Economics for the Earth Blog

Energy Department Pressed to Release Records re Nuclear Bailout

Posted Jun. 21, 2010 / Posted by: Nick Berning

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Ben Schreiber, bschreiber@foe.org, 202-222-0752
Nick Berning, nberning@foe.org, 202-222-0748
 
Energy Department Pressed to Release Records Pertaining to Its Preemptive Bailout of Georgia Nuclear Reactors
 
Friends of the Earth files request under Freedom of Information Act to force agency to publicize agreement terms
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Friday, Southern Company announced it has accepted a preemptive bailout by the Department of Energy for the construction of nuclear reactors in Georgia. Friends of the Earth responded today by criticizing the bailout and filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act to force the Energy Department to make the terms of the bailout agreement public.
 
Friends of the Earth’s energy and tax analyst, Ben Schreiber, had the following comment:
 
"When President Obama campaigned for office he made a commitment to an unprecedented level of openness in government. He also promised not to move forward with nuclear reactors until a number of problems, including security and storage challenges, were addressed. Unfortunately, the President is not honoring these commitments.
 
“On Friday, Southern Company announced that it has entered into an agreement with the federal government to receive a preemptive bailout for construction of new reactors in Georgia. This bailout comes in the form of a loan guarantee. Taxpayers have been kept in the dark about the details of this deal entered into on their behalf. The public has a right to know the terms of this agreement, as the risk of loan defaults on new reactors is being lifted from Wall Street and strapped to the backs of taxpayers. That is why we are filing a formal request for records under the Freedom of Information Act.”
 
Friends of the Earth’s analysis indicates that the preemptive bailout for these reactors could end up costing taxpayers billions.
 
Resources
 
The Freedom of Information Act that Friends of the Earth filed today can be viewed here (pdf): http://www.foe.org/sites/default/files/VogtleFOIA.pdf.
 
An expose released last week on massive new subsidies for the nuclear industry that have been included in the Kerry-Lieberman energy bill can be found here: http://foe.org/billions-new-nuke-giveaways-kerry-lieberman-bill-exposed.
 
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Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives.
 
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