Newsletter: Insurance, SCE&G, Offshore Drilling

Newsletter: Insurance, SCE&G, Offshore Drilling

Newsletter
November 19, 2018

Health Insurance Savings with Good Benefits

The open enrollment season runs until December 15th for the ACA Marketplace. So, encourage your employees to get their coverage and their federal subsidies.

However, if you are 50 or older and don’t qualify for premium assistance, you know premiums have gone up 40% in the last two years. Let us help you find quality health insurance at affordable prices.

A 5-minute call could save you 15 – 70% on health insurance for you and your family.

Give Ben & David at Insurance Advantage a call today at (803) 851–0049, email them at info@theIAteam.com, or text them at (803) 509-3394.

Insurance Advantage can also help you employees with ACA enrollment or any of your other health insurance needs.

Insurance Advantage is the preferred health insurance broker of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

Public Service Hearing Enters 13th Day

The Public Service Commission (PSC) hearing on SCE&G’s nuclear debacle continues today. The first 12 days have seen witnesses from the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) and other organizations opposing SCE&G and Dominion Energy’s proposals for recovering billions for the abandoned nuclear project construction costs.

These witnesses have provided evidence that SCE&G withheld vital information from ORS and the PSC starting in 2015, information that showed the nuclear project was suffering from serious problems and would not be completed on schedule and thus would be far over budget.

ORS has proposed that SCE&G is not entitled to the recovery of any construction costs after March 12, 2015, the day the utility filed for additional costs and new completion dates for the nuclear project.  The ORS position that that SCE&G should be required to roll back electric rates by 5% or more from current rates.

SCE&G has provided witnesses to counter the accusations that it had deceived the regulators. Dominion has presented its own witnesses to argue for the PSC to approve one of its two proposals for acquiring SCANA/SCE&G.  Both of these proposals would increase rates from the rates customers are paying today.

The president and CEO of the SC Small Business Chamber, Frank Knapp, is a pro se intervenor in this hearing.  Mr. Knapp has attended every one of the all-day sessions except Day 8.  Here are Mr. Knapp’s posts on each day. These posts are not a detailed review of each day’s activities. Instead they are the highlights of each day as viewed by Mr. Knapp.

Read the posts for each day: 1, 2,  3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12

More information on this issue:

Opinion: SCE&G regulatory trial: Who will pay for the failed nuclear project?

Dominion’s Latest “Best and Final” Offer

Opinion: How to save 600 jobs at SCANA and SCE&G

Big Oil Re-Launches PR Campaign for Offshore Oil

The oil industry is ramping up its efforts to promote drilling off the Atlantic Coast. This past week the American Petroleum Institute (API) claimed that drilling for oil off the South Carolina coast would bring in $1.6 billion in new tax revenue to state and local governments over 20 years.

Opponents of Atlantic Coasts offshore drilling pushed back accusing Big Oil of using overly optimistic numbers and pointing out study’s flaws. The Small Business Chamber president and CEO Frank Knapp issued the following criticisms of the API report:

We anticipated Big Oil and its supporters waiting until after the Midterms to launch a new offensive on offshore drilling so as not to rile up the voters before they cast ballots.  Fortunately, this political strategy did not work in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.

This new report should be taken with a big grain of salt, or better, with a big bucket of oil.  The projection is that on average the state of South Carolina and our local coastal governments would collectively receive at best $80 million in additional taxes a year for 20 years.  There are well over 20 local coastal governments alone to share this tax revenue with the state.  Hardly a windfall for any of the governments.

The study’s numbers do not represent net tax revenue to the governments.  It does not take into consideration the significant loss of tax revenue when the inevitable spill and leaks occur causing lost tourism that translates into lost jobs, lost personal income tax revenue and lost sales tax.  Plus, it does not consider lower property values and thus local taxes.  The bottom line is that state and local governments stand to lose tax revenue from if offshore drilling is allowed along our coast.

The study’s numbers also depend on the oil industrialization on our coast.  There is no coastal community willing to sell its tourism, pristine beaches, commercial fishing, recreation and historical landmark-soul for any price.  They just don’t want exploring and drilling for oil off South Carolina’s coast because it is incompatible with the existing, vibrant local economies.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!