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Take Action Today! Texas Representative Chet Edwards is pushing for $25 billion in US taxpayer backed loans for nuclear reactors

On Thursday, July 15, the House Energy and Water subcommittee is scheduled to vote on $25 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors in the FY2011 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Only last month, the House passed $9 billion in nuclear loan guarantees in the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill (it has not yet passed the Senate). Together with the Department of Energy’s existing nuclear loan guarantee authority, the US taxpayer’s burden would be tripled to an enormous $52.5 billion.

The additional $25 billion in nuclear loan guarantees comes at the behest of Rep. Chet Edwards (D) to fund two proposed reactors at Comanche Peak in his district in Texas.  The proposed new reactors have an uncertified and untested design, and are years away from licensing approval. There are also two reactors proposed for the South Texas Project site in Bay City, Texas.  

Putting another $25 billion into costly, economically risky and polluting new reactors will be at the expense of solving climate change with clean, renewable energy and efficiency.  Call or email your Representatives today and tell them that these subsidies are unacceptable! 

(Find out who represents you at http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us)

Feel free to use this message or edit as you’d like:


Dear Representative __________________,

I am writing to urge you to oppose $25 billion in additional nuclear loan guarantee authority in the FY2011 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.  Given the nuclear industry’s inability to reduce the soaring capital costs of new reactors, assure the safety of its technology, or resolve radioactive waste storage issues, burdening U.S. taxpayers with tens of billions dollars of additional liability for new reactors is irresponsible.  

The Department of Energy currently has over $10 billion in unallocated existing authority. The House has passed an additional $9 billion in nuclear loan guarantees in its 2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill. Together, this would triple the nuclear loan guarantees to a massive $52.5 billion. Many of the proposed new nuclear projects even have designs that are certified.

Moreover, according to a recent Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) report, the DOE’s loan guarantee program does not even have a way to evaluate whether the program is meeting its goals.  GAO also found that DOE has provided preferential treatment to nuclear applicants that it has not given to renewable and efficiency applicants.  Additional nuclear funding will only exacerbate these structural problems.

Please oppose an additional $25 billion in nuclear loan guarantees in the FY2011 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.  US taxpayers should not be expected to bail out yet another industry.