Stop sweetheart power deals

  • Follow Letters

Electric Membership Corporations should be their members’ valentines, and stop sweetheart deals with expensive, dirty coal plants.

Transparency in EMC power-purchase agreements will help provide competitively priced electricity to the members EMCs serve.

Since 2008, at least $25 million of EMC member dollars have been spent on Power4Georgians and a no-bid contract for Allied Energy Services to develop Plant Washington and Plant Ben Hill, two new coal-fired power plants. Member dollars were spent without member input and approval.

Four EMCs called off the romance with Power4Georgians years ago, followed by Cobb EMC in 2012. The remaining four EMCs have ended their courtship and financing for now – and one of the two plants was canceled last April. A forensic audit is under way at Cobb EMC that may uncover the roots of plans put into motion by former Cobb EMC/Cobb Energy CEO Dwight Brown and former Cobb Energy Vice-President Dean Alford to develop two dirty coal plants with an original price tag of $4.2 billion.

Even though large utilities such as Georgia Power Co. are closing down outdated and increasingly expensive coal plants, and denying the need for new coal plants, Power4Georgians and Allied Energy Services still hope to hook Georgia’s EMCs into expensive power-purchase contracts that will hurt EMC members’ checkbooks.

EMCs should say “no” to sweetheart deals and no-bid contracts that benefit corporate polluters at the expense of EMC members across our state! EMC members will love them for it.

Katherine Cummings

Sandersville

(The writer is executive director of the Fall-line Alliance for a Clean Environment.)

Comments (10) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 02/14/13 - 09:02 am
3
2
Southern Company, the EMC's,

Southern Company, the EMC's, and the manufacturers have millions of dollars and lobbyists (Ga. Power had over 70 just to get us start paying for plant Votgle early). We have squat.

GnipGnop
12443
Points
GnipGnop 02/14/13 - 10:40 am
3
0
If you want to see pollution go overseas...

We lose our manufacturing base because places like Mexico and China and Russia do not follow any guidelines on pollution. Yet, we pay a tariff for any exported goods going out and they pay none coming in. If you really want to get tough on things like this make any country that doesn't adhere to the same pollution controls we do pay a huge fine for any manufactured goods coming into this country. You would see manufacturing jobs coming back to this country quick like. Won't happen but hey, I can dream....

RMSHEFF
16630
Points
RMSHEFF 02/14/13 - 10:46 am
2
1
DIRTY DIRTY COAL !

The writer is obviously a tree hugging, save the earth progressive liberal that would love to shut down all coal fired power plants. Every time she mentions coal power plants she use the word dirty. No need to read any further because it it very obvious the article is "green" propaganda. It would almost be funny if these people could get what they really want and have to live live without all of the luxuries of life we enjoy now. All of the "earth first" people should be made to go live in the Congo, Zimbabwe, Burundi for a year.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 02/14/13 - 10:48 am
0
0
Electric Co ops vote.
Unpublished

The TV ads glorify the charitable efforts of t he EC's to bring power to those who would not have electricity. The were formed and exist for there customers. For the people, of the people and by the people. LOL
You have meter and pole, you get to read your own meter, you have owner/member privileges and you have electricity.

And you want to complain about the organization that was created just for you. Just because you had a need.

RMSHEFF
16630
Points
RMSHEFF 02/14/13 - 10:49 am
3
0
GnipGnop

Financial prosperity is as dirty a word to the writer as coal is.

dichotomy
34332
Points
dichotomy 02/14/13 - 11:18 am
3
0
I love this

I love this statement......"audit is under way at Cobb EMC that may uncover".

Reading the article MAY uncover that you are a crusading greenie weenie that opposes cheap electricity and would prefer that all power plants were closed down. I am sure you also oppose nuclear power too.

