Court rejects SCE&G appeal. 15% rate reduction will be allowed to continue

Court rejects SCE&G appeal. 15% rate reduction will be allowed to continue

Lexington County Chronicle
September 27, 2018

By Jerry Bellune

SC Electric & Gas attorneys suffered another legal setback last week.

The rate decrease for SCE&G customers passed by the state legislature will continue, SC Attorney General Alan Wilson said.

The US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals denied SCE&G’s motion to stop the rate decrease while a court battle over it continues.

The court also denied SCE&G’s request to speedup that lawsuit, denied the company’s request to dismiss it, and allowed Attorney General Wilson to file friend-of-the-court briefs.

“This is another big win for SCE&G ratepayers,” he said. “We’ve argued that customers should not have to pay billions of dollars for a hole in the ground.”

Frank Knapp of the Stop the Blank Check Coalition said, “Clearly SCE&G’s prediction that a 15-18% rollback in rates would cause the company not to be able to provide electricity services was only a fear tactic.”

The ruling “denies appellant’s emergency motion for injunction pending appeal and to expedite the decision and denies appellees’ motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court grants SC Attorney General Alan Wilson’s motions for leave to file an amicus brief and supplemental amicus brief and accepts the briefs.

“The parties are directed to address the issue of jurisdiction in addition to any other issues in their principal briefs on appeal.”

This is a major legal setback for the company which wants to continue to charge 727,000 ratepayers for a $9 billion nuclear project it abandoned last year.

Critics accuse SCE&G of failing to make good on its promise of cheaper nuclear power and grossly mismanaging the project which helped drive Westinghouse Electric into bankruptcy.