Investigate Vogtle before DOE issues more loans, groups tell Congress

Georgia Power currently spends $50 million per month on the project. In March 2017, Vogtle’s lead contractor, Westinghouse Electric, filed for bankruptcy. The project was already three years behind schedule and more than $3 billion over budget. Georgia Power’s Paul Bowers argues the project presents “long-term benefits to customers.” Critics have fought against Vogtle's expansion for years, citing cost and safety concerns. Cost and schedule estimates presented by Georgia Power may determine the project's fate. Plant Vogtle is one of Georgia's two nuclear power plants.

Consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups in the state are asking Congress to take a close look at the Vogtle nuclear plant project before the Department of Energy finalizes issuance of additional loan guarantees.

The groups say they are worried that Georgia consumers and taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars in loans made for a mismanaged project. Costs for the project have doubled since certification as delays have dragged on for five years..

“I urge you to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars by investigating the Vogtle Project and encouraging the Department of Energy to turn down the Federal Loan Guarantee request by the Vogtle partners,” said Debbie Dooley, president of the Atlanta Tea Party and Conservatives for Energy Freedom.

The Vogtle nuclear plant, the only new commercial nuclear plant in the nation, is being built using new technology never used in the country. Loans for the project that are guaranteed by the the Department of Energy would mean the government is obligated to repay them if the borrower defaults.

Consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups in Georgia ask Congress to take a close look at the Vogtle nuclear plant project before the Department of Energy finalizes issuance of an additional $3.7 billion in loan guarantees. GEORGIA POWER

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Last September, the Department of Energy announced they would conditionally commit to up to $3.7 billion in loan guarantees toward the project.

But Sarah Barczak, advocacy director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, it would be outrageous to keep“doling out even more corporate welfare at taxpayers’ expense for a failing nuclear project.”

The DOE issued $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for Vogtle in 2010.

Recently, Georgia Power announced a $2.3 billion cost increase  for Plant Vogtle construction.

“Georgia ratepayers and federal taxpayers deserve to be protected. We urge you to discontinue federal loan guarantees until we know the future of Vogtle,” said John Hitchins, with Georgians for Energy Freedom.