Lexington County Chronicle
July 26, 2018
Buyer gave lawmakers a $300M higher offer
By Jerry Bellune
Dominion Energy and SCANA secretly offered state lawmakers $300 million to approve buyout plans.
That’s what Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey who represents Lexington County says happened.
Massey said the Virginia power giant was ready to pay ratepayers $1,530, not $1,000 as its radio and TV ads say, to buy the Lexington County utility.
“SCE&G would actually provide around $264 million,” he told the Chronicle.
“They wanted the state to kick in a $36 million rebate it would likely receive under Dominion’s original plan.”
A report by Avery Wilkes in The State newspaper said SCANA and Dominion made this last-ditch effort to convince lawmakers not to cut SCE&G electric rates.
They offered $300 million more in refunds if the rate cut bill died and Dominion could buy SCANA, Sen. Massey told the Chronicle.
Dominion had called a $1,000 refund and a permanent $10-a-month rate cut its best and final offer.
Wilkes reported that lawmakers felt the deal didn’t go far enough.
Dominion spokesman Chet Wade said SCANA made the offer and Dominion “facilitated” it.
SCANA spokesman Eric Boomhower said his company believes the Dominion deal is the best solution for SCE&G’s customers.
For SCE&G to give ratepayers an “extra kickback” would require lawmakers and the Public Service Commission “to roll over and give Dominion the keys to the Kingdom,” SC Small Business Chamber CEO Frank Knapp said.
This fall the Public Service Commission will consider:
- How much to roll back SCE&G rates due to its mismanagement of the now abandoned $9 billion nuclear plants, hiding critical analyses and lying about the project’s costs and delays.
- Should Dominion be allowed to buy SCANA.
“This new blockbuster information should show the Public Service Commission that these two decisions should not be made at the same time in the same hearing,” Knapp said.
“The public deserves the undivided and Dominion-free attention of the Public Service Commission on how much SCE&G rates should be permanently reduced.”