Georgia's Clean Energy Role
Clean energy is having a transformative impact on Georgia’s economy and environment: our state has grown into a destination for clean energy and our economy is reaping the benefits. Georgia currently ranks 8th in the nation in solar capacity and added more solar jobs than any other state in the U.S. in 2017. During the last year alone, clean energy industries created more than 4,000 new jobs in Georgia. There are over 250 solar companies located here with more on the way. Atlanta’s business climate is the perfect location for clean energy corporations and our large tracts of land with abundant sunlight have made the solar industry an increasing economic engine in rural Georgia.
In the last five years, Georgia’s solar residential usage has increased from 116 homes to over 175,000 homes, while seeing dramatically decreasing costs, dropping from 13 cents per kilo-watt hour to four cents during that same time period. Between the remarkable growth of the industry and the 1500% increase in solar residential usage, Georgia-grown clean energy has established a footprint for a better economy and environment.
Our renewable energy infrastructure is being enhanced by the research investments of the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and our statewide university system. These investments ensure that renewable energy and the economic impact are here to stay. Georgia Tech’s University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research is one of only two of its kind in the United States. The center conducts groundbreaking research in partnership with the energy and agriculture industries to further innovation and renewable energy sustainability. These efforts and our investments as a state have helped create the 7th largest cleantech economy in the country with over 43,000 jobs.
Clean Energy for Our Values
Georgia’s environment and clean air and water are vital to preserving what is great about our state. By embracing clean energy, we can do more to provide a better standard of living for our citizens. We understand that less regulation and free markets allow for more competition and lower energy costs. The Georgia Public Service Commission did an excellent job of expanding our renewable profile a couple of years ago and our economy is reaping the benefits of it. They saw success by reducing barriers and increasing tax incentives to lower prices, attracting businesses and creating more jobs.
* LEED Certification: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Stephen Rhett Butler | Advisor
Steve Butler has established himself as a key player in both legislative and electoral politics in Georgia. Butler has demonstrated the ability to produce results in several capacities, including External Affairs Specialist for Georgia Department of Education, Government Affairs Director for Grady Memorial Hospital, Southeastern Director of Government Affairs for DaVita and Chief of Staff for the Chairman of Fulton County. Since 2004 he has been the CEO of Connect Public Relations (CPR), which is a full service public relations firm in the areas of government affairs, public affairs, and media consulting and policy development. Butler represented Grady Health System during their historic turnaround from 2009 to 2011. Butler’s efforts to pass the provider fee, trauma-care legislation, created a new Upper Payment Limit category for increased federal funding and expanded county funding that increased Grady’s bottom line by over $60 million in a three-year period. In 2010, Grady was “in the black” for the first time in many years due to the efforts of Connect Public Relations and the entire Grady team.
Butler’s ability to achieve results across party lines became very clear in his service as Chief of Staff to Fulton County Chairman and current Congresswoman, Karen Handel. His leadership and strategies helped create the largest reserves in the history of Fulton County and positioned the County to survive the tough economic times of 2008 and 2009. As Government Affairs Director and External Affairs Specialist for the Georgia Department of Education, Butler played a vital role in passing Republican Governor Sonny Perdue’s first educational legislative initiative despite having to build consensus among a Democrat-controlled House in 2003.
Since forming CPR in 2004, Butler has been a campaign consultant to numerous statewide elected officials, Georgia General Assembly members, local government officials and grassroots/grasstops campaigns for corporations. He was most notably a lead consultant for the election of State School Superintendent Kathy Cox in 2002 and 2006, as well as Secretary of State Karen Handel in 2006 and Handel’s run for governor in 2010. CPR has also created and managed many grassroots campaigns on behalf of clients to impact state, local and federal regulations. Butler has also led campaigns for Georgians for Immigration Reform and the Georgia Energy Forum.
Butler’s strategic perspective has successfully assisted in numerous lobbying efforts. Some of these initiatives included passing statewide educational reform, trauma care legislation, provider fee for hospitals, increasing UPL funds for hospitals, certificate of need, international trade deals, asbestos tort reform, preventing tax increases for the motor trucking industry, assisting in statewide communications legislation, achieving pedigree legislation for pharmaceuticals, clean energy initiatives, and making generic pharmaceuticals more available for consumers and passing ticket broker legislation.
Theresa Garcia Robertson | Executive Director
Theresa Garcia Robertson is a native Georgian with a strong Conservative background as a consultant, writer, and speaker. She has worked with and for candidates and elected officials for over a decade, with campaign volunteer experience spanning twenty years. She managed former State Senator Josh McKoon’s first campaign and served five years as a regional Field Representative for Congressman Lynn Westmoreland. She has also worked for the Georgia Department of Economic Development as the Region 8 Project Manager under Commissioner Chris Carr. Theresa served three years as the Executive Director of the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens Presented by Southern Living.
Currently, Theresa manages communications and PR for individual members of the Georgia General Assembly and other elected officials, as well as small businesses across West Georgia.
Theresa serves on the Board of Directors for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the President’s Theater in Manchester, Georgia, F.O.C.U.S. in Harris County, the Harris County Chamber of Commerce, and the Columbus State Theatre Department Riverside Theater Society.