Advocacy

The Advocates: House and Senate Leaders Begin Probe into Failed Project

WRITTEN BY lclark 5 months ago

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Earlier this week, special House and Senate committees tasked with getting to the bottom of the failed VC Summer Nuclear Plant project, met in Columbia for the first time since SCE&G and Santee Cooper announced they were walking away from the project.

The panels met with the Office and Regulatory Staff and received a brief presentation from the South Carolina Public Service Commission. The Senate heard from leadership of Santee Cooper and SCE&G while the House also received a legal briefing on the Base Load Review Act passed in 2007.

Biggest takeaways this week:

    • Original cost of the project: $9.8 billion.
    • Estimated total cost now: $14 billion (there are some estimates over $20 billion).
    • 5,000 jobs lost around the Fairfield County Plant.
    • When SCE&G presented the original plan to the Public Service Commission, they were working off a generic construction schedule and cost estimate; Westinghouse never provided one.
    • Speaker of the House Jay Lucas asked for the resignation of the director of the Office of Regulatory Staff and Governor McMaster rejected it.
    • There’s an obvious lack of oversight by all parties including our state government.

What’s next?

  • The committees are scheduled to meet again in a couple of weeks. The House will hear testimony from ratepayers and the Senate hasn’t released its agenda yet.
  • I don’t want to speculate at this time all of the potential legislative changes that may come from this but it’s virtually certain that there will be major changes to the Base Load Review Act, the responsibilities of both the Office of Regulatory Staff and the Public Service Commission and more ratepayer protections added.
  • As of now they are just scratching the service of this issue and it’s going to take some time before they reach consensus on how to move forward.

Have a great weekend.

George Ramsey, CMCC Business Lobbyist
Follow George on Twitter @ChasLobbyist

 

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