Southern Company doesn’t want to pay $17 to $52 million to get an $8.33 billion federal loan guarantee. That’s 0.2% to 0.62%. Why should we guarantee SO’s bad bet for pennies down? Let’s just call it off!
Ray Henry wrote for AP yesterday, Talks continue over Ga. nuclear plant loans,
President Barack Obama’s administration recently agreed to a fourth extension of the deadline for finalizing lending agreements between Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power and the other owners of the nuclear plant now under construction. Congress authorized the funding in 2005 to revive a nuclear industry that at the time expected growth.
Few utilities secured even a preliminary agreement, mostly because power companies dropped plans to build nuclear plants. The Great Recession trimmed the demand for energy, and plummeting natural gas prices made it cheaper to build gas-fired plants. The slumping economy also pushed interest rates to historic lows, reducing borrowing costs and undercutting the need for subsidized lending.
All that and ten nukes have been closed or cancelled in the past year. Even France’s EDF has exited nukes in the U.S. and has already built more U.S. solar and wind power than SO’s new Plant Vogtle nukes would produce.
Southern Company now claims this federal loan guarantee isn’t necessary: Continue reading