Clean Electricity? These Are The Overlooked Elected Officials Who Decide.

"As the Georgia Public Service Commission writes, “Very few governmental agencies have as much impact on people’s lives.”"

"On a Tuesday morning in January, college student Aurora Gray stepped up to the podium in a windowless room in Atlanta, around the corner from the state capitol building. In front of her sat a five-member panel of elected officials that oversees how and where nearly every Georgia resident gets their power.

“The generation of energy … using fossil fuels has become an existential threat to our safety due to the undisputed impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on our planet,” Gray told the commission. “We must act now, as later is way too late.”

More than a dozen other students sat behind her, awaiting their allotted three minutes in front of the Georgia Public Service Commission, or PSC. One after another, they called on the commission to reject a request from Georgia Power, the state’s largest utility, to add new natural gas capacity to the grid. Instead, they repeated at the podium, the company needs to expand renewable energy and take other steps to combat climate change.

“You can help get Georgia Power to take the right actions in the essential time frame,” said high school senior Evelyn Ford, the last of the students to speak across two days. “Actually, you’re the only five people in Georgia who can.”"

Emily Jones reports for Grist March 13, 2024.

Source: Yale Climate Connections, 03/18/2024