Friday, August 29, 2008

City of Savannah Accepts Governor’s Energy Challenge

Pledging to reduce energy consumption 15 percent by 2020, the city of Savannah is the first city in Georgia to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge, which is a part of his Conserve Georgia initiative. Announced by Governor Perdue in April, the Governor’s Energy Challenge is a commitment that state government will reduce its energy usage 15 percent below 2007 energy use levels by 2020 through energy efficiency or in combination with renewable energy. Governor Perdue challenged Georgia’s citizens, businesses, organizations, local governments and school systems to meet the state’s 15 percent reduction goal.

“I applaud Savannah for being the first city in Georgia to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge,” said Governor Perdue. “By reducing energy use 15 percent, communities across Georgia can lessen their dependence on traditional energy sources, support the local economy and improve the environment.”

On Thursday, August 28, the Savannah City Council adopted a resolution accepting the Governor’s Energy Challenge. It is Savannah's first major policy adoption under the city's newly launched Thrive campaign, which aims to make the city a healthier, more environmentally sensitive, and more energy-efficient community.

“We are pleased to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge, as it gives us a focus and a mechanism by which to measure our goal to become a more environmentally sustainable community,” said Mayor Otis Johnson. “Goals that include timelines and impact measurements are important to tell us whether progress is being made.”

“Savannah has never been afraid to rise up and meet a challenge, and in this case we take particular pride in once again being a trendsetter in Georgia. I encourage my colleagues across the state to join me in accepting this 15 percent reduction goal,” added Mayor Johnson.

The city of Savannah is in the process of studying a number of potential initiatives, including an idling policy for vehicles, a water re-use expansion plan and an energy-efficient building policy, as it attempts to meet the Governor's goal of reducing its 2007 energy consumption levels by 15 percent by the year 2020.

The state of Georgia will lead by example and adopt, implement, and promote energy efficiency practices and policies and by using renewable, locally produced biofuels and bioenergy. The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) is directing the implementation of the Governor’s Energy Challenge. Information on how to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge is available by visiting the “Our Energy” section of conservegeorgia.org.

Conserve Georgia is a statewide multi-agency marketing and public education effort aimed at promoting the conservation of energy, land and water; the prevention of litter; and the promotion of recycling. Conserve Georgia’s website – conservegeorgia.org – is a one-stop-shop portal to the state’s conservation programs. Any Georgian or organization seeking more information on how to conserve the state’s natural resources, can visit conservegeorgia.org and easily access all of the state’s conservation programs and information.
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Chambliss-Isakson Annouce Over $1.3 Million for Georgia Farmers and Ranchers

U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded over $1.3 million to 44 Georgia farms and business operations to become more energy efficient. The grants and loan guarantees are awarded through USDA Rural Development’s Section 9006 Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program. The program was created under Section 9006 of the 2002 farm bill, which Sen. Chambliss helped craft. This program will also continue in FY 2009 under a new and improved authority in the recently enacted farm bill, renamed as the Renewable Energy for America Program.

“I am pleased to announce this funding for our producers in Georgia,” said Sen. Chambliss. “Today’s announcement is a testament that Georgians are eager to stay ahead of the curve on ways to integrate new energy efficient technologies in their farming operations.”

“There are no quick fixes in dealing with the energy issue, but there are things we can and must do,” Sen. Isakson said. “I’m pleased these Georgia farms and businesses will be able to take advantage of these grants to increase energy efficiency and lower consumption.”

The grants will be used to provide financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to support renewable energy projects across a wide range of technologies encompassing biomass, geothermal, hydrogen, solar and wind energy. The program also provides support for energy efficiency improvements, helping recipients reduce energy consumption and improve operations.

For a complete list of the 44 recipients in Georgia, please go to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Georgia Power Seeks Approval for Coal Plant Conversion to Biomass

PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today asked the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval to convert coal-fueled Plant Mitchell to renewable wood biomass.

Upon conversion, Plant Mitchell - near Albany - would be capable of producing 96 megawatts of renewable energy - or enough electricity to power 60,000 homes. The plant would have lower emissions, and would be one of the largest wood biomass plants in the United States. It would also have lower fuel and operating costs when compared to continued operation using coal, thereby making the plant more cost-effective for customers.