You have provided ZERO evidence of sweetheart deals. GA Power and the EMC are withdrawing from coal fired plants because they have been singled out by the greenie weenie lobby for persecution even though coal can be burned relatively cleanly with the latest clean coal technology. And coal is abundant in this country which certainly angers the greenie weenie lobby who oppose ANYTHING that gives consumers cheap, abundant electricity. They would much prefer that we throw our money at "renewable" energy which costs 5 times as much and is not able to provide anywhere near the amount of electricity we require and which NO environmental studies have been done as to the impact of huge solar arrays and wind turbine farms.

People like the writer ALWAYS have reason why we should not be doing something but the NEVER have a solution to providing the electricity we need at a lower COST. This letter has nothing to do with sweetheart deals.......this is all about the greenie weenie agenda. They have beat GA Power into submission and now they are targeting the EMCs. Between people like this and Obama's "carbon tax", your electricity bills are poised to do the same thing your health insurance costs have done and will continue to do under Obamacare.....double and triple.

itsanotherday1
45283
Points
itsanotherday1 02/14/13 - 08:59 pm
1
0
Just heard today that Obama

Just heard today that Obama is throwing another umpteen billion into green energy....

Gage Creed
17856
Points
Gage Creed 02/15/13 - 12:11 am
0
0
Let's build a nuke in

Let's build a nuke in Washington and Ben Hill county....I bet that would make Ms.Cummings smile!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 02/15/13 - 05:56 am
0
0
Have some nice prevailing

Have some nice prevailing winds from the SE and Augusta will get to share in the coal fired plant experience.

Seen It Up Close
2
Points
Seen It Up Close 02/15/13 - 11:34 am
0
0
Katherine Cummings is Right!

Plants Washington and Ben Hill were originated when Cobb Energy was asked to look at a GA coal plant project that was being divested of by TXU. There never was any load requirements study that determined the plants were needed. At least Georgia Power has PSC oversight to prevent things like this from happening; the EMCs in GA have none.

There was never any real intent to build the plants. Dwight Brown, the former, twice indicted CEO of Cobb EMC decided he would use the plant as an opportunity to create lucrative make-work, pre plant construction jobs for himself and his cronies Dean Alford of Allied Energy Services, Anis Sherali of Energy Consulting Group, and JW Rayder of Ashford Consulting. He also teed up lucrative land deals and short haul railroad deals for the benefit of the Tarbutton family of Washington County. They all get paid whether the plants are built or not.

While the Marietta Daily Journal won awards for its coverage of Cobb EMC’s involvement in the plants, its crusade ignored the fact that the Plant Washington and Plant Ben Hill fiascoes are a disgrace impacting many across the state of Georgia. Not only have the pockets of Brown and his cronies been lined with the hard earned dollars of Cobb EMC members, but also from EMC members from all over the state that were members of Power 4 Georgians. This is in addition to the giant wealth transfer to power traders in Texas because of the power supply deal that Dwight Brown cut with the trading company founded by his Auburn buddy, Cliff Hare (Eagle Energy, now EDF NA) to provide power to another consortium of GA EMCs, Cooperative Energy Inc (CEI). There is much overlap between CEI and P4G members.

The Augusta Chronicle could do much for the citizens of GA by reporting on this as a state-wide, not an EMC specific issue. EMC Members across the state, especially in Washington, Central Georgia, Upson, Snapping Shoals, and Pataula EMCs should make their officials account for their EMC’s involvement in, either or both, P4G and CEI and demand their own forensic audits in addition to the one at Cobb.

For Dichotomy who criticized the author’s use of the word “may” with respect to uncovering wrongdoing in the audit; I would have used the term “should, if diligent” if I was the author. However, the powers entrenched may be winning out as Stephen LaBriola, the attorney allegedly in charge of the audit, seems to have done very little to date.

For those energy “experts” blindly supporting coal. Read a newspaper. Natural gas fired plants are half the price and much less polluting.

Gage Creed
17856
Points
Gage Creed 02/15/13 - 08:04 pm
0
0
Up next in our one hit

Up next in our one hit wonders extravaganza....Vanilla ICE!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs