Rick Perry is one of the more disappointing of Trump’s cabinet secretaries. He once fashioned himself a conservative budget-cutter, but since becoming head of the Department of Energy (DOE), he has focused on defending subsidies rather than cutting anything. He once wanted to abolish the DOE, but he turned 180 degrees on that idea upon taking the DOE helm in 2017.
The Daily Caller reports:
… Perry visited Waynesboro, Georgia, on Friday and announced $3.7 billion in additional federal loans for the primary owners of a nuclear power project that has been beset with delays and cost overruns.
The Department of Energy is guaranteeing up to $1.67 billion in loans for Georgia Power, up to $1.6 billion for Oglethorpe Power, and up to $414.7 million for the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power). The three utilities are co-owners of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant.
The loans are to help Vogtle’s construction of its two latest nuclear reactors: Units 3 and 4. The two units, which are the only nuclear reactors under construction in the entire country, were originally planned to be completed by 2017, but have been plagued with construction delays and ballooning costs. Unit 3 will not be ready to be loaded with fuel until 2020, and Unit 4 won’t go online until 2021.
Construction of the two units are expected to cost a total of $27 billion, and the announcement by Perry on Friday marks a total of $12 billion in federal loan guarantees to help keep the project afloat.