Surplus wood fuel for Plant Mitchell would come from suppliers operating within an approximately 100-mile radius of the plant.

"Georgia Power is taking an important step toward continued diversification of its fuel sources and making renewable energy more affordable for customers," said Mike Garrett, Georgia Power president and CEO. "By converting Plant Mitchell to biomass, we hope to not only help grow the renewable resource base in Georgia but also to expand the market for renewable energy credits, which ultimately will foster additional renewable energy development."

Renewable energy credits are created when a renewable energy facility generates electricity or uses renewable fuel. The PSC is expected to rule on the proposal to convert Plant Mitchell to biomass by spring of 2009. Retrofit construction would begin by spring of 2011 and the biomass plant would likely begin operations in June 2012.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

T. Boone Pickens' Plan on Wind Energy

Lately many have been seeing and hearing T. Boone Pickens on the radio and television promoting his plan promoting wind power. He states that 20% of our power could come from this source in the ads.

The staff at the Fayette Front Page and friends were talking about the commercials recently and we decided to do a short blog on the subject.

The Wikepedia info was particularly interesting. Pickens is certainly the American Dream in action! He is ranked, per Wik, as the 117th wealthiest person in the states with a net worth of over 3 billion. An amazing number to try and comprehend!

He is using his own money to promote the plan. Even knowing how much money he has at his disposal, spending the amount of money he must be spending to do the advertising on major networks and radio stations (and possibly newspapers) shows a strong commitment to his idea.

To do so also says he must have the research and data to substantiate his claims.

20% doesn't sound like a huge number in the scheme of things. However, if you start looking at where we are getting our energy now that percentage is substantial and would have a huge impact on our economy. A positive impact if true.

Here's a few bits of info from his site (www.PickensPlan.com) and others:
  • In 1970, we imported 24% of our oil. Today it's nearly 70% and growing.
  • A 2005 Stanford University study found that there is enough wind power worldwide to satisfy global demand 7 times over — even if only 20% of wind power could be captured.
  • The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America's electricity can come from wind.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy released a report confirming the feasibility of wind power generating 20% of the country’s electricity needs by 2030 – which would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by an amount equivalent to taking 140 million vehicles off the roads.

We invite you to decide for yourself. Here are some links to help start your own research:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._Boone_Pickens

http://www.boonepickens.com/

http://www.pickensplan.com/

http://www.awea.org/ (American Wind Energy Association)

T. Boone Pickens Wind Vision Can Rapidly Become a Reality
July 8 - The American Wind Energy Association today welcomed the campaign launched by T. Boone Pickens to strengthen U.S. economic and energy security by boosting wind power production and confirmed that ramping up wind power quickly on a large scale is feasible if the government enacts the correct policies, starting with renewal of the production tax credit. More

http://www.powerofwind.com/

http://www.windenergyworks.org/

Wind Energy
Explains how moving air can be used to produce energy.

US Department of Energy Wind and Hydropower Technologies
Information on the DOE wind and hydro energy program, wind power projects, wind turbine technology and research, and wind energy basics.

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McCain Campaign: Statement in Defense of Barack Obama

U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign issued the following statement from McCain 2008 Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker in defense of Barack Obama's energy positions:

"Senator Obama's stance on offshore oil drilling has been mischaracterized. He has not changed his position. He has continually campaigned against additional drilling, calling the policy a 'gimmick' saying it was a 'scheme' and ridiculing those who support it. With his steadfast opposition to John McCain's 'all of the above' approach to our energy crisis, Americans should know that Barack Obama remains opposed to additional domestic oil drilling. Speaker Pelosi, MoveOn.org and the Sierra Club can take comfort from the fact that Barack Obama still opposes additional domestic oil drilling. Meanwhile, the American people can be sure that John McCain will do what is necessary to reduce this country's dependence on Middle East oil and bring down prices at the pump."

