Entergy lobbied on nuclear plant loans

Mar. 25, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) --

WASHINGTON (AP) - Electric utility Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Corp. spent almost $2.2 million lobbying on its own behalf in 2007, with loan guarantees for the nuclear power industry among its issues.

The New Orleans-based company also lobbied on issues related to nuclear waste, the Energy Department's budget and programs to assist low income people with energy bills, according to a disclosure form posted online Feb. 14 by the Senate's public records office.

Entergy spent more than $1 million lobbying on the same issues in the second half of 2007. The company, which operates 10 nuclear power plants, is the second-largest U.S. nuclear power generator and serves 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana.

Last month, Entergy applied for a license to build a new nuclear power plant adjacent to its existing plant in Port Gibson, Miss. A handful of companies also applied to build new nuclear plants last year, the first applications in almost 30 years, though none of the companies has yet committed to building the plants.

Last year, Congress approved increased funding for a program that guarantees loans for up to 80 percent of a new reactor's costs. The guarantees are intended to spur constrution of new plants by lowering the interest rates on loans to build the new plants.

In addition to Congress, the company also lobbied the White House's Office of Management and Budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Treasury.

Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches, under a federal law enacted in 1995.

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