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USA: Republicans in Congress losing interest in getting tax credits for nuclear power industry

South Carolina’s failed nuclear site means less push for nuke tax credit in Congress, By Jamie Lovegrove and Andrew Brown

      2 Dec 17, WASHINGTON — The pressure is off South Carolina’s congressional delegation to extend a federal tax deadline for the country’s nuclear power industry following the cancellation of two unfinished reactors at V.C. Summer station.

As Republicans advance a tax overhaul bill in Congress, the likelihood of federal lawmakers passing tax credits for a new generation of nuclear power plants has diminished alongside South Carolina’s failed $9 billion energy project.

Lawmakers from the Palmetto State, who pushed the nuclear tax credits as recently as June, still believe that the incentives are good national policy but admit they now aren’t as much of a priority for the state, which continues to reel from the project’s collapse. …..

The tax credits, which would shrink the final cost of new nuclear reactors by billions of dollars once they are completed, were included in the massive tax bill that passed the House in November. But the incentives were left out of the Senate’s partnering tax legislation…….

At this point, Georgia is the only state likely to benefit from the proposed tax credits. Thirty states have nuclear power plants in operation, but few are discussing plans to construct new ones…….

U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill, whose district includes V.C. Summer, said the project’s cancellation should serve as a “wake-up call” for other states that consider similar efforts in the future.

“The silver lining is it’s making people aware of oversight of a project like this,” Norman said. “It’s making people aware in government not to let the power companies off the hook.”

Another positive, Norman said, is that the energy vacuum creates more need for other sources of energy he has supported, such as solar. ……

The failure of South Carolina’s project also provides ammunition to longtime critics of the nuclear industry more broadly, such as U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, who was the only House member to speak out against the tax credit extension when it came up for a House vote earlier this year and now expressed vindication.

“The nuclear industry is always asking for one handout after another and then they bail out,” Doggett said. “It’s a ripoff, and it’s tragic that the ratepayers in South Carolina end up picking up the cost.”

Since its cancellation in July, the V.C. Summer nuclear project has devolved into consumer lawsuits and a legal battle over who should pay for the $9 billion failure.

December 4, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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