April 8, 2020
Over the past 32 months since Santee Cooper abandoned the V.C. Summer nuclear project, after sinking more than $4 billion into the failed effort, there has been one thing legislators have agreed on time and time again – the Santee Cooper status quo cannot continue.
If this session is allowed to end without ensuring that the full debate on Santee Cooper can continue, status quo is exactly what we will get.
Santee Cooper has relentlessly obstructed and delayed the deliberative and thorough process set forth by the General Assembly’s Act 95. The state of South Carolina has invested millions of dollars and years of debate into making sure the best decision is made regarding Santee Cooper for the utility’s customers and state taxpayers.
The Coronavirus epidemic is sure to have long-lasting repercussions for our state. One of these cannot be our failure to take decisive action soon to deliver significant rate reduction and eliminate $6.7 billion of debt for the 2 million direct and electric cooperative Santee Cooper customers.
Now, reports are that Santee Cooper is ramping up its “status quo” campaign by spreading false information to legislators, claiming they have reached a deal with Central Electric Power Cooperative.
Let me make this clear. Santee Cooper has no intentions of “reforming.” And now the Coronavirus’ impact on our state’s energy use and ability to pay makes Santee Cooper’s “promised” reform impossible to achieve.
While my organization has long advocated selling Santee Cooper, it is critical for you to ensure that the General Assembly can continue its legislative debate.
Frank Knapp Jr.
President & CEO
South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce