New GOP tax bill includes lifeline for troubled Vogtle project

Plant Vogtle construction site in 2016. Johnny Edwards, jedwards@ajc.com

WASHINGTON — Boosters of Georgia’s troubled Vogtle nuclear project notched a major win in the House GOP’s tax bill on Thursday in the form of a much-needed tax credit that will save operators some $800 million.

The authors of the tax plan, dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, included language pushed by Georgia’s congressional delegation that would remove the 2020 sunset date for previously-promised nuclear tax credits. That was a must for Vogtle’s operators, who have baked the savings into the project’s bottom line, since its two new generators are not expected to come online before then.

The tweak exclusively benefits Vogtle since it’s the sole remaining new nuclear project under construction in the U.S.

All 10 of Georgia’s House Republicans and two Democrats lobbied GOP leaders to change the sunset date, arguing that Vogtle’s success would benefit the entire country since it’s a first-of-its-kind project.

Augusta-area Republican Congressman Rick Allen, whose 12th Congressional District is home to the Vogtle plant, said the provision’s inclusion is “great news for Georgia’s 12th district and for the future of nuclear energy in America.”

“We need to get this important legislation over the finish line to overhaul our tax code and help all Americans,” Allen said in a written statement.

The Trump administration doubled down on its commitment to Vogtle last month when it gave initial approval to $3.7 billion in additional loan guarantees to help cover the project’s recent cost overruns. That’s in addition to the $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees Vogtle previously received.

Vogtle boosters say the loan guarantees and tax credits are critical to the project’s survival after its main contractor Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy in March. Critics say the federal government is propping up an increasingly expensive and untenable project that will cost taxpayers if it fails.

Read more: Ga. reps lobby colleagues to give Vogtle lifeline in tax overhaul

Reader Comments 0

8 comments
Ralph-43
Ralph-43

A few empty peanut shells tossed to the suckers.  The real goal here is to eliminate the inheritance tax in order to create family oligarchies.  

Scamwatcher
Scamwatcher

A good crew of high school math students could have managed this fiasco better than all those so called GPC engineers.

Laurie8750
Laurie8750

Worst mismanaged project in the states gets more money to mismanage the project.  Sounds legit.

RayHarris
RayHarris

Can you imagine how much more good the $800 million would do were it applied to solar or wind farms?  Then consider the billions that have already been wasted on this incredible boondoggle.  Had that money been directed to renewables, it would already be paying huge dividends without creating any of the problems associated with nuclear generation and spent fuel disposal. 

Cobbian
Cobbian

I would much rather think the tax credit would save electric users rather than save the companies.  All they do with savings is up the pay of their already highly paid people.


When will the State Public Service Commission start holding the utility companies accountable for the cost overruns?????

RayHarris
RayHarris

@Cobbian When we stop electing Republican lackeys who are owned by the utility companies.  


RS in Atlanta
RS in Atlanta

Good for them!        Now they won't need to keep taking Georgia school's money for this VogtleVortex.     Taking a million dollars this year from Atlanta Public Schools.

rdamrak
rdamrak

but georgia taxes will be going way up because we now have to pay double tax on our state taxes.