Post Tagged with: "nuclear"

Photo courtesy of HighFlyer.

NEWS: Sell Santee Cooper? Maybe, but not as a fire sale, senators say

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  South Carolina may see its state-owned utility pass into private hands after its role in a failed multi-billion project, but lawmakers say it won’t happen quickly or below-market value.

A bill was prefiled in the Senate Wednesday to determine the value of Santee Cooper — one of several new bills aimed at the two utilities responsible for spending $9 billion on two nuclear reactors that are unfinished at V.C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville. The legislation comes less than two months after Gov. Henry McMaster expressed interest in privatizing Santee Cooper.

But senators say the bill is not a signal that they’re on board with selling the utility just yet.

“I have not heard of a lot of people pushing for the sale of Santee Cooper,” said Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington.  Setzler served on a special committee asking what went wrong in the joint venture between Santee Cooper and SCE&G.

by · 12/08/2017 · News
TALLY SHEET:  House members pressing full steam ahead on utilities

TALLY SHEET:  House members pressing full steam ahead on utilities

Staff reports  |   The House Judiciary Committee will meet Tuesday to debate a packet of subcommittee-approved bills that seek to rein in electric utilities and overhaul utility regulations.

Committees generally don’t do a lot of heavy lifting between legislative sessions.  But after two utilities, SCE&G and Santee Cooper, pulled out of a $14 billion plan to expand a nuclear plant after spending $9 billion, lawmakers heard loud and clear from constituents that something needed to be done.

by · 11/17/2017 · News, Politics, Tally Sheet
TALLY SHEET: Utility, other bills prefiled in S.C. House

TALLY SHEET: Utility, other bills prefiled in S.C. House

Staff reports  |  House Speaker Jay Lucas today assigned six utility-related bills to the House Judiciary Committee after the bills were introduced during a pre-filing period.

The bills, part of the “Utility Ratepayer Protection Package,” follow the summer debacle of the V.C. Summer nuclear facility collapse, an incomplete project abandoned by two utility companies after $9 billion of spending.

One of the six bills includes this language, which refers to an act passed to help utilities pay for construction as it was being built:  “The Base Load Review Act was abused, material information was withheld from regulators, and regulators were intentionally misled, all of which contributed to the Public Service Commission approving rate increases that otherwise would not have been approved and which were inconsistent with the intent of the General Assembly and the law of South Carolina.”

by · 11/09/2017 · News, Tally Sheet
Abortion rights supporters protested outside the Statehouse this week to urge Gov. Nikki Haley to veto a ban on almost all abortions after 19 weeks.  She didn’t.  More below in this weeks’ news analysis.  (Photo provided.)

NEWS BRIEFS:  Abortion politics; Dissecting a meltdown; Pressure play

Gov. Henry McMaster on Friday morning issued an executive order halting any local or state funds that go toward the state’s three abortion providers. He is also seeking to exclude the clinics from the state’s Medicaid provider network. Also inside:
* The latest on the debacle over two nuclear plants.
* A councilman wants a House seat.

by · 08/25/2017 · News, News briefs
MY TURN: Voters can go “nuclear” to stop rewarding incompetence

MY TURN: Voters can go “nuclear” to stop rewarding incompetence

By Jim Rex, special to Statehouse Report  |  As residents of South Carolina wait patiently for the [Solicitor] David Pascoe corruption investigation of South Carolina legislators and others to reach what will almost assuredly be a repugnant and embarrassing conclusion for our state and its citizens,  we have been reminded that a culture deficient in accountability for its elected and appointed representatives will inevitably find multiple ways to set aside the interests of the many to satisfy the wishes of the few.

The nuclear plants’ fiasco in Fairfield County has proven, yet again, that too many of our elected and appointed representatives are not willing to take on powerful corporations when they take advantage of consumers and taxpayers.

BRACK:   The General Assembly isn’t filled with policy Einsteins

BRACK:   The General Assembly isn’t filled with policy Einsteins

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   The list of recent big policy failures by the South Carolina General Assembly is downright impressive.

First is transportation infrastructure, which got into a deplorable condition during the 28 years it took state lawmakers to raise the gas tax so it could deal with $40 billion of highway needs, potholes, bridges and deferred maintenance.  At least they finally boosted the gas sales tax this year to start fixing the problem.  But they’ll have to come back to it because they didn’t index the sales tax hike to inflation.

Next is the state’s pension system for employees, which rang in as a $24 billion problem.  A few years back, lawmakers decided to raise the expected return on investment to a completely unrealistic level.  As a result – and in combination with the Great Recession and a whole bunch of really bad investment decisions – the value of the pension fund sank like a lead balloon.

by · 08/11/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
NEWS: Lawmakers, nonprofits seek remedy for stalled nuclear construction

NEWS: Lawmakers, nonprofits seek remedy for stalled nuclear construction

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  The construction of two nuclear towers at the V.C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville is continuing to shine a spotlight on a 2007 law that lawmakers and two nonprofits say enables unneeded or risky energy projects, while consumers unfairly shoulder those costs.

Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club this week released a report, “Failure of the Nuclear Gamble in South Carolina,” which focused on their June 22 complaint to a state regulatory agency that the $14-billion project should be halted and ratepayers should be reimbursed.

The V.C. Summer plant expansion project is owned 55 percent by SCANA’s South Carolina Electric & Gas and 45 percent by state-owned utility Santee Cooper. …

by · 07/21/2017 · News
Construction at the Summer site.

NEWS: Will S.C.’s new reactors melt down like roads, pensions?

By Bill Davis, senior editor | There are several “nightmare scenarios” swirling around two incomplete and incredibly expensive nuclear reactors being built in the Midlands in Jenkinsville and what damage they could do to ratepayers’ wallets.

The ongoing work on the reactors, a joint effort of Santee Cooper and SCE&G, at the V.C. Sumner facility appears to be over budget and behind schedule, according to company documents.

But what’s more concerning to many is that the company building the reactors, Westinghouse, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of what may be billions of dollars of corporate losses. Westinghouse’s parent company, Japan’s Toshiba, has promised an unknown amount of money to help guarantee completion, according to published reports.

by · 04/21/2017 · News