2018 Resolution: Demand Real Clean Energy, Safe Jobs by Emily Weyrauch

This year, after the Public Service Commission made a late December decision mandating ratepayers pay for Plant Vogtle expansion costs that have gone way over-budget, Georgia WAND will continue to rise up and speak out about the need for healthy jobs in Burke County.

“We will continue to dutifully inform the commissioners about the human side of this issue, such as the high cancer rate and Vogtle’s role in the dispersion of radiation; the need for a locally-driven, diversified, sustainable economies; and gainful, healthy employment that doesn’t rely on or include nuclear expansion,” said Executive Director Becky Rafter.

A recent article in Courthouse News expanded on concerns of Burke County residents about the expansion of Vogtle. The article quotes Becky Rafter and several Burke County residents.
Below is an excerpt:

Becky Rafter, executive director of the local nonprofit Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, said in an email, “This decision was meant to save the plant, not the jobs.”
“The commissioners’ ‘long view’ is long, yes, but it is also narrow,” Rafter continued. “Any future Vogtle decision must include a cost-benefit analysis about the strain on our state’s resources regarding health, reproductive, and environmental issues.”

There are additional concerns, Rafter added, that any nuclear power accident or meltdown at Vogtle could eclipse the purported benefits of the nuclear reactors.

Rafter and her staff also expressed worries about unanswered questions linking locals’ low-dose radiation exposure and the high rate of the cancer in the area.

“That, in itself, was a question: Why move forward with something that’s poisoning [the people] in the area and then ask them to pay for it?” Utley said.

Please share this article with your network, learn more about Georgia WAND’s plan for a Just Transition, and put pressure on the PSC commissioners to take human concerns into consideration with a cost-benefit analysis.

Georgia Public Service Commissioners:
STAN WISE: stanwise@psc.state.ga.us, 404-657-4574
TIM ECHOLS: techols@psc.state.ga.us, 404-463-0214
DOUG EVERETT: deverett@psc.state.ga.us, 404-453-6746
CHUCK EATON: ceaton@psc.state.ga.us 404-657-2020
BUBBA MCDONALD: lmcdonald@psc.state.ga.us, 404-463-4260

Contact becky@georgiawand.org for more information.