Opinion: Let’s finish Plant Vogtle, protect Ga. consumers

As a conservative, I support free-market energy solutions. A diversified energy portfolio of nuclear, fossil fuels, natural gas, wind and solar all work together to ensure the United States is not only energy independent, but also keeps cost more affordable. At the forefront of the most practical and cost-effective forms of energy today is nuclear power.

Through nuclear we have the opportunity to have a reliable energy source of carbon-free power for decades to come. As a consumer and a ratepayer, I want to make sure we take advantage of that energy source, and for that reason I support the completion of Plant Vogtle.

As Georgians we find ourselves in a dilemma without an easy answer. Units 3 and 4 are nearly 50 percent complete. While initially ratepayers were protected with a fixed-price contract, in the end the contractor could not perform. Fortunately that same contract required a guarantee by the parent company, which has made good on that guarantee and is now benefiting ratepayers.

As fiscal conservatives, it would not be the ideal situation to leave several billion dollars in ratepayers’ stranded assets and also lose thousands of jobs. We need to be able to harness that energy source for generations of Georgians to come while at the same time protecting Georgia ratepayers.

This is not a blanket statement. I strongly urge the Public Service Commission, who represents us; to work together to make sure we consumers are protected in this process. The PSC has already enacted mechanisms that cut shareholder profits by hundreds of millions of dollars as construction drifts off schedule. Even more protections are being considered.

We can protect Georgia ratepayers and make sure we have a clean, reliable energy source. Let’s not give up. Let’s keep Georgia moving forward

Julianne Thompson is a conservative activist and a Republican commentator on various news outlets in Georgia and across the United States. She is also a Georgia consumer and ratepayer.

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