HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » U.S. Department of Energy...

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 12:30 AM

U.S. Department of Energy must release Plant Vogtle loan guarantee credit subsidy data

U.S. Department of Energy must release Plant Vogtle loan guarantee credit subsidy data
By Rob PaveyStaff WriterThursday, March 29, 2012

An environmental group’s two-year quest for details about the U.S. Department of Energy’s $8.3 billion federal loan guarantee for Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle expansion must be partially honored, according to a U.S. District Court judge.

In a 28-page memorandum of opinion, dated Wednesday and signed by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, the Department of Energy was directed to disclose to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy documents related to the project’s credit subsidy cost estimates.

The group filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2010 for the credit subsidy documents and a host of other information – and later filed a lawsuit when portions of the material were not provided.

The court questioned whether other material sought by the group was justifiably withheld and gave the Energy Department 60 days to supplement inadequate justification for why it either redacted – or refused to release – some of the information sought by the plaintiffs.

In a press release...


http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/2012-03-29/us-department-energy-must-release-plant-vogtle-loan-guarantee-credit



Read the complete U.S. District Court ruling:
http://www.cleanenergy.org/images/testimony/032812_FOIA_Decision_Summary_Judgment.pdf


Background:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lawsuit-department-of-energy-hiding-risk-of-833-billion-taxpayer-backed-loan-guarantee-for-proposed-georgia-nuclear-reactors-100361524.html

7 replies, 1583 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply U.S. Department of Energy must release Plant Vogtle loan guarantee credit subsidy data (Original post)
kristopher Apr 2012 OP
bananas Apr 2012 #1
PamW Apr 2012 #3
bananas Apr 2012 #4
PamW Apr 2012 #6
bananas Apr 2012 #5
kristopher Apr 2012 #7
jpak Apr 2012 #2

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 05:07 AM

1. Gee, I wonder what they could be hiding?

Are there going to be any surprises that we don't know about yet?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bananas (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 10:15 AM

3. They may be just following the law.

They may be just following the law. The FOIA - the Freedom of Information Act is not "blank check" for people to get information from the Government. The FOIA Act itself has a number of exemptions where FOIA says you may NOT provide the information requested:

http://www.sec.gov/foia/nfoia.htm

The Freedom of Information Act entitles the following exemptions on documents being requested by the public:

1. Those documents properly classified as secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;
2. Related solely to internal personnel rules and practices;
3. Specifically exempted by other statutes;
4. A trade secret or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information obtained from a person;
5. A privileged inter-agency or intra-agency memorandum or letter;
6. A personnel, medical, or similar file the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
7. Compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which
1. could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings,
2. would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,
3. could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,
4. could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source,
5. would disclose techniques, procedures, or guidelines for investigations or prosecutions, or
6. could reasonably be expected to endanger an individual's life or physical safety;
8. Contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports about financial institutions that the SEC regulates or supervises; or
9. And those documents containing exempt information about gas or oil wells.

Perhaps the DOE feels exemptions 4, 5, or 8 might apply.

PamW

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PamW (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 11:00 AM

4. They are trying to evade the law, a judge ordered them to follow the law.

The CEOs of Entergy and Exelon said the numbers don't work and won't for the foreseeable future.
We know the numbers don't work, is that all they were hiding, or is there more?
You just can't trust the nuclear industry.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bananas (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 11:12 AM

6. Honestly...

Honestly, DOE may believe that the information falls within one of the exemptions.

The judge disagreed; but that's what Appeals Courts are for.

PamW

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PamW (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 11:08 AM

5. The court described as “peculiar” DOE’s belief that it provided adequate justification.

"Peculiar" is legalese for "this doesn't make sense, there's something very suspicious here".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bananas (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 01:34 AM

7. According to the ruling...

...the claim is that Southern offered DOE terms that they can't afford to offer on other projects with other lenders in the future so they don't want it disclosed.
DOE repeatedly states that certain redacted terms and conditions agreed to by the Applicants are “different” or “more burdensome” from those they ordinarily agree to, and that the Applicants do not want future lenders to insist on similar restrictions.


Essentially they just don't want the public to know what the actual and full projected financial condition of the project is. They are hiding behind the FOIA provision claiming that release puts them at a future competitive disadvantage - a claim that given the complexity of a nuclear project and the extremely limited number of vendors seems like little more than a fig leaf. However, in large part the judge is obligated to allow the nondisclosure because the arbitrator of the need for such protection is DOE - the nuclear industry's best friend.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 09:25 AM

2. K&R

yup

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread