SC lawmakers meet AGAIN; this time with Santee Cooper to talk company’s future

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South Carolina lawmakers meet once again to continue discussions on the future of state-owned utility company Santee Cooper. 

On Wednesday, members of the Public Service Authority Evaluation and Review Committee discussed a presentation made by members of Santee Cooper. 

The 60-slide power point presentation gave committee members insight into the company’s employment, assets, financial standings, and even looming legal matters. 

Santee Cooper owes more than $4 billion for its share of an investment into the VC Summer Nuclear Plant. The company’s only source of revenue is its customers.

As a result, Santee Cooper customers may have to fit the bill. Santee Cooper says it has the right to charge customers more if it needs to. 

Representative G. Murrell Smith questioned the company on rate increases. 

“You feel you have the statutory authority to pass on an abandoned costs on your rate payers?” General counsel for Santee Cooper Mike Baxley replied, “Yes sir we do.. and later you’ll see in the legal proceedings, but yes we do.”

Customers have already been paying an extra 5% to cover the insurance for the plant, but could pay an extra on top of that to cover the debt. 

Santee Cooper says of their investment into VC Summer only the insurance has been paid so far. 

Lawmakers are also considering selling the remaining equipment at the nuclear site. Right now it costs $8 million every 6 months to keep the equipment up in good enough condition to be sold. 
 

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