Dear <<First Name>>,

When I was young I loved to watch a TV game show called To Tell the Truth where panelists would question three guests to determine who was telling the truth about their unusual occupation or experience. The game ended with the phrase, “Will the real (person’s name) please stand up?” The show was popular because it was shocking to watch who stands - the imposters who lied were so believable. The phrase entered cultural lexicon and is now used to accuse politicians of pretending to be other than who they are. There was a play on this phrase during the 2012 Presidential election.

I ask this now of my opponent: “Will the real Tim Echols please stand up?” because he is not the clean energy advocate and conscientious regulator he pretends to be. I thought he cared about the environment because of his clean energy road show and electric vehicle boosterism. I thought he cared about keeping rates low and helping people because he pretends he does.

But all of that is false. All. Of. It.

If it were true I wouldn’t be running for his seat. I would be supporting him. Let’s be clear: Whether or not he drives an electric vehicle has nothing to do with his job as a public service commissioner. Since EVs are a new source of revenue for Georgia Power, promoting them fools people who care about climate change while keeping him out of trouble with the utility. Few people know how the commission works and how commissioners vote. So that’s my mission with this email.

Let’s see if his EV boosterism means he cares about climate change.

Um, nope:

The Paris Agreement is the first time almost all the world's nations came together on a common strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And Tim supported President Trump’s goal to exit it. He is very concerned about how businesses are doing, much more so than stupid climate change!

And the Clean Power Plan? How did he feel about that?

He thought it demonized carbon dioxide, which apparently shouldn’t be demonized. So we don’t want the Clean Power Plan either.

What else.

He didn’t want the Green New Deal either. Nope, no national energy plan. Wrong direction.

In summary, he opposed the Paris Climate Accords in 2017, The Clean Power Plan in 2016, and the Green New Deal in 2019. He not only endorsed President Trump’s exiting the Paris Climate Accords he also endorsed President Trump for reelection in 2020, who called climate change a “Chinese Hoax” and was one of the worst presidents in U.S. history on environmental issues.

Let’s take a look at Echols’ Clean Energy Roadshow next. Doesn’t that mean he supports, you know, clean energy? I spy with my little eye…sponsors he regulates!

But isn’t it against state law for regulators to take money from those they regulate? Of course. Tim Echols brags about that, telling me and anyone who will listen, “I don’t even take a bottle of water from Georgia Power” implying he’s clean as a whistle when it comes to improper influence.

Looks like he takes a lot more than bottles of water though…

Isn’t it odd there are no EV manufacturers, no environmental nonprofits, no clean energy organizations as sponsors?

Does the clean energy roadshow translate into anything meaningful? No it doesn’t. Georgia has no carbon emissions reductions goals or renewable energy goals. When Echols pens essays they aren’t in support of anything like that. And the Ga Legislature stripped the EV tax credit in 2015 while it taxes EV owners twice the fee a gas car pays on taxes. So much for that influence.

It’s obvious I take a dim view of his clean energy credentials. Let’s see what others think:

So driving an electric vehicle and organizing a clean energy roadshow doesn’t translate into Georgia Power being a leader in clean energy. F’s all around. Nor does it influence state policies.

Finally, the Energy Transition Institute completed an analysis and published an article titled “To Meet Biden’s 2030 Target, Which US States Can Contribute Most?” Georgia was a top state with potential contributions given its status as a high CO2 emitter. Where is Tim Echol’s leadership? State regulators have an enormous role to play, yet the Ga PSC is doing nothing to address opportunities the IRP has for Georgia to reduce carbon emissions.

But what about Georgia’s standing with solar energy? Aren’t we in the Top 10 states for having the most solar energy?

Yes but it’s pretty pathetic. No state except California is doing very well. And Georgia had to adopt utility scale solar in order to attract businesses with net zero carbon goals which includes nearly all of them. Georgia can avoid such goals but they can’t avoid others’ goals if they want businesses to come here. No solar means no Amazon distribution center and no Facebook or Google data center. Since utility scale solar is profitable for Georgia Power, why not? Mr. Echols supports large scale solar because Georgia Power allows him to.

What Georgia Power doesn’t want? Rooftop solar. Since they do not profit from rooftop solar Tim Echols votes against programs that supports that kind of solar. He claims he wants that but his votes tell the story. Watch only 10 seconds of this video, which is queued to the right spot, to see the December 20th, 2022 Ga PSC vote in which Echols votes “aye” to the agreement blocking the rooftop solar net metering. Georgia is in 46th place nationally and will remain there.

Even though more utility scale solar is in the pipeline, Tim Echols voted to add 2,300 MW of fossil gas to Ga Power’s generation mix last July without a peep about carbon emissions. And rooftop solar is far behind our peer states as you see below.

We know Echols opposes the Paris Climate Accords. We know Georgia has no renewable energy or climate emissions reductions goals. When you see an essay penned by Echols it’s opposing others’ efforts to address climate change.

We know boosting EV’s and organizing a clean energy road show fools people. And we know as a result of Echols’ votes only solar that profits Georgia Power is allowed.

But what about all those clean energy technology companies coming to Georgia? Rivian, Hyundai, Q-Cell solar, SK Battery and more? Does that mean Georgia is a leader in clean energy?

No it doesn’t. The Ga PSC has engineered a hidden cross subsidy over the past 12 years, coincidentally the same term that Tim Echols held office.

Would people agree these companies can come but only if they pay higher electric bills? Too bad - you don’t get to decide that. Tim Echols does, and he decides yes for you.

This is his legacy: residential rates increased 30% over the past 12 years while industrial rates went up 0% and now are 20% below the national average. Add enormous state tax breaks and land giveaways from the Georgia Economic Development office and you’ve got a rush for clean tech manufacturers moving to Georgia while our carbon emissions are high and electric bills are high.

Georgia has done nothing to create markets for electric vehicles, rooftop solar, or any other clean energy technology. That is the work other states have done.

So Tim Echols, please sit down. You are an imposter. I am a real clean energy advocate and in the game show when that sentence is uttered, I would be standing. I supported the Paris Climate Accords, the Green New Deal, and the Clean Power Plan. I supported the largest climate bill ever adopted in U.S. history - the Inflation Reduction Act. I support accelerating rooftop solar through net metering which we’ll need Echols out of office to do. There is no hope to limiting the catastrophic impacts of climate change which are already happening without accelerating roofotop solar and ending more fossil gas in the mix.

My next post will cover whether he’s a watchdog for consumers and is fulfilling his state mandate as a utility commissioner to set just and reasonable rates. You know the answer.

Thanks for reading and being a supporter. Please forward this to others and post on your social media platforms.

Regarding the election there is still no ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We wait.