Barack Obama Has Not Changed His Position On Offshore Drilling

Barack Obama: "This wasn't really a new position. What I'm saying is that we can't drill our way out of the problem." (Barack Obama, Press Conference, Cape Canaveral, FL, 8/2/08)
Barack Obama On Offshore Drilling: "This Is Not Real"

In Springfield, Missouri, Barack Obama Said That Drilling Will Not "Solve Our Problem" And That "It's Not Real." "'If I thought that by drilling offshore we could solve our problem, I'd do it ... This is not real. I know it's tempting. The polls say the majority of Americans think it's one way we'll resolve our problems, but it's not real." (John Whitesides, "Obama, Mccain Duel Over Celebrity Ad, Attacks," Reuters, 7/30/08)

Barack Obama Called Offshore Drilling A "Scheme." Obama: "Now the latest scheme is well, we're going to drill offshore. Now, I want to be absolutely clear to everybody about this. If I thought that I could provide you some immediate relief on gas prices by drilling off the shores of California and New Jersey, I understand how desperate folks are. I met a guy who couldn't go on a job search that lost his job, couldn't go on a job search because of the high price of gas. Just couldn't fill up his tank. I met a teacher in South Dakota who loved her job as a teacher on an Indian reservation, she had to quit because the drive was too far, it was taking up too much of her paycheck. I know how bad people are hurting. So If I thought that by drilling offshore, we could solve our problem, I'd do it." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Springfield, MO, 7/30/08)

· Watch Barack Obama Call Offshore Drilling A "Scheme": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9k9138YBKQ

Barack Obama Said That Drilling Was A "Strategy Designed To Get Politicians Through An Election." "Last month, Senator McCain raised more than a million dollars from oil and gas company executives and employees -- most of which came after he announced his drilling plan in front of a bunch of oil executives in Houston. This is not a strategy designed to end our energy crisis -- it's a strategy designed to get politicians through an election, and that's exactly why Washington has failed to do anything about our energy dependence for the last 30 years." (Foon Rhee, "More Energy Talk, More Skirmishing," The Boston Globe's "Political Intelligence" Blog, http://www.boston.com, Posted 7/31/08)

Barack Obama: "This Is A Proposal That Would Only Worsen Our Addiction To Oil." "And just like Senator McCain's gas tax holiday gimmick, this is a proposal that would only worsen our addiction to oil and put off needed investments in clean renewable energy." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Jacksonville, FL, 6/20/08)
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"Obama's Energy Plan Is Fueled By Populism"

The latest additions to Sen. Barack Obama's energy plan, outlined during an appearance in Lansing Monday, may win the Democratic presidential candidate some votes from disgruntled consumers in November, but they'll do nothing to answer the nation's long-term needs." -- The Detroit News

"Obama's Energy Plan Is Fueled By Populism"
Editorial
The Detroit News
August 5, 2008

The latest additions to Sen. Barack Obama's energy plan, outlined during an appearance in Lansing Monday, may win the Democratic presidential candidate some votes from disgruntled consumers in November, but they'll do nothing to answer the nation's long-term needs.

The Illinois senator called for releasing the nation's strategic oil reserve to provide temporary relief from high gasoline prices, and also promised to lift the profits from Big Oil to give Americans a $1,000 energy rebate check.

As political pandering goes, Obama's proposals rank right up there with Sen. John McCain's call for a temporary suspension of the federal gasoline tax. They also equal McCain's gas tax holiday both for their worthlessness as a permanent policy solution and their potential for causing more harm than good.

The 707 million barrels of oil in the strategic reserve are there to protect the country from disruptions in its oil supply. It's essential for the United States to have such an insurance policy, considering that it gets much of its imported oil from some of the worlds' most volatile places.

The stockpile was last tapped after Hurricane Katrina cut off oil supplies from the Gulf of Mexico. President Bush, under pressure from Congress, stopped filling the reserves earlier this year in hopes of easing fuel prices.

Draining the reserve would drop consumer fuel costs for the short run, as would any sudden increase in supply. But then what? Once the reserves are gone, prices would go back up, and perhaps even higher because the reserves ultimately would have to be replaced.

Oddly, although Obama's proposal shows he recognizes the impact of supply on prices, he remains hesitant about lifting the congressional ban on off-shore drilling. Credit Obama for moving slightly away from the hard-line no drilling position of the Democratic congressional leadership by saying he'd consider "limited" coastal drilling if it were packaged with big increases in government subsidies for alternative energy development.

But at the same time, he proposed taking away any incentive oil companies would have to expand drilling and increase supplies by pushing a windfall tax on Big Oil's profits to fund the $1,000 rebate checks.

