posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 01:46 PM
Despite the other posting about Georgia actually doing something RIGHT in regards to our money, they really dropped the ball on this one. Never be
fooled into thinking that the people you elect to office will have your best interests at heart.
I offer Senate Bill 31 as a prime example.
Georgia Power Co. could start billing customers for a planned nuclear plant expansion as soon as construction begins under legislation a Senate leader
will introduce. Current state law would only allow the utility to begin recovering its investment in the $14.4 billion Plant Vogtle project when the
expanded facility goes into service.
Georgia Power officials say moving up recovery of the costs would save ratepayers $300 million because the company could begin paying off interest on
the construction loans sooner.
Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, compared the concept behind the bill he plans to introduce on Friday to a consumer loan. “If you buy a car and put
it on your credit card, you’re going to pay a lot of money,” said Balfour, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. “If you save a little money
and pay some of the cost up front, you pay a lot less.”
Big problem, Balfour...Would you send a check to a car manufacturer when they start building your car, essentially paying for it before you ever had
the benefit of driving it?
The Public Service Commission’s own staff has analyzed the bill and found that SB 31 not only takes all risk away from investors and shareholders,
it “would force current customers to subsidize future customers.” PSC staff further added that “when ratepayers’ cost of money is taken into
account, the pre-payments cost rate payers at least $218 million in net present value dollars over the life of the plants.” According to Jeff
Pollock's testimony to the PSC, ratepayers would pay $740 million more under SB 31.
Georgia Power and Sen. Balfour have both stated that early cost-recovery would save ratepayers some $300 million in interest, however, this figure can
only be found by assuming that there is no cost of money, by ignoring the time value of money and it completely ignores the prepayment of state and
federal income tax, which Lane Kollen testified and has quantified as at least $400 million during his testimony to the PSC. Additionally, PSC staff
notes that it is “unreasonable to ignore” the pre-payment of taxes, adding that Georgia Power is “indifferent to the pre-paid taxes – they are
a pass through for them.”