The re-election campaign of state Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise on Monday made public a robo-call that former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich has recorded on Wise’s behalf. The two are old Cobb County friends.
And for his friend, Gingrich describes Wise’s Republican opponent, Pam Davidson, as a West Coast flower child:
”Hello, this is Newt Gingrich. I’m still humbled to have won Georgia on Super Tuesday, and today I’m asking you to vote for my good friend Stan Wise, who’s seeking another term on the Georgia Public Service Commission. His steady hand at the PSC has helped build a reliable energy system without shifting costs to future generations. The last thing we need in Georgia are the failed, liberal California energy programs of his opponent that lead to blackouts, Solyndra, and skyrocketing rates. Please vote for Stan Wise in the Republican primary.”
Presumably, “without shifting costs to future generations” is the tested phraseology for the advance payments that Georgia Power ratepayers are making on costs associated with two new nuclear plants now under construction. Speaking of which, did you see this weekend piece by my AJC colleague Kristi Swartz?
Despite promises from the nuclear industry to regulators and consumers that they learned from mistakes of the past, the nation’s first two nuclear reactor projects built from scratch in 30 years are headed toward hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns and months, if not years, of delays.
The impact of the early delays and budget increases at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle and South Carolina Electric & Gas’s Plant Summer will have on future nuclear projects is unclear.
Utilities’ officials say the Georgia and South Carolina projects face extra public and private scrutiny because they are the first approved and their design will serve as prototypes for future plants.
The challenges include more than $800 million in overruns and a dispute over who should pay for them. The disputes are between the consortium of utility companies building Plant Vogtle and the project’s main design and construction contractors, Westinghouse and The Shaw Group. Georgia Power, as the lead in the consortium building the plant, is responsible for $400 million of that amount, the contractors say. In South Carolina, SCE&G has asked to recoup from its customers $283 million, which include a $138 million settlement with Shaw and Westinghouse.
Customers could end up paying for any cost overruns at Vogtle if the charges are ultimately approved by Georgia’s Public Service Commission.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider