Senate approves Ga. Power bill

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Senate has approved a bill that would
allow Georgia Power to begin collecting interest costs early for
the construction of two new nuclear reactors.

The bill would boost the electric bill for the average ratepayer
by about $1.30 a month beginning in 2011. The reactors will be
complete in 2017 at the earliest.

It passed 38-16 Wednesday after a heated debate.

Georgia Power officials argue that recouping the interest costs
early for the construction at Plant Vogtle near Augusta means
ratepayers will pay less in the long run. They estimate it will
shave $300 million off the $14.4 billion expansion.

But Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown says the plan is bad
for consumers. He calls the utility "selfish" and "greedy."

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