Tag Archives: Stan Wise

Big Bets keep getting worse for Southern Company

OSHA certified a “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” at Kemper “clean” Coal after an employee alerted Southern Company of alleged fraud: SO fired him, refused to hire him back and now he’s suing. Plant “new nukes” Vogtle also had impossible projections from the start and is even later and more overbudget, while anybody from GA-PSC to Georgia EMCs to the Florida PSC or even PowerSouth in Alabama could bring it down. Somebody put Plant Vogtle out of its misery so we can get on with solar power in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and everywhere else.

Plant Vogtle reactors 3 and 4
Two new cooling towers and construction cranes mark the work sites for nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle in east Georgia. The project is currently $3.6 billion over budget and almost four years behind the original schedule. JOHNNY EDWARDS / JREDWARDS@AJC.COM, in Plant Vogtle: Georgia’s nuclear ‘renaissance’ now a financial quagmire by Russell Grantham and Johnny Edwards, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 19 May 2017.

Kemper “clean” Coal

Doyle LLP, PRNewswire, 8 August 2017, Whistleblower in Kemper Project Sues Southern Company and CEO: OSHA ruled former company engineer faced “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” Continue reading

More solar by Georgia Power –GA PSC

It’s a win for jobs and clean air and plenty of water in Georgia! Doubled requirements on solar power, and a dozen coal plants shut down.

2, 4, 6, 8, solar power can’t wait!

The astroturf resistance fizzled, while the pro-solar grassroots coalition won. (Pictures of the two demonstrations by Ted Terry.)

525 megawatts more solar power required, on top of last year’s 210 megawatts, for more than 735 MW total. That’s still trailing New Jersey’s already-installed 1,000 MW, but it’s a big step forward.

The vote was either 4 to 1 ( Ray Henry of AP) or 3 to 2 (Georgia Sierra Club tweeting from the Commission chamber). As Ray Henry tweeted:

“All opposed, say aye.” Wait, what? #gapsc

I’m guessing at least one nay vote was Stan Wise, judging by these @gasierraclub tweets: Continue reading

Solar may win today at the Georgia PSC

There’s still time to call in and make your voice heard, (800) 282-5813. The swing vote is the Commissioner for south Georgia, H. Doug Everett. Solar power may win over Georgia Power today.

Greg Bluestein and Kristi E. Swartz wrote for the AJC yesterday, Solar supporters see rare loss on horizon for Georgia Power,

If Georgia Power says it needs something, it usually gets it. Over the years, state regulators have cleared the way for the utility to land new power plants, more transmission lines and rate increases, often without much heated debate.

Walter C. Jones wrote for jacksonville.com yesterday, PSC likely to require Georgia Power to double its reliance on solar power Thursday Continue reading

Videos of GA PSC on Georgia Power coal plant closings @ GA PSC 2013-06-18

Videos of the morning part of the 18 June 2013 Georgia Public Service Commission Administrative Session, which was mostly about two Georgia Power dockets on closing coal plants and future energy, plus a telecommunications rules docket.

GA PSC: Doug Everrett (1: south Georgia), Tim Echols (2: east Georgia), Chairman Chuck Eaton (3: metro Atlanta), Stan Wise (5 north Georgia), Bubba McDonald (4: west Georgia)

First they had a lengthy devotional on Joseph sold into slavery to the Egyptians (Georgia Power probably didn’t like being referred to in that manner). There was a sign posted outside the door: do not enter; devotional in progress.

Chairman Eaton finally started the meeting with Continue reading

GA PSC to require twice as much solar from Georgia Power? @ GA PSC 2013-06-18

Commissioner McDonald wants twice as much solar power from Georgia Power, Georgia Power execs testify before GA PSC while Commissioner Stan Wise asked questions leading to Georgia Power maybe saying that would cost more, yesterday at the Georgia Public Service Commission in Atlanta. Doubling from 271 megawatts planned to more than 500 MW would be good; at least that’s a start on catching up to New Jersey’s already-installed 1,000 MW.

Jacksonville.com reported today, Georgia Power tells regulators adding solar generation will cost consumers more: PSC Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald wants Georgia Power to double solar generation, Continue reading

GaSU wins at GA PSC, but will GaSU help all of us win in the legislature?

GA PSC Stan Wise’s 2009 nuclear CWIP lobbying points eerily matched Southern Company’s, but suddenly he’s got separation-of-powers religion about Georgia Solar Utilities (GaSU). The PSC recommended GaSU’s utility bid anyway. When the legislature takes that up in a month or so, will GaSU CEO Robert Green, unlike SO or Georgia Power or Stan Wise, help the rest of us little people fix the 1973 Territoriality law so we can sell our solar electricity on a free market?

Dave Williams wrote for the Atlanta Business Chronicle yesterday, Georgia Public Service Commission moves ahead on solar energy,

Georgia Power logo The Georgia Public Service Commission approved a plan by Georgia Power Co. Tuesday to acquire an additional 210 megawatts of solar generating capacity, more than tripling its investment in solar energy.

GA PSC PR about 20 November 2012 decisions But a sharply divided PSC also gave a potential competitor to Georgia Power its blessing to appeal to the General Assembly to amend a 39-year-old law that gives the Atlanta-based utility the exclusive right to continue serving existing customers.

