“The mission of the Georgia Public Service Commission is to exercise its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced telecommunications, electric and natural gas services from financially viable and technically competent companies.” – Georgia PSC Website
The Georgia Public Service Commission impacts your daily life far more than any other statewide elected officials. It is important that a Commissioner has a determination to represent balance between the ratepayers and the service providers.
In recent years, however, the PSC has demonstrated a decided imbalance in its approach that results in the majority of the Commission siding more often with the irresponsible utilities that the commission regulates. By “irresponsible,” we mean construction projects like Plant Vogtle that is now running at 79% over the original budget claim by Georgia Power in 2012 that it would cost a mere $14 billion. Now the figure is $25 billion…and, to the PSC, it’s a big shrug of “So what?”
This “So-what?” attitude leads to overcharging on rates that essentially lays the blame of incompetent (at minimum) management of utility construction projects at the feet of the average residential ratepayer via blackmail (“Oh, you can’t pay this extra $25 per month to pay for our construction management screw-ups? Okay, we’ll shut-off your power, and you can live-on Ritz crackers and Velveeta cheese…they don’t need refrigeration.”).
So, it is clear that when regulated utilities like Georgia Power, Atlanta Gas Light, and related utility lobbyists, etc., see a fresh, new political-insider like Tricia Pridemore get appointed to the PSC, their natural inclination is to line-up at Commissioner Pridemore’s door to vie for who can give her the fattest checks they can write to buy her good graces to continue to vote in their favor. Analysis of her contributions can be found on this page.
In addition to the ridiculous amounts of money being thrown at her by the very same people she is charged with ‘regulating’ (what is the definition of a bribe, anyway?), Pridemore, herself, has a propensity to demonstrate herself to be a prolific liar in her politics.
Also, you may have received a direct-mail piece from her where she claims that she “voted to put $135 back in your pocket” as a result of a supposed PSC vote she made to approve of Georgia Power refunding money to their customers.
This claim by Pridemore has some problems with it, as detailed from these two independent sources:
1) By Georgia Power’s own press release, GP claims that “… the typical residential customer using an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month could receive approximately $70 in refunds over the two-year period.”
2) In this analysis by Georgia Conservation Voters, they state the following: “To try to cover up how deep in the hole this project is, you will get two more “refunds,” this year for a total of $75. At the end of the day, this $75 “refund” will cost you $389. It’s not unlike a payday loan from a predatory lender, except that you had no choice in the matter.”
Where is the math for Pridemore’s “$135 refund” claim?
So, when you read her direct-mail propaganda that has a giant picture of President Trump on it, hear her drop his name in every other word in her speeches, and read her social media going forward that she is SUCH a grand supporter of Trump, you should well remember what this tweet from October of 2016 looks like…and consider that, as a #NeverTrumper, she, along with all of the other #NeverTrumpers, would have been perfectly content to see Hillary Clinton get elected.