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Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 2:16pm

Subcommittee Kills Vogtle Cost Penalty Bill

A state House subcommittee has voted to kill a bill aimed at reducing the profits a utility could earn if construction of a nuclear plant exceeds the original budget.

Morris News Service reports the legislative panel voted Tuesday to strike the bill down after Georgia Power Co. — a subsidiary of Southern Co. — announced it needed to raise its construction budget for Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro by $737 million to $6.85 billion.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jeff Chapman, of Brunswick, has said allowing the company to make its usual profits in spite of the budget overruns gives it incentive to be wasteful.

Company representatives say the bill could have triggered higher electricity prices because investors would have thought Plant Vogtle was too much of a risk.