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Water Politics: An Early Note from the Race for Guv

January 20, 2010

An early debate among the Republican primary contenders for governor drew six of the seven candidates – all but the current poll frontrunner, John Oxendine. The Athens Banner-Herald has the story, since the event took place yesterday on the UGA campus.

On water, the ABH reports, “All six candidates said they oppose interbasin transfers, the now-illegal practice of piping water from one river basin to another, such as the Chattahoochee in metro Atlanta.” Clearly the December uprising over IBTs has made its impact on the political landscape. (Then again, these six don’t represent a majority of the legislature, do they?)

Interestingly, the story reports that candidate Austin Scott of Tifton “blamed the tri-state ‘water wars’ on Southern Company, the utility that owns Georgia Power and Alabama Power.” The ABH goes on… “It blocked an agreement between Gov. Sonny Perdue and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley to share water that flows through Georgia to Alabama, he said.”

This brings us back to the tri-state governors’ successful appeal for secrecy in their ongoing negotiations. For the general public, having a little more light shed on the role of the multi-state power company in the dispute – in addition to the bargaining-table positions of our elected officials – might make things clearer. Read the story here.


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