Nuclear bill clears House hurdle

ATLANTA (AP) - A House panel cleared a bill that would pave the
way for Georgia Power to boost electric rates by charging customers
early for the expansion of its nuclear plant near Augusta.

The Regulatory and Utility Affairs Subcommittee approved the
measure by voice vote. The bill now moves to the full committee.
It's already passed in the state Senate.

Georgia Power is seeking permission to begin charging ratepayers
in 2011 for two new reactors at Plant Vogtle that won't be
completed until 2017 at the earliest.

The plan would begin increasing Georgia Power customers electric
bills by about $1.30 a month. They would continue to rise until

Supporters say the bill will save consumers money in the long
run by shaving about $300 million from the total cost of the plant.

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