I, along with the majority of Peach Pundit contributors, have concluded that S.B. 31, the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act, is bad business and should be killed.
A few years ago, the Senate saved the House from some silly legislation. The House now needs to save the Senate from this bill.
The Public Service Commission’s own staff has analyzed the bill and found that SB 31 not only takes all risk away from investors and shareholders, it “would force current customers to subsidize future customers.” We would pay $740 million more under SB 31.
Peach Pundit is making it really easy for you to contact your state representative to urge him/her to oppose S.B 31.
Please go here. Enter your zip code and you’ll get the phone number of your state representative. Call and tell him to vote no on the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act.
I’ve outlined the reasons why below the fold. You can also go here for more information.
It’s important to point out that we support nuclear energy. We need more of it. But we don’t need legislation that takes away business responsibility to mitigate costs and manage construction overruns, which is exactly what this legislation does.
- Passing SB 31 is like consumers paying for a car that has not even been built.
- While other states have “cost recovery” laws on the books like SB 31, those states are now having second thoughts because consumers are getting a raw deal.
- This legislation will wipe out incentives to minimize cost overruns on the project.
- The Public Service Commission’s own staff has analyzed the bill and found that SB 31 not only takes all risk away from investors and shareholders, it “would force current customers to subsidize future customers.”
- According to Jeff Pollock’s testimony to the PSC, ratepayers would pay $740 million more under SB 31.
- Georgia Power and Sen. Balfour have both stated that early cost-recovery would save rate payers some $300 million in interest, however, this figure can only be found by assuming that there is no cost of money, by ignoring the time value of money and it completely ignores the prepayment of state and federal income tax, which Lane Kollen testified and has quantified as at least $400 million during his testimony to the PSC.
- PSC staff notes that it is “unreasonable to ignore” the pre-payment of taxes, adding that Georgia Power is “indifferent to the pre-paid taxes – they are a pass through for them.”
- The PSC staff analysis also found that if this bill is passed that it ties the hands of the Public Service Commission “from changing the date that recovery would begin” as well as “[prohibiting] the Commission from changing the period of time over which the costs are recovered.” If things don’t turn out as advertised by Georgia Power, the PSC would be powerless.