$25 Billion for Nuclear Loan Guarantees Passes Subcommittee
A House Appropriations subcommittee yesterday passed a FY 2011 energy and water appropriations bill that includes $25 billion in new authority for federally backed nuclear loan guarantees. The nuclear loan guarantees are part of a broader Department of Energy loan guarantee program in which the federal government promises to take on the cost of a loan if a borrower defaults.
Anti-nuclear activists are already raising concerns about an extension of the DOE program, arguing that the loan guarantees put taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars. The program currently has $18.5 billion in loan guarantee authority, more than $8 billion of which has been set aside for a nuclear project in Georgia. The $25 billion in new authority would allow DOE to offer loan guarantees to projects on its unofficial short list, which many in the industry say includes projects in Texas, South Carolina and Maryland.
An Appropriations Committee spokesperson did not know when the bill would come before the full committee.