Tag: Sam Olens

Georgia Sues EPA Over Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

– Ten States Granted Easements to Lessen Costs –

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has filed suit on behalf of the state of Georgia against the Environmental Protection Agency. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution story states that Olens filed suit because the the rule would cause a major disruption in how the state produces electricity. Sixty-seven percent of Georgia Power’s electricity is produced by the affected coal-fired power plants.

Attorney General Sam Olens said the rule would cause major changes to the way electricity would be produced in the state.

“The EPA has overstepped their authority with a heavy-handed federal takeover of the enforcement of environmental regulations,” Olens said in a statement Thursday. “More significantly, implementation of this rule will be extremely damaging to our already struggling economy.”

The EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule imposes caps on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide in 27 states. Ten of those states, including New York, New Jersey and Texas; were granted cost-lessening adjustments to the regulation.

Georgia Power can either install expensive pollution-reduction machinery in its coal-based power plants or Georgia can buy “emission allowances” from other states. Either way look for your power bills to increase. So what are emission allowances? It appears they are just the recycled, Carbon Tax Credit idea that failed miserably in Europe.

So you thought carbon tax credits were dead because they were such a stupid, expensive, socialistic idea that did nothing to lessen pollution? No, they’re back because Washington loves stupid, expensive socialistic pollution regulations that do nothing to actually lessen pollution. I call them: Son of Carbon Tax Credits or Friday the 13th Part 2012.

From an EPA paper on the regulation:

The rule allows air-quality-assured allowance trading among covered sources, utilizing an allowance market infrastructure based on existing, successful allowance trading programs. The final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule allows sources to trade emissions allowances with other sources within the same
program (e.g., ozone season NOX) in the same or different states, while firmly
constraining any emissions shifting that may occur by requiring a strict emission
ceiling in each state (the budget plus variability limit). It also includes assurance provisions that ensure each state will make the emission reductions necessary to fulfill the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act

So we have the ability to pay another state for the right to pollute or we can pay to install expensive anti-pollution equipment – and what better time to do so than in a lengthy period of high unemployment? All because it’s more important to have more regulations than more jobs.

Attorney General Sam Olens Not Too Keen on Writedown Plan

Bloomberg has an article up about Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens joining attorneys general against the proposed federal-state foreclosure deal to write down loans:

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said he has “significant concerns” about a proposal to reduce loan balances for some homeowners as part of a settlement of a nationwide foreclosure probe, joining at least seven other states that have criticized such a plan.

A deal with the top mortgage servicers in the U.S. that includes writedowns could encourage homeowners who are current on their loans to stop making payments, Olens, a Republican, said today in a telephone interview.

“You’re declaring in advance who the winners and losers are,” Olens said. “I’m a little concerned that this process disengages the normal market forces.”

However, Attorney General Olens does believe that the agreement last week to get 14 mortgage servicers to change their foreclosure procedures was, at least, a step forward:

A separate agreement with 14 mortgage servicers announced April 13 by federal regulators was a “big step forward,” though it was “vague” on details that he hopes the attorneys general will clarify, Olens said.

I hope that the attorneys general from all 50 states and the federal level reach a consensus on foreclosure policy and regulation that is equitable and fair for both consumers and lenders, but also something that doesn’t put the American taxpayers (or taxpayers of a specific state) on the line as well.

Georgia Attorney General’s Office on Facebook

We got a tip that the Georgia Attorney General’s Office now has a Facebook page.  Go here to “Like” it if you have Facebook.

With so many elected officials and their respective offices starting up Facebook fan pages and groups, do you believe that this brings the office closer to their constituents and allows for an addition channel of communication or merely an excuse for their office staff to play on Facebook?  Would you like to see more or less involvement of government officials on social networking sites?  How will this affect constituent services in government in the future?

Discuss this topic of social media and government among yourselves in the comments.

Sam Olens Announces Transition Team

Attorney General-Elect Sam Olens announced his transition team this morning as he prepares for his January 10th swearing in. Co-Chairs for his team are Jimmy Franklin, Partner, Franklin Taulbee Rushing Snipes & Marsh and Past President, State Bar of Georgia 2001-2002; Bill Hutson, Retired Cobb County Sheriff; and Robert Ingram, Partner, Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele and Past President, State Bar of Georgia 2005-2006.

The remaining transition team is as follows:
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Attorney General Candidates In The On Deck Circle

Not much ink has been spilled here on the general election matchup between Republican Sam Olens and Democrat Ken Hodges.  Yet it is one of the more compelling matchups, pits candidates with real differences against each other, and one that Democrats think they have a real chance of winning despite the Republican wave that appears to be cresting on Tuesday.  

