Plant Vogtle

People on the right oppose Plant Vogtle.

People on the left oppose Plant Vogtle.

Religious people oppose Plant Vogtle.

Environmentalists oppose Plant Vogtle.

Other Libertarians oppose Plant Vogtle.

And yet construction continues. And you continue paying for it, without any say in the matter and without getting anything in return. Because those who profit from it, notably including Georgia Power, support it. And the Commissioners they donate to support it.

This sort of issue is nothing new. When one combines concentrated benefit and diffuse cost it’s not hard to predict which side the lobbying will come from and whose side it is in governing bodies’ self interest to choose.

What is remarkable, though, is the hubris involved. Last week the Public Service Commission held hearings to get a progress report from Georgia Power. And, surprising no one, apparently they think everything is moving along just swimmingly, despite being so far over budget and past deadline that it’s no longer economic to bother finishing.

To me the whole process was summarized when I watched the witness appear to chuckle as he pretended not to understand the word “cap”. As in a limit. As in a forseeable end to their abuse of Georgians. It was initially in response to a question that was intended to be friendly, which had come from Commissioner Bubba who had otherwise spent most of his energies preventing questions from others. He was merely prompting for an assuagement of fears about the final total cost and completion date. But the witness was unwilling to commit to any limitation, presumably since he knows additional extensions will be granted by friendly commissioners whenever requested. Another questioner got a similar response when asking about a “cap” to the amount of money that could be extracted from you.

The solution is obvious, and should apply not just to nuclear any kind of power plant. Force them to seek funding on the capital markets – from voluntary investors. Not only is that more just and proper, it comes with accountability. When the money is coming from the same people who are making the decision, you better believe they’re not going to just throw it down a hole of endless construction. The excuse we sometimes hear from commissioners – that it isn’t common practice in other states – is completely invalid. It’s like when TSA agents tell you what they’re doing is “standard procedure”: that you abuse everyone is supposed to make it better somehow?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *