We can charge you even if it’s cancelled! —CWIPped Georgia Power

Steve Willis An excellent article about the problems with Georgia Power’s new nukes on the Savannah River gets at something you may not know: they can charge you for them even if they’re cancelled!

Steve Willis wrote for the Georgia Sierran Oct./Nov./Dec. 2012 page 5, Overruns, Uncertainty Plague Vogtle Expansion,

If Southern Company abandons this project, the CWIP law not only allows Southern Company to keep all of the CWIP payments legally extorted from customers, but allows them to keep CWIP fees in place or even increase them until all their costs and profits have been fully recovered. Due to the run-away cost overruns, the CWIP charge on your monthly bill is already more than three times what Southern Company confidently claimed it would be at this time when they presented their case to “your” Georgia legislature in 2009.

And that 2009 legislature rubberstamped CWIP so it appears on your Georgia Power bill as Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery Rider. Willis reminds us that the 2 nukes already at Plant Vogtle were projected to be four nukes for $600 million and ended up being two for $9 billion.

Everyone has heard the saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” If the Vogtle expansion costs balloon, as many analysts expect, it will cost

Plant Vogtle construction the people of Georgia dearly. Whether cool heads prevail and the Vogtle expansion overruns are ended by an early decision to stop work, or if Southern Company and its supporters keep stone-walling as costs spiral into the stratosphere, it certainly seems unthinkable that Georgia will remain silent and let Southern Company once again walk away unscathed with a boatload of windfall profit.

The people of Georgia deserve a thorough investigation of how we got to this point. If it can be shown that Southern Company or their accomplices under the Gold Dome intentionally misled the people of Georgia as to the need, benefits or probable costs of this extraordinarily expensive boondoggle, every possibility for prosecution should be pursued.

For business to prosper in Georgia in the future, it must be made crystal clear that massive, economically disastrous political boondoggles at the expense of the public are no longer acceptable here.

If you want to stop the nuke boondoggle, you can elect some Georgia Service Commissioners who aren’t beholden to the utilities they regulate. You can elect some legislators who did not vote for that CWIP stealth tax rate hike. You can vote today, and any other weekday this week, or Saturday, or on Election Day, November 6th.