House File 561, a bill that would allow an investor-owned utility to charge ratepayers for a proposed nuclear power plant construction project’s upfront costs even if the reactors are never built, amounts to “socialism” and would cost an average ratepayer more than $800 a year, Mark Cooper, senior fellow at Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment, said.
An average ratepayer who paid $67 a month in 2009 would pay an estimated $135 a month if MidAmerican gets approval for rate increase.
“Building new nuclear reactors is entirely uneconomic,” Cooper said during a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday. “Nuclear reactors cannot compete with a range of alternatives on price. Construction is so risky, the capital market has said they won’t fund them at normal rates.
The utilities recognize that, so they are pushing for special treatment,” Cooper said. “They want suspension of market forces and suspension of consumer protection. This is a danger to consumers; it is a danger to politicians.”
Source: Des Moines Register
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