Posts Tagged ‘david crane’

In their recent report on how energy efficiency is bad for consumers in Texas, the Texas Public Policy Foundation took some time to tout nukes.

To distinguish the development of new nuclear reactors from the previous generation which was frought with cost overruns and delays, they claim the following (page 7-8):

“But unlike consumers from the 1980s, today’s consumers won’t be taking on the risk of cost overruns. In fact, they won’t be taking any risk at all. Once the new nuclear plants are complete, the price of the electricity sold from the plants will be determined by market forces. If the price is higher than the cost of the electricity, the plants will be profitable. If not, the plants will lose money. But it is the investors–not consumers–who will bear that risk.”

The investors will bear all the risk? Really? Well, published today is a report from Forbes.com that, in addition to announcing NRG’s dramatic scaling back on nuclear development (by some 95%) quotes NRG Energy’s CEO David Crane as saying he is:

“more comfortable when someone else takes risk.” (as in, the citizens of San Antonio?)

Ouch! I encourage y’all to read the full Forbes article and this one from last December, which notes that a major part of NRG’s strategy is to sell to municipally-owned utilities and electric cooperatives. They are medicine for those that think new nuclear is cost-competitive because they’re all about how dependent nuke developers are on federal loan guarantees (aka subsidies).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Also of interest is an article from this morning’s NYTimes that shows the cost of solar is now cheaper than the cost of nuclear, and a hot-off-the-presses article from Greg Harman at the San Antonio Current saying that with NRG taking so much investment out of developing the plant, and the US gov’t balking at more subsidies for this nuclear pork behemoth, that the only way to make the deal work is to get the governments of France and Japan to also help bail out their investors with, you guessed it- more loan guarantees. How many countries and government bailouts does it take to build a nuke plant in Texas?  Three, apparently.  Ahhh, nuclear power- it’s like fiscal conservative kryptonite. One mention of it and any and all pretense of being pro free market just disappears as they can’t stop lining up to the gravy train of pork, loan guarantees and subsidies. ~~Andy


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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Representatives from San Antonio’s CPS Energy and NRG Energy, their partner in the proposed South Texas Nuclear Project expansion, met this morning to try and reach a settlement on their $32 Billion lawsuit.  But CPS acting General Manager Jelynne LeBlanc-Burley apparently walked out of the meeting after learning that “neither Nuclear Innovation North America CEO Steve Winn nor NRG Energy CEO David Crane made the trip to San Antonio.

Update: Monday’s settlement meeting ended with no resolution. Cooperation fail.

Meanwhile, a new non-profit called the Ratepayer Protection Coalition announced its inception and intention to intervene in the CPS-NRG’s lawsuit.

Whaaaa? They can do that? Yes, according to attorney Karen Seal:

In Texas, citizen groups have the right to intervene in lawsuits like this if there is evidence of illegal activity like fraud and misrepresentation and if the behavior is expected to continue. We believe this to be the case. We hope to protect our interest as ratepayers, taxpayers and voters from continuing fraud and misrepresentation by all parties.

But why intervene? Orlando Gutierrez, president of the coalition, had the following to say:

Ratepayers are not represented in the legal proceedings between these parties, although they will bear the brunt of a bad settlement deal with higher electric bills.  There has been fraud and misrepresentation throughout this process. CPS withheld information and misled the public about the $4 billion cost increase throughout the series of eleven district meetings last year. Project partner NRG admits to misrepresenting costs for purposes of negotiation. Both partners deceived the City Council. Yet neither the Council, taxpayers, or voters have independent representation in the Court.

The Ratepayer Protection Coalition is seeking discovery information to “get to the truth” about the costs of the proposed reactors and available energy alternatives.

According to Greg Harman, reporter at the San Antonio Current:

CPS can’t represent the City of San Antonio, argues the Ratepayer Protection Coalition, a collection of familiar faces from the vindicated critics’ pool. Not only has CPS “conducted a campaign of misinformation, disinformation, and deception designed to convince the San Antonio community about the merits of pursuing nuclear power” but threatened the City Council “that a decision not to pursue the nuclear project would lead to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the project to date by CPS Energy.”

In short, CPS has “dirty hands” and can’t represent the City of San Antonio in court, according to RPC’s complaint filed this morning in the 37th District Court, joining the CPS-NRG lawsuit as an intervener.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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