Opinion: An answer for Ga. Power

(AP)

More than a decade ago, our good friends at Georgia Power conceived the idea of building two new nuclear reactors — the first to be built on U.S. soil in a generation — at its Vogtle site outside Augusta.

Georgia Power recruited the partners it needed from electric co-ops and city utilities around the state. It convinced its obedient servants at the state Public Service Commission to rubber-stamp the project, which they did by a 4-1 vote. (All four “yes” men are still on the PSC  today, still collecting their six-figure salaries, their durability testament to the wisdom of not crossing Georgia Power.)

The company hired the most powerful lobbyists in the state to supplement its own standing army of lobbyists, then strong-armed a law through a compliant state Legislature that forced consumers to start paying for the nuke projects immediately, long before they produced any power. Getting the signature of then-Gov. Sonny Perdue on that bill also proved to be no problem, since the man whom Perdue had hired as his chief of staff happened to have been Georgia Power’s top lobbyist for decades.

Georgia Power chose the design. Georgia Power hired the contractors. Georgia Power assured everyone who would listen that the problems that had long dogged nuclear power — the safety concerns, the massive cost-overruns and construction delays — had been resolved, and that the units would be up and producing power by 2017 just as scheduled. Critics who noted the difficulty and risk of trying to restart a complicated, zero-defect industry from scratch were steamrollered.

The message from the company was steadfast: “Don’t worry, we got this.”

Well no, they didn’t. They were wrong, spectacularly wrong, and their critics have been proved right. Under the original schedule, both new nuclear units should have been producing power by now. Instead, they are less than half built. The cost overruns have been enormous, basically doubling in cost even if nothing further goes wrong. And what is the price to be paid for such failure?

For Georgia Power, the price is none. No price, and to hear Georgia Power tell it, no failure. In a meeting last week with reporters from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers was asked whether the company deserved any blame or responsibility for imposing this financial catastrophe on the people of Georgia.

“The answer to that question is no,” Bowers said.

No? The answer to that question is no?

As long as they maintain that absurd position, Bowers and other Georgia Power officials understand that their company and its shareholders will pay no financial penalty for its role in proposing, pushing, building and ultimately botching this project. You and I will pay — have been paying already — through our power bills. The company that employs you will pay, the businesses where you shop will pay — we’ll all be paying billions and billions of dollars, while Georgia Power will pay nothing.

Because as Bowers says, they’ve done nothing wrong. They’re not responsible. Things just … happened.

The same four PSC commissioners who approved the Vogtle expansion back in 2009, the people whom we elect and pay to put the “regulated” in “regulated utility,” are now sitting in judgment not just of Georgia Power, but of their own complicity in this. They can choose to press ahead, committing several billion dollars more of your money, to prove that they were right back in 2009; they can also choose to abandon the project and by doing so admit their own error.

Guess which way they’re leaning?

Once again we hear the assurances. This time, the cost estimates are solid; this time, the construction schedule will be met, cross their heart and hope to die. Don’t worry, they’ve got this. And is Georgia Power so confident in those promises that it is willing to put its own shareholder money at risk in any way if those assurances prove no more valid than those it offered almost a decade ago?

To borrow a phrase from the company’s CEO, the answer to that question is no.

So should the PSC commit ratepayers in this state to that deal, knowing the track record, without requiring any skin in the game from Georgia Power?

Repeat after me: “The answer to that question is no.”

Reader Comments 0

1425 comments
elgrunir
elgrunir

According to JReb’s logic, Trump complaining he can’t control the FBI, while wondering why Hillary Clinton isn’t being investigated, -doesn’t- add up to a request.

That’s almost as dense as hanging onto your dumbphuck card because you -didn’t quite- admit that Obama was born in the U.S.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

Moore acknowledges he dated younger women.  For the record, your Honor, did he date the signature in the yearbook?  If so, is it the same date of the alleged assault?  If not, do we know for sure that it was signed on the same date as the alleged sexual assault?  And "evidence" does not depend on "political" party.  Evidence depends on authenticity.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Surelyyoujest 

What is this red herring about signing the yearbook on the same day the putative assault occurred?

TBS
TBS

Rep. Jordan: “What’s it going to take to get a special counsel” to investigate Clinton? "It sure looks like" campaign tried to use dossier to get FISA warrant on Trump. Sessions: “I would say ‘looks like’ is not enough basis for a special counsel.

Seems some jumped the gun on the big story that sessions would soon be appointing another SC.

gotalife
gotalife

@TBS This is why pols should be stripped of oversight.

honested
honested

@TBS 

If only wrong-wing-suspicions could get a special counsel appointed!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Obstruction of Justice is an excellent memory jogger. When Jeff's wife's eyes tell us all we need to know about his claim of "always telling the truth."


