ATLANTA, GA, March 8, 2018 – On behalf of Georgia Watch, Barnes Law Group has filed a petition to contest in court a decision of the Georgia Public Service Commission approving the continuation of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project despite a near doubling of the original budget, expansive execution risks due to a recent bankruptcy and a five-year delay of commercial operation. According to the filing, the Commission’s decision violates Georgia law and the Commission’s own rules.
“In both process and outcome, the PSC unfairly tilted the scales in favor of Georgia Power’s shareholders,” says John Salter, an attorney at the Barnes Law Group who is representing Georgia Watch along with former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes.
At a hearing on December 21, the Commission’s Staff, Georgia Watch, and other parties urged the Commission to deny Georgia Power Company’s request to continue the project unless the Commission disallowed some of the cost overruns and placed a cap on further increases. Instead, according to the petition, the Commission made a decision that better serves the interests of the Company’s shareholders to the detriment of their customers.
“The Commission’s decision puts nearly all of the higher cost burden and risks of further cost increases on the backs of Georgia consumers,” said Georgia Watch Executive Director, Liz Coyle. “Incredibly, Georgia Power will actually earn billions in extra profit while their customers foot the bill for the mismanaged project.”
“Given the magnitude of the effect this will have on all Georgians for decades to come, Barnes Law Group agreed to represent us on a pro bono basis,” Coyle continued, “for which we are extremely grateful.”
Founded in 2002, Georgia Watch is a statewide consumer advocacy organization working to educate and protect Georgia consumers on matters that impact their quality of life, particularly the effects of predatory business practices, the high cost of utilities and healthcare, and restricted access to the civil justice system.