Many Republicans have criticized the Energy Department’s loan guarantees, often citing a loan given to Solyndra, a photovoltaic panel manufacturer that went bankrupt. Defenders of the program say the loan guarantee program’s failure rate is well below the level Congress anticipated when it created the program.
“First it’s losing solar programs. Now it’s losing nuclear programs. When are we going to stop subsidizing losers?” Sokolski said.
The new loan guarantees would provide $1.67 billion to Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co.; $1.6 billion to Oglethorpe Power Corp.; and $415 million to three subsidiaries of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.
Critics of the loan guarantees say the construction of the Vogtle reactors is risky and there is a strong possibility the loans will not be repaid. The Georgia Public Service Commission must review the utilities’ financial plans and construction progress regularly because the utilities have already been passing along costs to consumers.