Santee Cooper Could Dominate Session

Next session starts in January

South Carolina Radio Network
November 27, 2018 - 4:05 pm
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NOVEMBER 27, 2018 BY RENEE SEXTON (South Carolina Radio Network)

Much like SCE&G and SCANA dominated discussion at the South Carolina State House in the last legislative session, Senator Ronnie Cromer (R – Prosperity) suspects legislation regarding state-owned utility Santee Cooper will take up most of the focus in this coming session.


SC Sen. Ronnie Cromer (Source: SCStatehouse.gov)

“We still have not finalized anything with the Santee Cooper and SCE&G debacle on the nuclear reactors over in Jenkinsville,” Cromer said. “That took up most all of the last session and I fully anticipate Santee Cooper will do the same in the next session.”

After SCE&G and Santee Cooper decided in 2017 to abandon completion of the nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County, legislators took action to protect ratepayers from having to continue to pay construction costs on a project that wouldn’t be completed. Legislators also tried to take action to prevent a similar incident from occurring again.

“We have made some positive successes with the SCE&G side of the house but we have not even had time yet to address Santee Cooper,” he said.

Legislators passed a temporary rate cut for SCE&G customers in 2018. The Public Service Commission is currently considering a more permanent rate cut after three weeks of hearing testimony.

Last summer after the utilities announced they were abandoning the project, an ad-hoc committee was formed to develop legislation to protect consumers and ratepayers. Cromer said a similar committee is meeting to discuss similar measures for Santee Cooper.

“We’ve actually got a committee meeting right now between the House and Senate together trying to decide should we sell Santee Cooper or should we continue to operate it as a state-run utility? I see that taking up probably the bulk of our time next year,” he said.

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