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This week, the Chamber notched its first major legislative victory of the year.
In other news…
In the ongoing discussion around our State’s energy future, this week the House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee heard from the Electric Cooperatives on how the fallout of VC Summer has affected them. Legislators were able to learn more about the inner workings of the contracts between the co-ops and Santee Cooper. The 20 co-ops, who receive most of the electrical power they distribute from Santee Cooper, signaled to the House Committee they plan on making a bid for some or all of the state-owned utility. Details of the proposed purchase were not disclosed in the four-hour meeting.
Sticking with energy, the Senate Judicial Subcommittee met on Wednesday to begin deliberating a resolution (S.954) that would stop the Public Service Commission from ruling on SCANA and Dominion Energy’s proposed merger, and any other cases or rate changes, until three months after the legislature officially adjourns in November. This would allow the Senate, the more deliberative body, extra time to evaluate all of their options and make a more informed decision.
The resolution was “polled out” of Senate Judiciary on Wednesday and debate began on the floor on Thursday. Senator Larry Grooms made an impassioned plea to not support the legislation, saying it would create more uncertainty for SCANA, which has lost more than half of its value over the last year. He moved to carry over the legislation successfully. However, just moments later, Majority Leader, Shane Massey, made a motion to place the measure (S.954) on Special Order, which passed by a vote of 38-3.
Expect a heated debate next week.
Have a great weekend!