Tag Archives: guarantee

Southern Company wants even more special nuke loan terms

Southern Company wants even more special loan guarantee terms for its new Plant Vogtle nukes. When that or CWIP gets revoked, maybe Southern Company will see that solar is a lot less trouble, and more profitable.

The license authorized by the NRC 9 February 2012 for the new Plant Vogtle nukes is the first one in thirty years. Harvey Wasserman wrote for CounterPunch 18 April 2012, The Big Liability,

It’s about a proposed $8.33 billion nuke power loan guarantee package for two reactors being built at Georgia’s Vogtle. Obama anointed it last year for the Southern Company, parent to Georgia Power. Two other reactors sporadically operate there. Southern just ravaged the new construction side of the site, stripping virtually all vegetation.

It’s also stripped Georgia ratepayers of ever-more millions of dollars, soon to become billions. This project is in the Peach State for its law forcing the public to pay for reactor construction in advance.

Look on your Georgia Power bill for Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery Rider, aka Construction Work in Progress (CWIP). It’s probably about 3% of your bill, for power you may never receive.

If you get your electricity from an EMC instead, remember Georgia’s Electric Member Corporations already participate in the existing Plant Vogtle nukes, so you’ll be on the hook one way or another for the new nukes.

When the project fails, or the reactors melt, the public still must pay.

And even before then, Georgia Power customers get to pay for cost overruns. Not to worry; last time nukes were built at Plant Vogtle, they only ran over budget by a factor of seven.

Southern Company’s existing Plant Vogtle reactors had an unexpected shutdown last year days after NRC said they were fine. And Southern Company says Continue reading

Lowndes County Commissioners approve intergovernmental agreement with SGMC

Without discussion, the Lowndes County Commissioners at their regular meeting two weeks ago on 11 October 2011. approved an intergovernmental agreement with South Georgia Medical Center to guarantee more than $100 million in bonds, for expansion of SGMC facilities, to include 96 new private rooms in the Dasher Heart Center, the 5 story parking deck, now under construction and due to be completed in early 2012, and Life Safety and Generator Equipment updates.

If one had not been at the work session and heard the presentation at their work session the day before, one would have no idea what this agenda item was about, since the Commission does not post such presentations anywhere the public can see them. Fortunately, LAKE was there and videoed it.

Here’s the video:

Lowndes County Commissioners approve intergovernmental agreement with SGMC
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 11 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Harrisburg, PA loses solvency and trust over incinerator

Michael Cooper wrote in the New York Times on 20 May 2010 about An Incinerator Becomes Harrisburg’s Money Pit:
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Officials here decided seven years ago to borrow $125 million to rebuild and expand the city’s enormous trash incinerator, which the federal government had shut down because of toxic air pollution.

But the incinerator burned through the money faster than the trash, leaving Harrisburg residents feeling like they were living through a sequel to the 1986 movie “The Money Pit.”

There were contractor troubles, delays, cost overruns and squabbles. The city borrowed tens of millions more, shoveling good money after bad into the job.

The Patriot-News Editorial Board wrote on 12 April 2010 about Harrisburg incinerator fiasco deserves an investigation to understand how it happened:
Over nearly a decade, officials at the Harrisburg Authority and City Hall made a series of decisions that sought to get the trash incinerator working and profitable, but which instead brought Pennsylvania’s capital to the brink of bankruptcy.

The 2003 deal that took on $125 million in debt to repair the incinerator neglected to include a performance bond.

Inexperienced firms were hired. Fees were paid for work poorly done. Loans were taken on disastrous terms.

Officials were aided, or rather misled, by the advice of numerous attorneys, bankers and engineers apparently far more interested in collecting handsome fees than they were in protecting the interests of taxpayers.

As a result, there is a deep distrust of the fundamental institutions that created this fiasco.

Something else sounds familiar about this situation:
While some of the seats have changed, many of the same people in government today had their fingerprints on these decisions.
It’s the same old boy network locally as approved Sterling Chemical, and the chair of the county commission at that time is now on the Industrial Authority. And the VLCIA has taken on what is reputed to be a $15 million bond issue.

How big is Harrisburg? 50,000 people, same as Valdosta. What is Harrisburg considering? Bankruptcy. Who profited anyway? Local developers.

What’s the moral?

All of the guarantees proved worthless.

All of the fail-safes failed.

What say we have the investigation now, before the fail-safes fail?