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Poor Georgia Power. It wants to build new nuclear reactors, just like the other big nuclear companies, but says it can't afford the high cost. So the ratepayers (that's us) ought to pay the $1.6 billion construction cost up front in 2011 before the first cement is poured. That's the plan.
So its lobbyists have been at work on our legislators. In 2008, they spent $50,000 on lobbying. They say it would add just a little bit to our monthly electric bills, such a little we'd hardly notice it. The increase would continue until 2017, theoretically. That would keep their credit rating high. Isn't that what we should be doing, shoring up our electric utility?
Wait a minute. Aren't there stockholders who invest in Georgia Power stock and collect dividends every quarter? Isn't it their job to invest and expect a return? Well, yes, but nuclear utility plants have a long history of delays in construction and huge cost overruns. We can't forget the history of the Vogtle plant which had those problems, enough to raise our utility bills to unprecedented heights.
Somehow the thought of paying up front for such an investment wasn't in my budget. I wonder if it's in the budget of the municipal and rural electric co-ops, Georgia Power's partners?
Now it's up to the Public Service Commission where hearings will begin Jan. 26 and continue until March 27. And the legislature will have to approve the plan.
By the way, the company's proposal allows it to adjust its charges up or down depending on actual costs. Want to bet there would be no cost overruns?
New math is a magical science, like it or not
I noticed, in the Times where Hall schools Superintendent Will Schofield noted that the new math may not be a good idea. I have never looked at the new math, but I know that my grandkids don't like it.
Math is the magical science. A person would have to know a little something about math if he can know how tall a tree is without measuring how tall the tree is, or know the distance across a pond without measuring the distance across the water.
Jimmy David Haynie