Georgia lawmakers are debating whether to penalize a utility company if it goes over budget building a nuclear power plant.
Republican Rep. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick has proposed trimming the profits of Georgia Power if the cost of building Plant Vogtle near Augusta exceeds a construction budget set at over $6 billion.
Georgia Power is a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Southern Co.
Electric customers would still reimburse the utility for its actual construction expenses and borrowing under Chapman's plan. But the firm would earn a lesser profit on any investments that went over the state-approved budget.
Besides Georgia, U.S. nuclear plants are currently under construction in South Carolina and Tennessee.