Perhaps the senator is hoping the checks will make Americans forget, as he apparently has, about what happened when Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter played the price and profit limiting game the 1970s.

As the pay-off for oil exploration dwindled, so did oil supplies, driving up fuel prices and creating long lines at the pump. There's no reason to think Obama would be any more successful in executing this dubious redistribution strategy.

His plan also would give the state-owned oil companies in places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela a huge advantage over domestic companies, since they'd be beyond the reach of Obama's profits grab.

Gasoline prices have been falling in recent weeks as demand has decreased and hopes have risen that the United States may be prepared to allow expanded drilling.

Taking steps to keep demand in check while assuring a steady supply of oil is a much better energy policy than populist promises.

Read The Editorial
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Survey Finds Georgians Support Increased Access to Domestic Oil and Natural Gas Resources

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Georgians are concerned about the price of gasoline and the majority of them support increased access to domestic oil and natural gas resources, a new survey finds.

"This research confirms what every recent poll has shown. Georgians, like Americans everywhere, are feeling the crush of high gasoline costs and support increasing domestic supplies of oil and natural gas," said Ric Cobb, executive director of the Georgia Petroleum Council (GPC). "Sadly, some in Congress are ignoring this groundswell and blocking a balanced energy policy that includes development of America's vast natural resources, along with more conservation, energy efficiency and increased supplies of all sources of energy."

The poll was conducted by telephone between July 10 and July 27, 2008 by Harris Interactive and commissioned by API. The survey of 501 registered Georgia voters who are likely to vote in the upcoming presidential election found 66 percent of those surveyed said they somewhat or strongly support increased access to domestic oil and natural gas resources. Only 23 percent of respondents said they opposed increased access. An overwhelming 97 percent said they are somewhat or very concerned about the price of gasoline.

"America's oil and natural gas companies are ready to work with government at all levels to enact a comprehensive energy plan that includes increasing domestic supplies while protecting our environment," said Cobb. "It's time for Congress to lift the ban on offshore drilling."

Currently, Congress is blocking the exploration and development of abundant oil and natural gas reserves beneath non-park federal lands and coastal waters. Advanced technology means America's oil and natural gas companies can efficiently explore for these resources while protecting the environment. Based on federal government data, these resources could provide enough oil to fuel more than 65 million cars for 60 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for 160 years.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

UGA Gets $2.5 Million for Biofuels Studies

University of Georgia researchers were recently awarded two grants totaling $2.5 million to help find better ways to produce biofuels from switchgrass and sunflowers.

UGA was one of eight schools to receive grants from a program jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Energy. The program aims to accelerate research in biomass genomics and further the use of cellulosic plant material for bioenergy and biofuels.

"Developing cost-effective means of producing cellulosic biofuels on a national scale poses major scientific challenges. These grants will help in developing the type of transformational breakthroughs needed in basic science to make this happen,” said Raymond Orbach, a DOE undersecretary.

"USDA is committed to fostering a sustainable domestic biofuels industry at home in rural America," said Gale Buchanan, a USDA undersecretary. "These grants will broaden the sources of energy from many crops as well as improve the efficiency and options among renewable fuels."

The UGA grants were awarded to scientists in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

CAES professor and Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar Steven Knapp, UGA researchers Jeff Dean and Joe Nairn, DOE researcher Mark Davis and USDA researcher Laura Marek received $1.2 million to study the genomics of sunflower.

“Certain wild species of sunflower produce woody stems and high biomass yields, often reaching heights of 18 to 21 feet,” Knapp said. “Our grant focuses on understanding genetic mechanisms underlying wood production and biomass accumulation in sunflower.”

Jeffrey Bennetzen, the Norman and Doris Giles/Georgia Research Alliance professor of molecular genetics in FCAS, received the second grant for $1.295 million. It will fund a cooperative project with Katrien Devos, a CAES professor of crop and soil science and plant biology. They hope to develop genetic and genomic tools to study foxtail millet, a close relative of switchgrass.

Switchgrass is an excellent source of biomass for producing ethanol. Unlike corn, which is used now to make most U.S. ethanol, switchgrass is a perennial that grows on poor soil with little water, fertilizer or pesticides.

