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Congress Urged to Increase Loan Guarantees for Additional Nuclear Power Plants July 30, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in loan guarantees, nuclear industry, Western Governors Association.
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This is a very welcome bit of news from the Western Governors Association, dated July 29.

July 29, 2010

Contact:  Rich Halvey
Phone: 303-623-9378

DENVER — The Western Governors’ Association today urged Congress to increase federal loan guarantee authority for new nuclear development by $36 billion, the amount included in President Obama’s 2011 budget request. Doing so would enable the financing of six to nine additional new reactors beyond those previously authorized.

Writing on behalf of their colleagues, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, WGA’s Chairman and Washington Gov. Christine O. Gregoire, WGA Vice Chairman, said this increased loan guarantee volume “will encourage the kind of clean and reliable electric power that will ensure the long term economic and environmental sustainability of the West.”

Western governors unanimously adopted in June a resolution supporting the additional loan volume. Among other recommendations, the resolution calls for the expansion of the federal loan guarantee program to allow future private sector investment in new nuclear projects, and for the expedited issuance of loan guarantees in all energy sectors. The program was authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote innovative technologies in the electricity sector that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions.

“For many years, WGA has provided innovative integrated environmental and energy stewardship for the West,” the governors said in a letter to House and Senate appropriations committees. “The present economic downturn has underscored the necessity for focusing with greater urgency on those strategies that will create not just a cleaner environment, but private sector investment that will return Americans to the workforce in quality, high-paying jobs.”

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute the commercial nuclear energy sector procures nearly $15 billion in goods and services each year from every state in the Nation. In just the past three years, private investment exceeding $4 billion in the domestic nuclear supply chain has created some 16,000 jobs in anticipation of a new wave of U.S. nuclear plant construction, partly in response to the $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantee authority provided by Congress.

“Increasing that authority by an additional $36 billion, as the Administration has proposed, would trigger faster development of the nuclear supplier infrastructure and workforce,” the governors said. “The clean energy loan guarantee program protects taxpayers while providing the necessary financing support that will maximize the job creation potential of the Nuclear Renaissance.”

A copy of the letter and additional information on WGA energy policies are available on the Web at http://www.westgov.org.