Greenie joins power producers 

The governor's Energy Task Force is getting its first environmental expert -- finally.

The group was formed on Halloween and charged by Gov. Roy Barnes to find a balance between Georgia's energy needs and the eco- problems that come from power plants.

After clean air advocates criticized the task force for not having a single representative from the environmental community, task force leader Sen. Charles Tanksley, R-Marietta, added to the group Rita Kilpatrick, executive director of Georgians For Clean Energy.

When she takes her seat at the task force's second meeting Dec. 11, Kilpatrick will still be vastly outnumbered. The other 28 members are mostly elected officials and power plant and manufacturing executives. Four of the members represent power companies that have either recently been granted permission to build a power plant or are in the process of seeking permission to build power plants.

Georgia, already facing the Southeast's worst air quality, soon may be home to a whopping 40 new power plants. Of those, 17 have already been approved.

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