The theme for Wednesday's “Mornings unPHILtered” show was twofold: the costs of energy and making music.
Host Phil Boyum first welcomed guest Tim Echols, who is one of four Republicans running for the Public Service Commissioner's seat, to the show to talk about the costs of peoples monthly utility bills and using alternative sources of energy.
Echols said he is the only candidate for the office who is not a professional politician, and that if elected, he would not “go to the feeding trough of goodies” offered by lobbyists. While he is running for the seat representing District 2 (Eastern Georgia), the office will be voted for statewide.
Echols said the job started out as the Georgia Railroad Commission in the 1800s, whose job it was to oversee the railroads. The job's scope has grown to regulate public utilities such as power, phone and cable television.
He said the PSC has to approve rate increases for public utilities. He gave as examples Georgia Power's expected $800 million request, which, if approved, would cost its customers $9 extra per month, and Atlanta Gas Light's request for $54 million, which would add $3.75 to all gas bills.
Echols stated the PSC is charged with deciding if improvements should be paid for by the company's stockholders or if they should be passed on to the company's customers. He promised to try to hold the line on increases.
Echols also said he would support those who want to use other types of power, such as solar power. He said that the federal and state governments need to offer incentives for installing alternative energy systems.
Echols said the building of the two new nuclear plants in Georgia would eventually provide a lot of inexpensive and reliable energy for people throughout the state. In fact, he said is going to tour the sites next week.
He said the legislature is now allowing Georgia Power to charge its customers for interest on their construction loans for building the plants.
Echols said that he would be at the Southwest Chatham County Public Library on July 14 at 12:30 p.m. for an “Energy Forum” and invited the public.
Boyum also welcomed Georgia Southern Professor of Voice Sarah Hancock, to the show. Hancock is running a summer music camp at the Averitt Center for the Arts.
Entitled “Rhythm Connections”, the camp is for rising 3rd through 5th graders. The two one-week-long camps will be held from July 5- 9 and then July 19-23.
Hancock said that if a child goes to the camp and does well, they will be considered as having already auditioned for the next school year's Statesboro Youth Chorale singing group.
The cost for the camp, which runs from 9 a.m. until noon, is $75 for the week, and participation is capped at 25 students per camp.
For more information, call the Averitt Center for the Arts at (912) 212-2787 or go online at their website at www.averittcenterforthearts.org.
“Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com