Day 3 of the PSC Hearing (11-5-18)

A SCE&G lawyer continued his efforts to discredit the ORS nuclear engineering consultant, Gary Jones. The focus of the attacks was trying to show that Mr. Jones knew there were problems with the nuclear construction project in 2014/15. Yet he did not pursue asking for a report that he had heard had been done by Bechtel.

Mr. Jones maintained that knowing that the construction was having problems was not the same as actually seeing the devastating conclusions of that report (a report that SCE&G personnel told him showed nothing new and wasn’t even in writing).

The SCE&G counsel also tried to show that Mr. Jones did not have the needed SCE&G information to draw his conclusion that SCE&G does not deserve to recover any nuclear construction costs after March 12, 2015. That is the date of SCE&G’s filing for more construction cost increases and a new schedule of completion.  Mr. Jones said that he believed that SCE&G knew that it would take longer and cost more than indicated in that filing.

ORS put up its second witness, Anthony James the ORS Director of Energy Policy.   Mr. James testified on the ORS proposal for reducing the average residential customer’s rates by approximately 20%.  He also refuted SCE&G’s witness testimony that ORS had knowledge about the Bechtel Report long before the project was abandoned.  As to SCE&G concealing the Bechtel Report and its findings from ORS and the PSC, Mr. James said that the company committed fraud.

Asked to succinctly respond to the SCE&G counsel’s opening comments asserting that ORS knew everything about the nuclear project before it was abandoned, Mr. James responded saying that neither he nor ORS collectively knew everything about the project prior to it being abandoned.

Day 4 of the hearing will start Tuesday with Mr. James still at the witness table.

Frank Knapp

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