ACJ business writer extraordinaire Kristi “E” Swartz wants to make sure you have a reason to drink your lunch today:
Despite promises from the nuclear industry to regulators and consumers that they learned from mistakes of the past, the nation’s first two nuclear reactor projects built from scratch in 30 years are headed toward hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns and months, if not years, of delays.
But let’s jump to this paragraph to bring this back to Georgia politics, just a few weeks before elections. You may need to remember it when you go to the polls.
Georgia Power customers currently are paying the financing costs of Vogtle’s twin reactors. They will begin paying the construction costs of the project when the reactors start producing power, currently scheduled for 2016 and 2017. Georgia Power says its $6.1 billion share of the $14 billion project has not increased and maintains that the project is on schedule.
A slight correction is in order. “Some” of Georgia Power’s customers are paying in advance. The legislature, at the hands of the State Senate and most specifically Don Balfour (R-GA Power), exempted large commercial users (like his employer, Waffle House) from the rate hike. Well, virtually anyone with a lobbyist at the capital was exempted from the rate hike.
Small business and residential customers like you and me (i.e, the little people without lobbyists) are paying Georgia Power, right now, a one billion dollar advance profit (a return on investment on the entire cost of the plant that was deemed a financing cost by the legislature) on power plants that have barely begun construction, don’t have a firm date when they will begin delivering power, and are still in redesign as they’re being built so we don’t know what the actual cost is.
We have a Senate led by folks who constructed the T-SPLOST and now say they’re against it. They are laundering their own campaign funds to circumvent campaign transparency. And they have on their hands a $1 Billion dollar gift to Georgia Power from you and me, but not for their friends that can freely exceed $100 gift caps.
Someone please help me make the case to re-elect any Senator that was elected prior to 2010 again?