The Friday Photo
August 8, 2014 This looks like a lot meetings do, with PowerPoint presentations and charts that are hard to read from the back of the room. It was the first public meeting held by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to discuss how Georgia will meet the EPA’s carbon pollution rule. Georgia’s Plant Scherer is the biggest carbon spewing coal plant in the country, so the task ahead of the state’s regulatory agency is steep. They didn’t seem very enthusiastic.
For those of us who have spent years advocating for reducing carbon pollution, yesterday was no ordinary meeting. The rules of the game are changing, literally.
There were two public rallies scheduled today before the Public Service Commission (PSC) considers a $482M rate increase request from Georgia Power. One was supported by the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots along with renewable energy advocates. The second was funded by the Koch Brothers.
Update: the PSC voted for in favor of adding 500MW of solar power to Georgia Power’s 20 year energy plan!
President Obama’s announcement about carbon pollution controls Tuesday at Georgetown University closed the circle in some ways on the future of Plant Washington. It won’t matter whether Plant Washington belches carbon into the air as a new source or an existing source, it will have to reduce and control the amount of Greenhouse Gases (GHG, or most commonly called carbon) it emits.
And that won’t be cheap.
Plant Washington has never modeled for carbon control, so the already doubled price tag just to construct it won’t be going down.
We have a surplus supply of cheap electricity on the market. Power generated from Plant Washington won’t be any “better” than what we can get today. All we’ve heard about buying power from this plant is a lot of talk about getting a “preferred position” for future power contracts.
I am willing to bet that anyone who might consider financing this carbon fueled project will not just prefer a sound business plan with realistic returns on their investment, they will require it.
When that happens, Plant Washington will be nothing more than a failed hot air project in an economy and country already moving away coal.