Type to search

Dear Decaturish – Rise up for clean energy!

Decatur DeKalb County Editor's Pick

Dear Decaturish – Rise up for clean energy!

Photo provided to Decaturish

We accept letters to the editor. Letters to the editor are opinions of the authors of the letter, not Decaturish.com. Everyone has an equal opportunity to submit a letter to the editor. So if you read something here and don’t like it, don’t jump on our case. Write a letter of your own. All letters must be signed and are typically between 500 to 800 words. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and content. We also reserve the right to publish longer letters if we need to. To send your letter to the editor, email it to [email protected].

Dear Decaturish,

Georgia Power, the monopoly electricity provider for most of Georgia, is seeking approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission to buy more fossil fuel electricity from out of state and to build new fossil fuel plants and infrastructure in Georgia. This is not to keep our power on, but so that Georgia Power can compete for new customers and make additional profits. More than 80% of the new customers will likely be data centers that use massive amounts of electricity. Georgia Power’s request poses a threat to our environment and our future. 

Georgia’s Public Service Commissioners have the authority and power to grant or deny Georgia Power’s requests. These five elected officials are key to determining whether Georgia has a clean or dirty energy future. To help raise awareness about the Commissioners’ upcoming decisions and actions, local climate activists have launched a website, RiseUpForCleanEnergy.com. The website also serves as a resource for how to quickly and easily contact Commissioners and to get updates on community actions to advocate for clean energy

Amid our climate emergency, utility companies play a critical role. To meet international greenhouse gas reduction targets and prevent levels of warming that will lead to increasingly catastrophic impacts, they must generate power and electricity through clean and renewable sources like wind and solar. We can no longer rely on fossil fuels and must quickly act to electrify the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions; cars and heating for homes and businesses.

To incentivize power companies, the US passed the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 and included funding for utilities to build new clean energy infrastructure rather than continuing to build fossil fuel plants. However, many utility companies, like Georgia Power, are reluctant to change their business models and transition rapidly to clean energy.

Georgia Power is choosing to ignore cost-saving clean energy alternatives such as solar and battery storage resources and instead double down on fossil fuels by building a major gas plant expansion project in Newnan, GA. They are also proposing additional gas and coal power purchase agreements that would prevent the retirement of polluting coal and methane gas power plants in Mississippi and Florida. These fossil fuel plants increase air pollution, which contributes to dangerous health issues like asthma, lung cancer, and heart disease. The people living closest to the plants, often low-income families and communities of color, and vulnerable populations such as the young and the elderly will be impacted the most.

In April, Georgia’s five elected Public Service Commissioners will make a decision that will have state, national, and international repercussions. If the Commissioners grant Georgia Power’s request, cities and counties across Georgia will be tied to fossil fuels for decades and won’t be able to meet clean energy goals. It would also set a dangerous precedent for other utility regulators. Duke Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority are also seeking permission to increase their reliance on fossil fuels. If regulators grant these requests, then 2035 targets to decarbonize our national electric grid will be out of reach. Further, the US will lose the opportunity to assume a leadership role and influence other countries to take essential climate action.

Environmental, climate, and student groups have responded to the urgency of the situation and our mobilizing people throughout Georgia to reach out to our elected Commissioners. We can influence them to deny Georgia Power’s request for more fossil fuels and instead require Georgia Power to invest in clean and renewable energy. Here’s what you can do: 

Rise up and take action. Visit RiseUpForCleanEnergy.com to get more info and details. If you cannot attend hearings, then go to the site to learn how to quickly and easily make a written public comment and to sign a petition. 

Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines, hoping that others will take action. We have benefited from electricity generated by fossil fuels at the expense of future generations. Collectively, we can help set Georgia Power on a course to provide clean, safe renewable energy, setting an example for other utility companies to follow.

Thank you in advance for taking critical action to protect ourselves and future generations. 


Lisa Coronado, Preeti Jaggi, and Nancy Green

Founders of Decatur Cares About Climate

Decaturclimate.com, [email protected]

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.

If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $10 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community.