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
Valdosta FERC Scoping Meeting 4 March 2014,
by reading a statement against the pipeline by the
Sierra Club chapters of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
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.
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
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?
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 →
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
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.
“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
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
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
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.
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
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.
“Almost like a Berkshire-Hathaway meeting,”
remarked SO CEO Tom Fanning after
Sierra Club (and other) activists asked questions
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.
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.
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:
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.
On May 22, Southern Company will host its annual shareholder meeting
in Georgia, giving us a great opportunity to push them forward on
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.