It was encouraging to read the recent commentary taking issue with the Georgia’s Public Service Commission’s [PSC’s] long-entrenched practice of rewarding power-companies for mismanaging their multi-billion-dollar projects.
Not only does the PSC allow these corporate opportunists to profit from enormous cost-overruns [Plant Vogtle expansion now doubled, approaching $28 billion], but PSC members approve extra costs being added to the monthly bills of residential electricity users.
Instead of unfairly burdening customers, the PSC should hold cash-rich corporations accountable by imposing financial penalties when they fail to keep costs within budgets and projects on schedule.
Similar injustices must be corrected on other issues relevant to coastal Georgia:
• Rather than allowing Glynn County commissioners to disregard the tree ordinance by removing large trees without justification, courts must honor legal safeguards that protect the public’s right to object to such destructive actions. Unless laws are consistently enforced, unscrupulous public officials will gain excessive, unilateral authority, ignoring requirements whenever deemed convenient, without any obligation to the citizens.
• As rising sea-level accelerates, numerous scientific studies repeatedly warn against building in harm’s way, yet the Jekyll Island Authority is proposing new housing on the beachfront where storm-surge and flooding are inevitable. Such reckless defiance of science, public safety and shoreline conservation must not be tolerated, and Georgians should insist that the Jekyll Master Plan Update be revised to prohibit this willful negligence.
To prevent further abuse of political power by the few at the expense of the majority, it’s time for the public to demand justice.
David Kyler, Center for a Sustainable Coast