Among those on the "advocacy council" for Nuclear Matters is former PSC Chairman Stan Wise, who resigned earlier this year but hung on to his post long enough to join Eaton and three other members in greenlighting Georgia Power's plan to continue construction on two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, a project now running five years behind schedule with billions of dollars in cost overruns.
Miller called Nuclear Matters’ involvement in the race “an attempt to buy an election in Georgia.”
Eaton said he, and not an independent committee, controls his campaign and that he has a record of fighting to keep electricity rates low in Georgia.
Eaton, who has served on the commission since 2007, has been a staunch supporter of the Plant Vogtle project, maintaining that it will provide clean energy to the state while diversifying Georgia’s energy mix.
Miller said she does not oppose nuclear power but doesn’t want Georgia utility ratepayers being saddled with the project’s cost overruns. She said the commission has not held Georgia Power accountable for delays and cost overruns that have been synonymous with the project.
By law, independent committees are not allowed to coordinate directly with campaigns, but they can play a major role in elections. Some of them disclose little or nothing about who is paying for advertising. Several were formed this year to support the gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Stacey Abrams, and a Washington-based committee spent more than $3 million in negative advertising to help defeat state Sen. David Shafer in his Republican runoff for lieutenant governor.