Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SACE Lawsuit Against DOE Re Plant Vogtle FOIA

Plant Vogtle
According to a lawsuit filed yesterday by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), U.S. taxpayers are being denied timely access to information that could be used to assess the risk to their pocketbooks posed by the $8.33 billion federal loan guarantee for two proposed nuclear reactors at Southern Company's Plant Vogtle in Georgia. SACE claims that all meaningful details of the deal have remained shrouded in secrecy.

SACE filed the lawsuit because of DOE's failure to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on March 25, 2010. Under FOIA, DOE was obliged to respond to the SACE request by April 22 – well in advance of when DOE and Southern finalized the loan guarantee deal on June 11, 2010. However, DOE released no documents to SACE until July 6, 2010. When DOE finally released a handful of documents relating to the Vogtle loan guarantees, they were heavily redacted, with all important details blacked out. (To see one of the DOE-censored documents)

The March 25, 2010 SACE FOIA request covered such items as: the Southern Company loan guarantee; related correspondence between DOE and Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, Municipal Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton, Georgia; environmental review records related to the loan guarantee request; any credit analysis conducted by DOE in relation to the loan guarantee; all records related to the general terms and conditions of the loan guarantee; and all records related to issuance of the loan guarantee.

Full text of the SACE court filing

(PRNewswire, 8/20/2010)

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