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday he now recalls a meeting in March 2016 that has come under scrutiny as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether President Donald Trump's election campaign colluded with Russia.


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DOm39CBWAAIkq_r.jpg

Paul42
Paul42

@Finn-McCool
"Hi Jeff, is that little girl in the back row your granddaughter?"

Rob Moore, "The Pedophile's Complete Guide to Cruisin'"

gotalife
gotalife

The resistance is doing a great job.


Keep up the great work.


No nazis in America. Period.

KUTGF
KUTGF

 Those things are evidence - she said he said is NOT evidence.
____________

Its amazing how foolish our RWers are when it comes to evidence.  Yes "he said" is evidence.  "She said" is evidence.  It may not be fact and it may not be truthful, so you look for other supporting evidence.  "He said" I did not know her and I did not do it.  She said" he signed my yearbook, his actions were consistent with statements of others who were also attacked.  He said he did date younger women.  

Moreover their consistency in application of evidence rules sure does swing into dramatically in what is considered reasonably proven by supporting evidence depending on political party.  

Brosephus
Brosephus

Surelyyoujest 2 minutes ago

@Nick_Danger @Surelyyoujest @rimsky  Evidence?  Witnesses?  Recordings?  Pictures? DNA? Those things are evidence - she said he said is NOT evidence.

There is evidence out there.  Evidence was shown yesterday that proved Roy Moore lied.

In a brief appearance before reporters in his small Etowah County hometown of Gallant, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore again denied wrongdoing and said that he doesn't even know his latest accuser, who came forward Monday.

Moore spoke for a couple of minutes with reporters and took no questions. His wife, Kayla, also made a brief statement.

"I can tell you without hesitation this is absolutely false," Moore told reporters. "I never did what she said I did. I don't even know the woman. I don't know anything about her."

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/roy_moore_responds_responds_to.html

In his own words, he said that he did not know the woman or know anything about her.  At her press conference, she produced a yearbook that was signed by him AND the signature mentioned the BBQ restaurant where she worked and the alleged attack took place.

http://tinyurl.com/ya6xzxra

So, either Roy Moore harassed so many females that he cannot remember them all, or he lied through is teeth about this one.  That is evidence.  Whether you choose to see it as such is on you.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@Brosephus @Nick_Danger @Surelyyoujest @rimsky  Evidence that he signed her yearbook?  Yup.  Evidence that he molested her?  I think you can figure out that is not the case from what you have provided.  Did he lie?  It certainly appears so.  Still, however, no evidence of anything else.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@McGarnagle 

Never put your full faith in any one man.  Man is falliable, and we far too often ignore the good in search of the perfect.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

I don't  disagree with that - people have been convicted on circumstantial evidence.

Paul42
Paul42

@McGarnagle
That's because advertisers are abandoning Hannity.

THAT tells you a lot about what motivates Hannity.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Surelyyoujest

If he lied about one thing, then the odds are that he has lied about more.  No one ever tells one single lie.  The story or narrative will never hold with just one lie.  One lie always leads to more.

There are several sick farks at home who have done this to kids.  Moore is just one.  I hope that the media scrutiny there ends up bringing down more of the dirty and corrupt people there.

I will add that, while I disagreed with Moore's politics, I respected him as a powerful person at home.  I didn't think much of the stuff when I heard it back in the day because I did not think it was likely.

In light of finding about shiat my family suffered and did has changed my perspective to the point where I do not find it unbelievable that Moore did this stuff.  We will never see video evidence, for obvious reasons.  However, innocent people don't lie.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Surelyyoujest  Her testimony is not circumstantial, it is direct testimony.  Nor is the corroborating evidence "circumstantial".  

But we all know that unless you have a video of the act you will continue to dance and if there were a video, that would not be enough.  

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

This is when I wish the AJC would require people to register to blog through their google or facebook accounts.

People aren't as likely to defend a pedophile when their mom/spouse/children can see what they really think.

Paul42
Paul42

@Finn-McCool
Unfortunately, you might be surprised.

There's still a significant number of Alabama women who think "Roy's my man!"

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@rimsky @Finn-McCool Places like Townhall.com where the trolling got so bad they changed the log in to require one of those two accounts to sign in.

rimsky
rimsky

@Paul42 @Finn-McCool Not so different from NGA.  Alabama and us are very similar.  I do get pleasantly surprised when I go to Atlanta.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@rimsky  They may have already been "exposed".  That could be the problem.  ;)