This post is the fourth in a series of blogs examining where the 2018 candidates for state and federal offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. To read the candidate profile for Democratic Nominee for Georgia Public Service Commissioner Lindy Miller, click here.
Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. Links to reports, candidate websites and outside sources are provided as citizen education tools.
Candidate: Chuck Eaton
Chuck Eaton is the Republican candidate for the Georgia Public Service Commission representing District 3. He was first elected to the Commission in 2006 and held the position of Chairman for four years. He enrolled at Georgia State Law School in 2009 and was admitted to practice law in 2013.
Chuck Eaton has stated these views of solar as a form of generation: “If you looked at solar six years ago, you would have determined that it was not competitive here in Georgia,” and “Now it is and you need to have another look at it. But you can’t rely on it because of its intermittent nature. Still, it provides diversity in peak usage scenarios.” He recently voted in favor of a 1 megawatt highway solar project with Georgia Power. He has also praised the job-creation aspects of solar manufacturing: “500 more manufacturing jobs coming to the #1 state to do business. Doing everything we can at the PSC to support Governor Deal’s recruitment efforts with competitive, diverse and reliable energy. Great that more GA workers will be making solar cells!”
On his campaign website, Eaton calls for strong utility demand-side management programs: “We must do more to provide incentives to customers to utilize their power in off-peak periods, which will help Georgia families save money. We also much educate consumers to prioritize when they use energy just as importantly as how much they use. If we can encourage consumers to shift usage to off-peak periods, we can reduce the need for further capital investment and in turn reduce upward pressure on rates.”
Eaton acknowledged the decreased role of coal “due to early retirements and increased regulations” in a joint op-ed with fellow PSC Commissioner Tim Echols.
We could not find mention of Chuck Eaton’s views on climate change.
Chuck Eaton supports the continued construction of Plant Vogtle. On his campaign website he notes that the PSC “must hold Georgia Power accountable while also ensuring we have affordable, reliable electricity for generations to come. The balance is delicate, but important.”
Commissioner Eaton has described himself as an early adopter of electric vehicles (EVs) and has described how they help the electric grid in Georgia. He also cites range anxiety as a reason why companies need to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure.
We encourage you to register and then vote this November. Click here for voting resources provided by the Georgia Secretary of State. If you are inspired by this blog and have questions for the candidate, please contact his campaign here.