Under Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative, the company will buy solar power produced by both large “utility-scale” solar farms and from smaller projects operated by residential and commercial property owners.

Right, that’s actually only 10 Megawatts from “smaller projects”, maintaining Georgia Power’s monopoly while throwing throwing a bone to the rest of us.

While the PSC supported Georgia Power’s plan unanimously, a subsequent motion by McDonald encouraging other solar utilities interested in serving Georgia to pursue their plans with the legislature passed by the narrow margin of 3-2.

Georgia Solar Utilities Inc., a company launched in Macon, Ga., earlier this year, filed an application with the PSC in September for authority to generate solar energy in Georgia on a utility scale.

The two Nay votes were from the two recently-reelected PSC members, apparently now thoroughly in the pocket of the incumbent utilities. Here’s one of them now:

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Solar yes, nuclear expansion no —David Staples for GA PSC

After he spoke at last Thursday’s Political Forum, David Staples said something interesting out in the hall and I asked him to repeat it for the video camera.

Here’s the video, followed by a transcript.

Video by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 18 October 2012.

Here’s the transcript:

I think right now we need to look at solar. The two new nuclear reactors probably shouldn’t be built right now. You look at the wholesale power rate curves, and where it’s most expensive, and it’s during peak hours. Wholesale power is 50 cents a kilowatt-hour, and the electric companies are buying at wholesale rates, What do we need to offset that with? We’ve got something to do that with: solar. The cost has come so far down that that’s something we should be spending our money on rather than than building nuclear reactors right now.

Solar PV costs dropped 50% last year.

Southern Company’s new nukes continue to run farther over budget.

If Denmark can do it maybe Southern Company and Georgia Power should stop manufacturing buggy whips and help get Georgia on the solar train.

Staples is on record for solar and as he says ethics matter: all the incumbent GA PSC members have taken campaign donations from people closely associated with the industries they regulate, (including Stan Wise) and Staples has apparently only accepted donations from clean sources.



Incumbents win GA PSC primary, face general election challengers

At least they had primary opposition, and there’s still the general election in which to challenge the Georgia PSC incumbents. Even the incumbents aren’t defending coal anymore. Keep up the pressure and maybe they’ll finally get us solar and wind energy, or, even better, we’ll elect someone who will. Steve Oppenheimer and David Staples are running in the general election.

GA PSC primary results

Ray Henry wrote for AP today, Chuck Eaton, Stan Wise win Republican primaries for Ga. Public Service Commission

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4 of 5 incumbent GA PSC Commissioners accept massive utility campaign contributions

Could contributions produce influence? Neither of the incumbent Public Service Commissioners showed up for last night’s GPB debate, just as they didn’t show up for the previous weekend’s GIPL debate. Saturday the AJC examined the incumbents’ campaign finance and regulatory records, and let’s look a bit into how they’ve acted as regulators towards their biggest indirect contributors: Georgia Power.

Kristi E. Swartz wrote for the Augusta Chronicle or AP 21 July 2012, Donors to Georgia Public Service Commission members vested in decisions,

Four of Georgia’s utility regulators have accepted at least 70 percent of their campaign contributions from companies and people that could profit from the agency’s decisions, a review of five years of campaign finance records by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed.

The fifth member of the state Public Service Commission, Tim Echols, campaigned on the promise that he wouldn’t take money from employees or lobbyists for businesses regulated by the agency.

Even so, nearly one in five dollars in Echols’ contributions came from people or companies whose business is affected by PSC decisions, the review found.

Together, the PSC commissioners took in nearly $750,000 in the last five years, records show. Two of them — Stan Wise and Chuck Eaton — are seeking re-election this year to their $116,452-a-year posts.

Wise and Eaton would be the two incumbents who can’t be bothered to show up for debates. Doesn’t make them look very responsive to the people, does it? Who do they respond to, then?

A review of major decisions that have come before the PSC in the past five years shows utilities have received much — but not all — of what they have asked for.

Georgia Power donors

In the past five years, for example, Georgia Power’s rates have risen 24 percent, although they dipped in June. The PSC must sign off on the company’s rate changes.

Current and former employees of Georgia Power, its parent Southern Co. and its law firm, Troutman Sanders, poured $52,650 into the campaign coffers of four of the sitting PSC members.

A Georgia Power spokeswoman argued that including Troutman Sanders and other company vendors in an analysis of spending “is false.” But critics say including them is critical to capturing the full influence of the utilities on the PSC.

Influence like this? Melissa Stiers wrote for GPB News 19 July 2011, PSC Nixes Vogtle Cost Check,

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Debate: Georgia Public Service Comission candidates this afternoon on GBP

Rumor is that, like last weekend, the incumbents won't show up for this afternoon's Public Service Commission debates, this time on Georgia Public Television.

GPB does still list them as "invited", with this schedule for today, Sunday 22 July 2012:

Date and TimeDebateInvited Candidates
Sunday, July 22 at 4:30 pm Public Service Commission District 3 Republican Chuck Eaton and Matt Reid
Sunday, July 22 at 5 pm Public Service Commission, District 5 – Republican Pam Davidson and Stan Wise

If the incumbents don't bother to show up, how responsive to the people are they?