Democratic environmentalist and consumer advocate Patty Durand is running in the 2022 campaign for a seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission. The PSC regulates Georgia’s public utilities: electric, gas, telecommunications and transportation. The PSC has a direct impact on Georgians’ pocket books, particularly their gas and electric bills.
The commission is composed of five popularly elected members who serve staggered, six-year terms. Each Commissioner must be a resident of the district he/she represents, but they are chosen in statewide elections and not by the citizens of their district. Georgians statewide will cast a vote in Durand’s race.
Durand is challenging incumbent Republican Commissioner Tim Echols in PSC District 2, which stretches across parts of eastern and Middle Georgia. He was first elected to the PSC in 2010.
Capital Beat published an excellent overview of Durand and the issues involved. Excerpts:
- Durand has opposed the planned nuclear expansion at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle from the beginning. Projected to cost about $14 billion, the project’s price tag has soared to nearly double that amount.
- Durand also has criticized the PSC for not moving aggressively enough to develop renewable energy.
- “Durand is also calling for re-establishing the state’s Consumer Utility Council, a panel that represented consumer interests before the PSC but was defunded in 2008 during the Great Recession.”