FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2017
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865-235-1448, Jennifer@cleanenergy.org
More Corporate Welfare at Taxpayer Expense for Southern Company’s Struggling Plant Vogtle Nuclear Project
Energy Department announces billions more in federal nuclear loan guarantees
Atlanta, Ga. (September 29, 2017) – In an effort to buoy the only remaining new nuclear construction projection in the country, Southern Company’s sinking Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced conditional approval of an additional $3.7 billion in federal taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees. This is on top of the $8.3 billion in loan guarantees that utility project partners already secured. The DOE reportedly offered an additional $1.67 billion to Southern Co.’s Georgia Power, $1.6 billion to Oglethorpe Power Corp. and $415 million to the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.
“The Department of Energy’s announcement to dole out even more corporate welfare at taxpayers’ expense for a failing nuclear project in Georgia is outrageous,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “By authorizing this loan, Secretary Perry is extending the swamp from Washington, DC down to Georgia. We are disappointed that Southern Company and its partners are taking another sweetheart deal from taxpayers. Given the cancellation of the V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina and all the revelations about how both projects have been mismanaged, it is outrageous for utility ratepayers and U.S. taxpayers to be forced to subsidize this failing project.”
“The government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers – the market should decide,” said Debbie Dooley, president of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “And Big Energy, especially utility monopolies like Georgia Power, has too much influence as it is. Plant Vogtle is a loser if it had to compete in the marketplace like any other business. We should not bail out irresponsibility.”
Since the original $8.3 billion in loan guarantees were offered in 2010, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) filed extensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and went to court twice to force DOE to unearth important details on the risks posed to U.S. taxpayers if the Plant Vogtle nuclear project should default — a reality that plays a large role in the nuclear industry’s history. Read more here.
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.
About Conservatives for Energy Freedom
Conservatives for Energy Freedom was founded in July 2014 by Debbie Dooley, President of Green Tea Coalition. Ms. Dooley founded Conservatives For Energy Freedom to be a strong conservative voice advocating for consumer choice in the energy field and to provide competition for government created monopolies. Her vision is that CEF will have directors in every state to advocate for sound energy policy that provides free market choice and gives consumers the freedom to choose.