Georgia Public Service Commission District 4
October 28, 2020
In the often-overlooked Public Service Commission race, District 4 Democratic candidate Daniel Blackman challenges Republican incumbent, Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr for one of the two seats open for re-election on Georgia’s Public Service Commission. The PSC is responsible for the regulation of utilities in Georgia which includes considering natural resources and working with ratepayers and utility companies to ensure services are accountable, affordable, and accessible. Commissioners serve for 6-year terms and work to balance Georgia’s influential utility companies and the wants and needs of utility consumers.
Daniel Blackman (D)
Daniel Blackman is the Democratic candidate running for the District 4 seat on Georgia’s Public Service Commission. A previous 2014 candidate for Public Service Commissioner, has run against McDonald Jr. before. If elected, Blackman would become only the second/third (depending on the District 1 race) Black commissioner in Georgia PSC’s history. A large part of Blackman’s platform is to ensure that the electric grid is secure and resilient to attacks, extreme weather and operational mishaps.
- Will protect Georgia’s energy workforce by advocating for stronger regulations and increased safety measures for workers
- Will expand Georgia’s energy workforce by promoting energy and career education and training in highschools and colleges
- Ensure that all Georgians in every region have access to high speed internet and broadband technology in an effort to bridge the gap between Georgia’s richest and Georgia’s poorest
- Will reject the fossil fuel industry and its money
- Supports some aspects of the Green New Deal and says that MacDonald’s 20 year Integrated Resource Plan “doesn’t have to be sacrificed”
- Will work to create assistance programs with service providers and community organizations to help those who need it afford their utilities.
- Specifically, he will decrease the cost of hook ups and increase weatherization assistance so families’ houses can be more energy efficient.
- Will work to mitigate the effects of the Trump administrations rollback of the Low income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Disagrees with the current commissioners’ handling of Plant Vogtle but does not support ending the project. Instead, he says he would work to limit the project’s cost overruns to ratepayers.
Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr (R)
Lauren “Bubba” McDonald is the Republican incumbent running for re-election in District 4. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 20 years and the Georgia Public Service Commission since 2009. He is a member of the Electric Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and an executive member of the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition.
- Committed to building partnerships with businesses and legislative leaders to ensure that Georgia is attractive to businesses.
- In his last term, MacDonald installed solar panels and supports the project of installing them at six military bases in Georgia. However, he does not support possible subsidies that could expand solar energy use.
- McDonald opposes the Green New Deal. He has worked during his time as Commissioner to have clean air through the Integrated Resource Plan for Georgia Power.
- McDonald is committed to maintaining lower energy costs to protect Georgia ratepayers
- Has voted in favor of expanding Plant Vogtle, the only power plant in the country that has been approved for expansion since the Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979.