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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Georgia nuclear power plant could be Solyndra redux, report says

By Mark Clayton


An earth mover works on a new nuclear reactor at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Augusta, Ga., late last year. A new report criticizes federal loan guarantees to the project



Findings say the two-reactor $14 billion Vogtle plant is just one example of the US government not protecting US taxpayers well enough against the risks of federal loan guarantees to new nuclear power projects



JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) Construction of the first newly licensed US nuclear power plant in decades could become a "Solyndra-like" debacle thanks to billions in federal loan guarantees whose terms appear too weak to protect taxpayers, according to one group's analysis of internal documents released by the US Department of Energy.

The two-reactor $14 billion Vogtle plant being built in Georgia is seen as a test of the US nuclear industry's planned "renaissance" with a new nuclear reactor design and updated construction processes all aimed at cutting time and costs.

But two Massachusetts-based energy-consulting firms, Earth Track and Synapse Energy Economics, say the $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees backing the project were crafted with excessively favorable financial terms for the recipient companies, weak federal oversight, and possible political interference in the loan-guarantee process.


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The two firms analyzed hundreds of Energy Department e-mails and financial documents released earlier this month to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), a green-energy watchdog group that won access to them in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Officials for the Obama administration and Southern Company, the company that will operate the plants, say there's nothing improper going on.

In their report, Earth Track and Synapse say the documents reveal:


  • "Potentially troubling" conversations between political appointees and borrowers over loan terms and getting the deal done.

  • Credit subsidy payments, the amount that companies pay in compensation for the government loan guarantees, that appear far too low to offer adequate protection to taxpayers in the event of a default.

  • An "over-reliance on external contractors" for key risk evaluations.

  • Continued tinkering with credit subsidy assessment tools even after credit subsidy estimate letters were sent to borrowers, leaving taxpayers with more risk than necessary.


"Despite widespread redactions, the documents released indicate significant problems with the DOE's loan guarantee process," said Doug Koplow, report author and founder of Earth Track in a statement.

Under the category of "political interference," the report cites one e-mail from DOE staff revealed tight timelines to "move our first nuclear power deal forward." Other e-mails showed direct contact between Vogtle project borrowers and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. And a 2010 e-mail from Jonathan Silver, then-executive director of loan programs at the US Department of Energy, noted that "We didn't deal with shaw" — the company slated to do much of the reactor construction — "The white house did."

The discussions represent "a potentially troubling blurring of financial risk review, political discussion, and potential modification of loan terms," the report says.

In a conference call, Mr. Koplow said there is no evidence of wrongdoing or any "smoking gun." But the e-mails do suggest, they say, that high level figures in the administration were in a position to exert political influence.

The Department of Energy was unable to respond by press time to a request for comment. But one administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said there's no impropriety in the documents.

"These are people who just don't like nuclear power," he says. "What they're doing is throwing out a buzz word, Solyndra, to get attention. Let's just throw out that word. They're throwing accusations out there, but these decisions were made on the merits by career officials. The idea that Secretary Chu would want to be monitoring this deal — there's nothing wrong with that."

Southern Company officials say the process is routine.

"Loan guarantees were developed to provide an incentive for new nuclear development in the U.S.," writes Tim Leljedal, a Southern Company spokesman in an e-mailed statement. "There continues to be constructive dialogue in the Vogtle 3&4 loan guarantee negotiations between the company and the Department of Energy. We are committed to financing options that will serve the best interests of our customers, and — as long as the terms and conditions of DOE loan guarantees serve those interests — we will continue pursue that option."

"Details of the ongoing negotiations remain confidential," he adds.

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