raised rates each of the last three years for gas and nuclear plants not yet even built; why should we permit more rate hikes when the PSC votes December 17th? Last week’s Public Policy poll found 69% of Georgia voters oppose that rate hike.

Is a one-time payment enough to let a huge 36 inch fracked methane pipeline gash through our communities while Spectra Energy of Houston and FPL of Juno Beach, Florida profit forever, and your property values go down and your hazards go up?

Those FPL profits come from rate hikes on your cousins the Florida ratepayers. AARP opposes that, saying: Continue reading

No solar tax –citizens in Gainesville GA

Solar advocate PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald joined Tim Echols for this one. Citizens said no to Georgia Power’s proposed solar tax, just like in Savannah and Columbus.

Sarah Mueller wrote yesterday for Gainesville Times, Public gives thumbs-down to Georgia Power rate hike,

The Georgia Power Co. rate hike proposal and suggested fees on solar energy installation didn’t get a lot of support from residents who attended a town meeting in Gainesville on Tuesday night.

The Georgia Public Service Commission is reviewing a $482 million three-year rate increase request from the energy company that would add about $7.84 to the average ratepayer’s monthly bill. The Georgia Sierra Club and Georgia Watch has sponsored town meetings around the state this month to let commissioners hear public input on the request. Commissioners Tim Echols and Lauren “Bubba” McDonald participated in the meeting at the Brenau Downtown Center.

Pursuing solar energy as state policy was also a hot topic at the meeting, which was lightly attended. About 10 people spoke, criticizing the proposed hike, the company’s proposed guaranteed profit increase to 11.5 percent and Continue reading

Columbus against Georgia Power solar tariff

Getting an earful across the state about that proposed solar rate hike: Georgia Power and the Georgia Public Service Commission, first in Savannah, then in Columbus.

Mike Owen wrote for the Ledger-Enquirer 21 October 2013, Georgia Public Service Commission: Public decries Georgia Power rate hike, solar power fee,

A crowd of about 50 people gave Georgia Public Service Commission Chairman Chuck Eaton an earful Monday night concerning a proposed Georgia Power rate hike and controversial proposal to charge solar power users a new fee.

At a public hearing in the auditorium of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Eaton heard several audience members call the rate hike “bad business practice” and “unconscionable,” while calling the solar proposal “a step backward” and a “disincentive” for modern, clean technology.

At issue is a two-pronged proposal before the PSC. Georgia Power is asking the commissioners to approve a $482 million rate hike that would add almost $100 a year to average residential electric bills, said Seth Gunning, an organizer for the Sierra Club of Georgia, one of the meeting’s sponsors. It [Georgia Power] is also asking the PSC to allow it to levy a fee on those who install solar panels on their homes or businesses.

The story continues with Continue reading

Against rate hike and solar fee by Georgia Power

If you missed Savannah, Columbus tomorrow, then Gainesville, Athanes, and Atlanta: you can speak up against Georgia Power’s attempt to charge you for saving them money by generating solar power.

Mary Landers wrote for SavannahNow Friday, Ga. Power proposed rate hike, solar fee blasted,

“Unconscionable” and “theft” were two of the words used Thursday evening to describe a residential rate hike and fee on solar installations proposed by Georgia Power.

More than 50 people attended a meeting sponsored by Georgia Watch and the Sierra Club at the Coastal Georgia Center to discuss the issues.

The rate hike, proposed in July, would have average residential customers paying almost $8 more a month. Some homeowners with solar panels would pay a new monthly fee of about $22 by Georgia Power’s estimations.

Video by WJCL News: Continue reading

Georgia Power wants to charge you for your solar power

Georgia Sierra Club’s Seth Gunning batted away Georgia Power’s proposed solar tax, which would charge about $22 a month for many new home solar installations. GA PSC needs to call Georgia Power’s proposal out, because it was a bad idea when Dominion Power did it in Virginia, and it would be a worse idea here in sunny Georgia. Besides, Austin Energy already established that the purported basis for such a solar tax is nonsense: actually, utilities should be paying more for home solar power because of the benefits they receive.

Jonathan Shapiro wrote for WABE yesterday, Georgia Power’s Proposed Solar Tariff Scrutinized,

The company is proposing an average tariff of about $22 per month for new home solar systems that aren’t a part of Georgia Power-sponsored solar initiatives.

Company officials argue the tariff is necessary because most solar users still require the power grid as a back-up when the sun isn’t shining. As solar use spreads, the company stands to collect less revenue from those customers. What doesn’t change is the cost to maintain the grid. Georgia Power says non-solar customers shouldn’t have to bear all the costs.

“We don’t want to contribute to the problem of shifting costs so before we do that we very much prefer to get these tariffs right so all customers benefit,” said Roberts.

