First, at the local level, I will be making a short presentation to the Lexington County Legislative Delegation this evening regarding SCE&G rate increases. If the meeting is on schedule, I will speak at about 6:20 and ask the legislators to request an independent assessment of the Base Load Review Act, which the South Carolina General Assembly passed in 2007 to allow the power company to raise electricity rates annually to cove the construction financing costs of two nuclear plants in Fairfield County.

That Act has allowed rates to increase by 17% since 2008 (so far) and the plants are 3 years behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget. In addition there have been regular operational rate increases during that time resulting in a total of approximately a 31% rate increase with more to come before the plants are now scheduled to be finished by 2020. YIKES!

I will be asking the legislators to intervene in this process, amend the Act and consider financial relief for the SCE&G ratepayers. The meeting is being held at the Airport Campus of Midlands Tech in the Academic Building.

Second, at the state level, the federal Bureau of Ocean and Energy management has identified 1085 acres 6 nautical miles off the South Carolina coast that have potential for wind turbine farms. While producing clean, renewable energy from wind in our state might be a decade away, the process starts now. YEAH!

Third, at the international level, France will no longer subsidies French companies building coal plants for other countries. Instead France will now offer those “subsidies for French companies building renewable energy plants abroad.” The end time for coal power is coming soon. EXCELLENT!

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