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Thursday
Jun172010

"Declare your independence" from risky nuclear loan guarantees before the 4th of July!

There is still time to act against expanded nuclear power loan guarantees before the U.S. House finalizes its supplemental war funding and disaster relief bill by its Independence Day recess.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Dave Obey (Democrat-Wisconsin), is considering an emergency supplemental war funding and disaster relief bill. The Obama administration has pushed for $9 billion in additional nuclear power loan guarantees to be attached as a rider onto this bill, thus attempting to rush part of a $36 billion expansion request to the nuclear power loan guarantee program, originally requested for next year's Fiscal Year 2011 budget, onto this fiscal year's budget.

Given that the $8.33 billion in atomic power loan guarantees granted by the U.S. Dept. of Energy for two new reactors at Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, announced by President Obama himself last February (and just accepted by Southern Company), would come from the U.S. Federal Financing Bank, this program appears poised to extract not only loan guarantees from taxpayers, but even the loans themselves. Wall Street investment firms are still too burned by atomic defaults from the 1970s and 1980s -- the largest managerial disaster in business history according to Forbes magazine -- to risk their own funds on new reactors, despite the federal loan guarantees!

Ironically, the House will try to pass this supplemental appropriations bill before it leaves for the 4th of July Independence Day recess. There is even the possibility that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee will be bypassed, and the bill will go directly to the House floor for passage. Such short cuts make a mockery of due process -- consideration by the committee of jurisdiction. As the U.S. Declaration of Independence says, when government becomes inimical to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right and duty of citizens to alter or abolish government. Thus, it's high time for taxpayers to declare their independence from the nuclear relapse, and just say no to risky atomic loan guarantees!

As Taxpayers for Common Sense argues, such an emergency supplemental war funding and disaster relief bill is no place for energy loan guarantees to be attached in the first place. But then again, the entire $54.5 billion in nuclear power loan guarantees that the Obama administration has requested is a risk to taxpayers that should be blocked, no matter what piece of legislation it is attached to.

Act now! Call your U.S. Representative via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121: urge them to weigh in with their House colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, especially Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-WI), to block expanded nuclear power loan guarantees; urge that they vote against any bill that includes atomic loan guarantees.

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