It’s not often you’ll find environmental groups linking to The Weekly Standard, but when they drop truth bombs – this time in the form of an essay by leading innovative energy thought leader Amory Lovins – we are compelled to do so.
Amory B. Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute, examines the United State’s policy toward nuclear power. Lovins notes the growing fear of socialism in government, and wonders why it has not spread to how we treat nuclear energy.
Yet nuclear subsidies to some of the world’s largest corporations have become shockingly large. A Maryland reactor’s developer reckoned just its requested federal loan guarantee would transfer $14.8 billion of net present value, comparable to its construction cost, from American taxpayers to the project’s 50/50 owners—Électricité de France (EDF), 84 percent owned by the French government, and a private utility 9.5 percent owned by EDF.
A few southeastern states now make utility customers finance new reactors in advance—often whatever they cost, whether they ever run, no questions asked, plus a return to the utilities for risks that they no longer bear. This scraps all five bedrock principles of utility regulation: payment only for service delivered and only for used and useful assets; accountability for cost and prudence; return matching risk; and no commission able to bind its successors.
Such laws re-create for nuclear power the same moral hazard that just shredded America’s financial sector.
You can read the article, “Nuclear Socialism,” in its entirety at The Weekly Standard.