Nuclear industry pouring money into Georgia PSC runoff
- The advocacy arm of the Nuclear Energy Institute is spending $750,000 to support incumbent Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton in his Dec. 4 runoff election against Lindy Miller.
- The primary issue is the treatment of Southern Company's Vogtle nuclear project, with Miller opposed to ratepayers continuing to pay for cost overruns.
- According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nuclear Matters is funding a pro-Eaton group, which began running ads on Facebook last week.
The 2018 midterms are the election that simply won't die.
Early voting has begun, and next week voters will (finally) choose between Republican Eaton and Democrat Miller. Either way, Southern's Vogtle project will likely continue — but how it is paid for could change.
Vogtle's two units — the only nuclear power generator under construction in the United States — are years behind schedule and billions over budget.
The PSC voted unanimously in December 2017 to allow Southern's Georgia Power to complete Vogtle over the recommendations of commission staff. Regulators approved $10.5 billion in costs for the expansion project, and though the utility made concessions, the decision left most of the burden on ratepayers, not shareholders.
Prior to the vote, PSC staff delivered a report to commissioners that concluded Vogtle was too expensive to complete and should be scuttled unless changes were made to project finances.
Both Eaton and Miller say they want to see Vogtle completed, but Miller is opposed to customers picking up the bill for further cost overruns and delays. Eaton is widely viewed as more friendly to industry and has faced campaign finance complaints of taking contributions from regulated entities. Eaton has denied being unclear in his disclosures, however.
Miller's campaign has had plenty of support as well. The challenger raised more than $1 million for her bid — a record amount for the regulatory seat.
A final debate between Eaton and Miller is happening today.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Pro-nuclear power group pumps $750,000 into Georgia PSC runoff
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