“Ethanol from switchgrass is a very different story from ethanol from maize grain,” Bennetzen said. “Ethanol from maize grain requires large inputs and produces no net carbon capture to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Switchgrass captures carbon dioxide very effectively and will not lead to increased food costs because it does not take acreage away from food production.”

But switchgrass has limitations, he said. Researchers need to find more efficient ways to convert lignocellulose, the material that makes up wood, leaves, stems, into ethanol. Learning more about foxtail millet, he said, will help. It’s easier to study than switchgrass.

“Once the foxtail millet genome is sequenced, we will be able to quickly find the genes involved in making lignocellulose in foxtail millet, and this will make them easy to find in switchgrass as well,” he said. “We can then study these genes and find ways to improve this performance so that switchgrass is easier to convert to ethanol.”

Improving this process is part of another project at UGA called the BioEnergy Science Center.
“For the average Georgian, the outcome of the research in this project will be less expensive liquid fuels, less dependence on foreign oil, lower food costs and less release of carbon dioxide into the environment,” Bennetzen said. “We won't see these outcomes in the next year or two, but there is every reason to believe that they will come into effect over the next five to 10 years.”

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

Monday, August 4, 2008

Energy Fight: Gingrey Ignores Pelosi Call for Vacation

Last Friday, Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership voted to silence the minority — representing nearly 50% of the American people — and adjourn the House of Representatives for a five week recess. Despite this unconscionable act, U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and over two dozen of his Republican colleagues held session on the House Floor today, calling on Speaker Pelosi to immediately reconvene the chamber to give all 435 Members a chance to vote on energy legislation to address out-of-control gas prices.

“The American people are hurting from the high price of gasoline and now is not the time for Congress to spend the next five weeks on vacation,” said Rep. Gingrey. “My colleagues and I all had to rearrange our schedules in order to be in Washington today, which is where the entire Congress belongs until the American people get the relief at the pump that they so desperately need. It is my hope that Speaker Pelosi will discontinue her book promotion tour and immediately call all Members back to Washington to address our nation’s energy crisis.”

Hundreds of Americans from throughout the country had the rare opportunity to join Rep. Gingrey and the other Members on the House Floor, demonstrating first-hand why the U.S. House of Representatives is called the “People’s House.”

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Westmoreland Starts House Revolt that Lasts Hours; Republicans Demand Vote on American Energy Act

As the Democrats gaveled the House to a close today for a five-week recess and turned off the microphones, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland took to the floor and began speaking to tourists in the House Gallery about the Democrats lack of action on lowering gas prices.

Following Westmoreland’s lead other Republican members of the House lined up to give speeches as visitors in the gallery clapped and cheered. The debate has now gone on for five hours and continues. The Hill newspaper tells of Westmoreland’s role in the revolt.

Leading The News; The Hill

GOP talks energy in shuttered House
By Jackie Kucinich
Posted: 08/01/08 01:52 PM [ET]

The microphones are off, the C-SPAN cameras are no longer running in the House chamber, but all is not silent as a group of House Republicans has stayed behind to continue to speak about energy issues.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) began the protest, which included about 20 GOPers who chose not to make the traditional mad dash for the airport following adjournment. Instead, they gave speeches on the empty floor to protest that Congress went into recess and to raise awareness of what they say is an unwillingness by Democrats to take up legislation to deal with the nation’s energy crisis.

“There were about 40 people lined up to speak, and Democrats adjourned to keep us from doing the special orders,” Westmoreland said. “I was looking around and trying to figure out what we were going to do and just decided to go down to the well and started talking to the people in the galleries.”

Among the GOP members who lined up to speak were Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Minority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.), Reps. Michael Burgess (Texas), John Campbell (Calif.), Eric Cantor (Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), John Carter (Texas), John Culberson (Texas), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.), Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Duncan Hunter (Calif.), Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Mike Pence (Ind.), Tom Price (Ga.), Ted Poe (Texas), Adam Putnam (Fla.), Bill Sali (Idaho), John Shadegg (Ariz.), John Shimkus (Ill.) and Tim Walberg (Mich.).

