22 February 2007 at 9:30:07 AM
Phil King's bill and more on how it screws the public while helping out the nuclear power industry.
I re-read the Star-Telegram article on this and it's worth saying, AGAIN, that the money that gets put into a *trust* fund for decommissioning the power plants would be fair game for taxpayers or ratepayers to pony up IF the nuclear power plant didn't have them.
The federal government requires the establishment of special trust funds to finance the cost of decommissioning nuclear plants at the end of their useful life, which can be about 50 years. These trust funds are also supposed to pay for the permanent storage of the plants’ radioactive waste.
If adopted, House Bill 1386 would change how these funds operate in Texas. The bill calls for the operator of a nuclear plant to provide money for the fund — making it part of the cost of doing business — but also requires that ratepayers pick up the tab if the company falls short or ends up in default.
Realistically, this gives the nuclear power industry a pass! Right now they MUST put money into the decomissioning trust fund. But ooops, if they say, took out some money from the *trust* fund or didn't put enough in, Phil King's version would say "That's okay, the public can pick up the cost of CLEANING UP THE RADIOACTIVE WASTE" with a pat on the head and a huggie to the industry.
Don't be fooled. This is a BAD BILL. If the nuclear power industry can't afford to get their business going without the public paying for it, then maybe they should, like anyone else running a business, get into a different one. And the safeguards that are there NOW to protect the public shouldn't be gutted by some flake like King in order to give corporations more financial breaks while WE have to pick up the slack.
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