To set the right tone, let’s remember that The Southern Company (Georgia Power) made $1.98 BBillion in 2010.
Now, let’s also remember that Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise’s son Adam works for Troutman Sanders – Georgia Power’s law firm. This same article notes “[three] Troutman attorneys recently appeared before the PSC in a hearing that reviewed the costs and schedule of Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle expansion project.”
And now – a little more kindling for the Ethics Fire.
Here we have a press release lost in a Friday news cycle:
“Georgia Public Service Commission candidate Pam Davidson sharply criticized Incumbent Stan Wise for casting the deciding vote Thursday to let Georgia Power off the hook for $3.2 million in damages related to service disruptions last year at the Plant Vogtle and Plant Hatch nuclear generation facilities.”
“In the 3-2 vote, Wise and two other commissioners ignored the findings of the PSC’s own expert witness, William R. Jacobs, who described the outages as having been “clearly the result of imprudent management.”
For my own general knowledge, I wanted to see Stan Wise’s background in relation to William Jacobs background if Commissioner Wise was going to ignore Jacobs’ professional opinion in relation to a vote. I’ll let you form your own opinion.
Davidson’s press release went on to say:
“Commissioner Wise said he was concerned about being ‘fair’ to Georgia Power,” Davidson said. “Hard-working consumers across this state are no doubt wondering when Mr. Wise will be concerned about being fair to them.”
I’m just saying – It IS a fair thing to wonder.
A little extra tidbit of humor: of the 3-2 vote, Bubba McDonald and Tim Echols voted together against it. I guess we can assume this was a verbal vote and not written on fancy stationary? ha
As follow-up to some of the things in Davidson’s press release, it’s interesting to note that according to Politifact Georgia, Stan Wise had an interesting (or stale) mix of contributors between 2001 and 2012.
Our analysis shows about 66 percent of the contributions were made by people who work for companies regulated by the PSC. An additional 25 percent came from attorneys who work for law firms with clients who do business before the commission. Some of those law firms are the largest in Georgia, and attorneys who work there regularly donate to political candidates in all sorts of campaigns.
About 9 percent came from donors we believe have no ties to any utilities. There were some contributions we could not determine whether or not the donors worked for or represented any utilities, and we did not include them in our analysis.
As for Vogtle 3 and 4, get ready for those extra costs to start coming in. Westinghouse has lost their mind. Rebar is a critical path item…and it’s already showing delays. For the engineering dorks, you can read more about rebar on Page 8 of this .pdf.
Here’s an update on the project in I-Nuclear from earlier this month:
The Westinghouse spokesman said a routine Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection in April identified that certain details of the nuclear island rebar construction at Vogtle were not consistent with the DCD [design control document]” that was approved by the NRC. (Bridg Notes: they didn’t install it as designed and approved and are now having to do it over.)
Westinghouse said issues have arisen that may impact the budgets and schedules of the projects, including costs associated with design changes to the DCD, and costs associated with delays in the schedules of the projects related to the timing and approval of the DCD and issuance of the COLs.
“Westinghouse expects negotiations with the owners about cost overruns to continue over the next several months during which time it will attempt to reach mutually acceptable agreements,” the spokesman said.
In his testimony, Jacobs was also sceptical about the project meeting schedule and costs, partly because he said that Shaw Modular Solutions (SMS), manufacturer of the AP1000 modules, had yet to demonstrate the required production rate of high quality modules to meet schedules.
Sidenote: Does it scare the beejeezus out of anyone else that the resident expert has yet to see the required production of high quality modules?? I don’t want to alarm the neighbors, but….