Voters should be taking more interest in this race for another reason:  The winner of this contest has a leg up on being his party’s nominee for Governor in the near future.   For the Democrats, this fact is evident.  They are facing probable removal from all offices at the State level.  Further, the remaining Democrats in Congress – Lewis, Scott, Johnson, and Barrow – are generally viewed as left of center and have only regional appeal.   If elected, Ken Hodges would almost certainly become the face of the Georgia Democratic Party.

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FWIW, Olens Gets My AG Runoff Vote

With the risk of Ken Hodges becoming Georgia’s attorney general (and thus the risk of his behavior at Pheobe-Puntey going statewide), I’ve had to take my vote in the runoff a bit more seriously then I did in the general election.

I’ve looked at some of my friends in the legal community’s endorsements. I’ve looked harder at each remaining candidate’s actual record, and this evening, I watched the debate between the two candidates.

It was clear to me less than half way through the debate. I’ll vote for Sam Olens on Tuesday without reservation.

Handel Leads In Landmark Poll, “Undecided” Leads In AG race With Olens Over Smith

Landmark Communications did a poll last evening of 800 Republican voters that they will release here at 4:30 (get your crosstabs, etc, there).

Here’s the summary:


Handel: 45.8
Deal: 37.1
Undecided: 17.1

Attorney General:

Undecided: 56.7
Olens: 33.0
Smith: 10.3

I’m told that, bucking “conventional wisdom”, there is no gender gap among the Governor’s candidates. I’m also told that Sam Olens wins the 6th CD, whereas Smith isn’t winning anywhere. Thus, Sam’s clout in Republican rich Cobb is noteworthy.

Sam Olens Announces New Endorsements For Attorney General Runoff

From a press release:

Cobb County/July 23, 2010 – Sam Olens for Attorney General has received new endorsements from new legislators, sheriffs and conservative lawyers.

Conservative lawyer Frank C. Jones, of Jones, Cork & Miller of Macon
endorsed today. Jones is the Governor’s lead counsel for the ObamaCare litigation. Other conservative attorneys joining the campaign today are Jason Alloy, Robins Law LLC, Atlanta; Keith Blackwell, Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs, Atlanta; and Steve Dillard, Jason, Bates, Pope & Spivey of Macon.

Additionally, the following elected officials endorsed today:
State Senator Seth Harp, Columbus State Representative Larry O’Neal, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee, Warner Robins State Representative Penny Houston, Nashville Sheriff Steve Cronic, Hall County Sheriff Scott Berry, Oconee County Bibb County Commissioner Elmo Richardson, Jr. Chatsworth Mayor Tyson Haynes Republican nominee for House District 176 Jason Shaw, Lakeland

“I’m very grateful for the continued endorsements as we take our momentum from the primary through the runoff,” said Olens.

Sam Olens has been endorsed by 170 statewide elected officials. To see a full list, visit www.olensforag.com

Olens, Teilhet, & Wood on Wilson

Sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it?

Who would have predicted over five years ago that our future leaders would still be talking about Genarlow Wilson? Such is the case. The Democratic and Republican candidates for Attorney General were asked how they would have handled the Wilson situation this past Tuesday night during a Southern Polytechnic State University sponsored debate.

Preston Smith and Ken Hodges apparently were not present, but the other three candidates all took slightly different approaches to the question:

Former US Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Max Wood indicated Baker did the right thing.

“What you do is you follow the law,” Wood said.

“That’s what Thurbert Baker did, and I think he did the right thing. I don’t think you make a decision based on popularity. I don’t think it matters where the resistance comes politically, whether they’re black, white, ministers or laity. You look at the law and do what you think is right. He was defending the Georgia laws that existed at that time, I think he did the right thing. I agree with what he did,” Wood said.

The lone Democrat and State Representative Teilhet took the opposing stance, indicating that Baker’s actions were not appropriate.

“I absolutely would not have filed that petition to keep that young man in jail. I just wouldn’t have done it,” Teilhet said.

“Ten years was completely disproportionate to what happened,”

Sam Olens, the former ARC Chairman and other Republican present, arrived at the same result as Teilhat – but with a more nuanced approach.

“That was a discretionary appeal. In my judgment, the appeal should not have occurred on the habeas petition. In my judgment, when you look at the proportionality of the sentence, the appeal should not have occurred,” Olens said.

Olens said there is a larger issue for Baker in that case, and that was his “total failure” to communicate what he was thinking.

“When the ministers went up to him and said, ‘why are you doing what you’re doing?’ he told them he was the attorney general,” Olens said.

You can read the full story in The Marietta Daily Journal.

Olens Announces New Endorsements

From a press release:

Sam Olens, Republican candidate for Attorney General, is pleased to announce he has received the endorsement of Jerry Keen, five-term State Representative from St. Simons, Majority Leader and former Chairman of the Christian Coalition of Georgia.

“Sam Olens is a conservative, courageous leader whose experience will serve Georgians well as our next Attorney General,” said Keen.
In May, Sam has also received a flurry of additional endorsements from
elected officials and law enforcement from other parts of Georgia.

These include:
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