If elected I will:
Keep Your Power on in Emergencies
- During the Covid-19 lockdown, the Public Service Commission let Georgia Power kick families off during deadly heatwaves. They risked thousands of people’s lives. I’ll protect Georgians.
Bring Clean Tech Jobs to Georgia
- Ensure that new job generating clean energy technologies like solar, wind, and battery storage are the first choice for Georgia’s energy growth, rather than the 20th century approach of building large power plants in which consumers have no say.
- Adopt 21st century programs like peak energy rebates, community solar, and rooftop solar so people can participate in any way they choose. In other states these programs save consumers hundreds of dollars per year, reduce air and water pollution, and prevent the need to build costly new power plants.
- Give Georgians access to their energy data. This will allow consumers and third party businesses to work together to innovate and lower prices.
Ensure Energy Justice
- Studies show that poorer people and people of color are charged more because of poor construction practices and lower building code enforcement in their communities. I will adopt programs to retrofit homes with updated efficiency standards and bring Georgia up from 45th place for energy efficiency spending.
- Adapt successful environmental justice programs from neighboring states like North Carolina to our unique needs. Such programs must ensure equal access to clean air, water, and energy for all.
- Ensure programs are identified, prioritized, and led by local community leaders.
Lower Energy Bills
- Reduce rates without building expensive new power plants. Programs such as demand response and energy efficiency similar to Maryland and D.C. prevent the need for large rate increases. We can do the same here and save Georgians money.
- Prevent GA Power from overcharging compared to other utilities of comparable size. The current commission has never seen a rate increase they didn’t like. I will end the practice of rubber stamping GA Power’s endless rate increase requests
Address Climate Change
- Adopt a carbon pollution measuring system similar to states like Illinois and North Carolina and set a target to attain carbon neutrality by 2035.
- Require utilities to factor in pollution, extreme weather vulnerability, and damage to the climate when estimating the costs and benefits of energy sources.
- Remove barriers limiting the adoption of rooftop solar. South Carolina has half the population of Georgia but has more than 20,000 customers with solar; Florida has 60,000; and Georgia has only 4,300. That’s less than one-half of one percent of Georgia Power customers, meaning 99 out of 100 people Georgia Power serves are denied the chance to choose where their energy comes from and save money because of a fake, utility-imposed limit. We can and should do better. Customers with solar save about $800-$1200 per year on electricity costs and anyone who wants should be able to participate in such savings.
Bring Honesty to the Commission
- End secret commissioner meetings with lobbyists once hearings on rate increases begin at the commission. This is illegal in forty-nine other states.
- Provide public access to secret utility reports. Utility reports are currently redacted or labeled a “trade secret” to block the public from holding them accountable for their decisions.
- Provide free transcripts for public hearings. The Ga PSC is a state agency funded with taxpayer dollars. Yet transcripts cost .40¢ per page and run into hundreds of dollars, blocking public participation and transparency.
Rein in Corporate Waste at Plant Vogtle
- Plant Vogtle needs a budget, not a blank check. Any costs exceeding that budget must be paid by Georgia Power shareholders and not customers. Even if all work stopped today Georgians are on the hook for $30 billion, a 100% cost overrun, making it the most expensive power plant ever built on earth.
- Vogtle caused rate increases are expected to begin in 2022 and are likely to put Georgia Power customers #1 in the nation for highest power bills. Georgia is already the 4th highest.
Provide High Quality Internet for All
- Remove barriers to quality, reliable, affordable internet. The pandemic exposed gaping holes in Georgia’s internet coverage. The internet is required in order for people to work from home, attend virtual classes, look for work, and engage in their community. Over 10% of the state lacks high quality internet. The Ga PSC has authority to help fix that.
- Establish reasonable rates for internet pole attachment fees and work with Georgia’s Electric Membership Cooperatives to assist them in expanding into rural communities that private providers like Comcast do not find profitable to serve.