PSC Chairman Chuck Eaton wondered if the tariff is about making up for lost revenue, why not consider new fees for any number of energy efficiency measures.

“What makes solar unique?” asked Eaton. Continue reading

Pull out your phone, MacGyver, and take a picture of cars powered by rooftop solar

MacGyver needs to show an imprint on a floorboard to someone. Pull out your phone and take a picture! No, in 1986 he MacGyvers a chisel and hammer and pries the floorboard up.

Even in 1996 the telcos and most of the public thought dedicated copper and fiber connections were needed for reliable communications. (“Allison, can you explain what the Internet is?”)

But now you can pull out your phone and take a picture and post it over the packet-switched Internet to facebook for all the world to see.

In 2023 baseload nukes and coal plants and oil pipelines will be like phone booths connected by dedicated copper, while rooftop solar charging cars will be as common as phones in your pockets. Solar power will win like the Internet did, beating all other sources of power within a decade.

Meanwhile, Continue reading

Sierra Club goes to Southern Company stockholder meeting

“Almost like a Berkshire-Hathaway meeting,” remarked SO CEO Tom Fanning after Sierra Club (and other) activists asked questions at the Southern Company stockholder meeting at Callaway Gardens yesterday, as promised by the numerous news stories the previous day after the press conference organized by Georgia Sierra Club Director Colleen Kiernan. As usual Fanning turned in a Class A CEO performance, although he seemed bemused by the diversity and sometimes very positive slant of the questions, which nonetheless brought up numerous problems with SO’s coal and nuclear agenda, lackluster renewable energy agenda, and the impending disruption of distributed solar power.

New rule this year: no unauthorized video or flash photography, posted on big signs outside the conference room door. SO CEO Tom Fanning I asked Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers to authorize me, but he said it was a shareholder meeting and thus a different level. The person in charge of SO’s own videoing promised they’d be available on the web soon after the meeting. I told him I’d been checking since last year’s meeting, and those still weren’t on the web. He said they had been briefly; then they were taken down. But he would make them available. We’ll see…. Meanwhile, you only get this one picture of Tom Fanning (he insists everyone call him Tom) as he compared SO’s stock price to the only more stable company: Hormel. That’s right, SO is almost as stable as Spam. He looked at me rather pointedly as he announced that new rule. And rather wryly later when I pointed out that according to Edison Electric Institute SO’s business model was due for disruption very soon. More on that later, along with other reports on Wednesday’s meeting.

Walter C. Jones wrote for Morris News Service 21 May 2013, Southern Co. expects to face environmental challenges,

Continue reading

Dear SO: Time to move beyond coal –Sierra Club

You can to talk to Southern Company even if you can’t come to SO’s annual stockholder meeting 22 May at Callaway Gardens. Sierra Club helps you to ask SO CEO Thomas A. Fanning questions; maybe about SO’s nuclear financial and safety performance, or why SO is already losing on its “clean coal” bet in Mississippi, or when SO might get serious about distributed solar power, or when SO will help Georgia join the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, or…. So many possible questions, and you don’t even have to go to ask them!

Sierra Club message to Southern Company, Tell Southern Company to Move Beyond Coal,

On May 22, Southern Company will host its annual shareholder meeting in Georgia, giving us a great opportunity to push them forward on clean energy.

Southern Company has taken steps to grow clean energy in the Southeast — Alabama Power and Georgia Power both invested in wind energy and Georgia power increased solar energy investments — but they can do a lot more.

Southern Company still provides some of the dirtiest, most unreliable, dangerous, and expensive power in the country. And its subsidiaries continue to place “Big Bets” on dirty coal electricity that poisons the health of our communities’ water, air, and families. Georgia is even home to the biggest emitter of carbon pollution in the nation, Scherer Plant in Juliette.

Send a message to Southern Company’s CEO Tom Fanning to thanking him for clean energy investments, and demand that Southern Company clean up its act and invest in job creating clean energy.

Follow the link to send a message.


NJ 1 GW Solar: GA #22

While Georgia failed to reform its antique Territorial Electric Service Act and toyed with a solar monopoly, New Jersey, far to the north with far less sun, finished installing a gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) of solar power. The rest of the U.S. installed 3.3 MW total, slightly higher than projections of 3.2 MW, but Georgia lagged behind. When will the legislature and the Public Service Commission, and perhaps more importantly, Georgia Power and Southern Company, stop stop wasting our money on that three-legged nuclear regulatory-capture boondoggle at Plant Vogtle and get on with solar in Georgia for jobs, for profit, and for clean air and water?

Pete Danko wrote for Earth Techling and Huffpo 20 March 2013, New Jersey Solar Capacity Hits 1 Gigawatt,

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