Others received word as they were leaving town and turned around to join their colleagues on the House floor. Texas GOP Rep. Kevin Brady left his seat on an airplane departing for the Lone Star State and was greeted by a standing ovation when he entered the chamber.
Formal dress was not a requirement. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) showed up in khaki shorts and sandals.

At one point, the Republicans began to interact with people in the gallery who were shouting questions to the floor, such as : "So when are we going to do something to actually bring down energy prices?"

Members also traded off turns sitting in the press gallery, a move necessary to keep it open.
Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), chalked the display up to politics. At one point the lights went off but were later turned back on. The microphones were also eventually turned on, according to staff present. In addition, the Capitol Police tried to shut down the press gallery at one point but Shadegg ensured that it remained open.

“Republicans are too scared to go home to face their constituents after voting against bills to force Big Oil companies to use it or lose it, demand that the president free our oil from the government stockpile and crack down on speculators,” Elshami said. “In a week where Exxon Mobil made the largest quarterly profits by a U.S. corporation, Republicans are staying in Washington to argue that Big Oil deserves more taxpayer lands.”

He added, “That sums up their priorities.”The House floor filled with constituents, staff and members was an extraordinary sight for any day, but particularly noticeable on the day when lawmakers were supposed to be heading home for a month of campaigning and rest. The last time members stayed on the floor after the House had adjourned was in 1995, and that time it was Democrats leading the protest.

It was unclear as to when Republicans would relinquish the floor. But the gallery closes to the public at 4:30 p.m.

This story was updated at 3 p.m.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Georgia Power Files Diverse Energy Plan

PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today asked the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval of its updated integrated resource plan, including its proposal to build two additional nuclear generating units at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant.

In an application filed with the PSC, the company said the nuclear units are expected to save customers between $2 billion and $6.5 billion over their operational life, when compared with similarly sized coal-fueled units over the same period, and $1 billion to $6.5 billion when compared with similarly sized natural gas fueled generators. The PSC is expected to rule on the proposal in March 2009.

Georgia Power also informed the PSC that it is in the final stages of evaluating the conversion of an older coal-fueled power plant, located near Albany, to burn renewable biomass wood. If approved, this plant would be one of the largest wood biomass plants in the U.S. Georgia Power expects to complete this analysis in late August.

"While we will continue to increase our emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, we must also add large-scale base load generation to meet Georgia's growing energy needs," said Mike Garrett, Georgia Power president and CEO. "Since 2002, the price of natural gas has increased more than 400 percent. And the cost of coal has more than doubled in the past year. Additional nuclear energy capacity will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, at a time when fossil fuel prices are increasing significantly."

The company's filing requests:

-- The PSC's approval of an update to the company's "Integrated Resource
Plan," an energy plan which outlines how the company will meet
customers' demand and energy requirements in an economic and reliable
manner. The plan includes:
-- The addition of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, which would provide
1,102 megawatts each.
-- Consideration to convert Plant Mitchell to burn renewable biomass,
with details of the potential conversion to follow in a possible
filing later this month.
-- A solar research project, which could be expanded by 2011.
-- Renewable energy, energy efficiency and demand response programs
that could meet between 11 to 18 percent of future resource needs
over the next 10 years.
-- Expansion of the company's Green Energy program through a large
volume renewable option and the addition of renewable energy
credits.
-- The PSC to allow inclusion of Construction Work in Progress (CWIP)
for the two new Vogtle units in rate base, a regulatory treatment
that would lower capital cost of the nuclear units by approximately
30 percent.
-- Georgia Power's portion of the cost of Vogtle units 3 and 4 is
expected to be $6.4 billion without CWIP in rate base; however, with
CWIP in rate base, Georgia Power's cost of the plant after it goes
into service is estimated to be almost $2 billion - or about 30
percent - lower.
-- Approval of the company's recommendation to install environmental
controls at Plants Branch and Yates.
-- Approval of costs to assess new coal generation as an alternative to
nuclear.
-- Approval of a method to address cost adjustments associated with
changes in commodity costs during construction.

Earlier this year, Georgia Power, acting for itself and for Plant Vogtle's co-owners (Oglethorpe Power, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia [MEAG Power] and Dalton Utilities), entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract (EPC) with Westinghouse Electric Company LLC and The Shaw Group Inc.'s Power Group, for the development and construction of two AP1000 nuclear units.

Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power, and Dalton Utilities informed Georgia Power July 2nd that they will maintain their maximum ownership shares in the new units: Oglethorpe Power, 30 percent; MEAG Power, 22.7 percent; and Dalton Utilities, 1.6 percent. Georgia Power's proportionate share is 45.7 percent.

While the final rate impacts of the proposed nuclear units will be determined by the PSC, the company estimates the typical Georgia Power customer, using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, would see a base rate increase of approximately $12 per month in 2018, when both units are fully operational. The rate impact is expected to decline over time.

However, if the PSC approves including CWIP for the new units in rate base, total rate increases required to cover the cost of the plant when it goes into service will be nearly 3 percent lower, and the cost of the plant when it goes into service will be approximately $2 billion - or 30 percent - lower. Because including CWIP in rate base would allow for small rate increases over a period of years leading to commercial operation, customers would also avoid large rate increases when the plant goes into service.

Georgia Power submitted its proposal to the Georgia Public Service Commission May 1, 2008 as a self-build option in connection with the company's plan to meet increased electric demand in 2016-2017. The company has worked with the Georgia PSC's Independent Evaluator and the Georgia PSC staff over the past few months to review the proposal. The review by the Georgia PSC staff will continue until a final certification decision is reached in March 2009.

If certified by the Georgia PSC and licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the two Westinghouse AP1000 units, with a capacity of approximately 1,102 megawatts each, would be constructed at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant site near Waynesboro, Georgia, and would be placed in service in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of The Southern Company (NYSE: SO) , one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

Oglethorpe Power Corporation is a $4.9 billion power supply cooperative serving 38 consumer-owned EMCs in Georgia. These EMCs provide retail electric service to approximately 4.1 million Georgians. Oglethorpe Power is the nation's largest electric cooperative in assets, annual kilowatt-hour sales, and ultimate consumers served.

The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) is a public generation and transmission organization providing power to 49 Georgia communities with annual electric sales of $736 million and 10.8 million megawatt-hours of delivered energy in 2007.

Dalton Utilities has operated as a public utility since 1889 and provides potable water, electrical, natural gas and wastewater treatment services to approximately 65,000 customers in the City of Dalton and portions of Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Catoosa and Floyd counties. In 2003, Dalton Utilities launched OptiLink and now provides broadband, cable TV, telephone and internet services to residential and business customers.

Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear power units for the plant owners. Southern Nuclear also operates the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga. and the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the timing of various regulatory and other actions and plans for and estimated costs of new generation resources for Georgia Power. Southern Company and Georgia Power caution that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company and Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007 of Southern Company and Georgia Power, and subsequent securities filings, could cause results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: regulatory approvals related to the potential Plant Vogtle expansion, including Georgia Public Service Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission approvals; effects of inflation; ability to control costs, including the cost and efficiency of construction labor, equipment and materials; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts, including Southern Company's, Georgia Power's, and any of their subsidiaries' credit ratings and their impact on the cost of capital; the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory change, including legislative and regulatory initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry, implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, environmental laws including regulation of water quality and emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances, and also changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which Southern Company, Georgia Power and any of their subsidiaries are subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings or inquiries, including the pending EPA civil actions against certain Southern Company subsidiaries, FERC matters, IRS audits and Mirant-related matters; the effects, extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which Southern Company's or Georgia Power's subsidiaries operate; variations in demand for electricity, including those relating to weather, the general economy, population and business growth (and declines), and the effects of energy conservation measures; available sources and costs of fuel; advances in technology; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and storm restoration cost recovery; potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to Southern Company, Georgia Power, or any of their subsidiaries; the ability of counterparties of Southern Company or Georgia Power to make payments as and when due; the ability to obtain new short- and long-term contracts with neighboring utilities; the direct or indirect effect on Southern Company's or Georgia Power's business resulting from terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorist incidents; the ability of Southern Company, Georgia Power, and any of their subsidiaries to obtain additional generating capacity at competitive prices; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, droughts, pandemic health events such as an avian influenza or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effects on Southern Company's or Georgia Power's business resulting from incidents similar to the August 2003 power outage in the Northeast; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard- setting bodies. Southern Company and Georgia Power expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking information.


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