December 4, 2018
Opinion: A cloud hangs over SCE&G rate rollback decision
Should the PSC rule in favor of the last SCE&G-Dominion proposal, a typical residential customer will pay more in their monthly electric bills compared to the ORS proposal. The PSC could also decide to grant customers larger or even smaller rate rollback.
The PSC has a difficult decision to make. Unfortunately, that decision has been made even more stressful and difficult because of the speaker of the S.C. House, Jay Lucas.
Lucas made the unusual decision to formally intervene in this hearing. Lucas’ taxpayer-funded staff actively promoted Dominion’s settlement offers to other parties, and the speaker officially told the PSC during the hearing that he wanted them to rule in favor of the SCE&G-Dominion proposal.
Class Action Lawsuit Against SCE&G
Proposed Settlement Delivers Little to Ratepayers
The proposed settlement comes up way short, one critic says.
SCANA agreed not to charge ratepayers for the $115 million golden parachutes for executives, SC Small Business Chamber CEO Frank Knapp said.
“That will make the customers happy but not as happy as if the executives would get no payouts,” Knapp said.
“SCE&G agrees to sell some non-essential property with a value around $70 million and give that back to ratepayers somehow. But that was property SCE&G was probably going to have to sell anyway.
Trump Administration Approves 1st Step to Offshore Drilling
Small Business Chamber and Mayors Ready to Fight
The National Marine Fisheries Service, an agency within NOAA, has approved Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) for the five seismic testing companies that want to explore for oil off the Atlantic Coast. These authorizations, which supposedly instruct seismic companies how to mitigate death and harm to whales and dolphins, were needed for seismic testing permits to be issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
The SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) has been a vocal opponent of exploring and drilling for oil off the Atlantic Coast since January of 2015. It is prepared to take legal action along with up to 16 South Carolina coastal municipalities to challenge the IHAs and thus prevent permits being issued for seismic testing. The SC Environmental Law Project will provide pro bono legal services for this effort.
“The IHA’s failed to address the socio-economic damage to our local communities and businesses from seismic surveys. Studies have shown that our vibrant coastal seafood industry is at risk from the intense and constant airgun blasts that will cause commercial fish catches to be reduced by up to 80 percent. The sport fishing industry will also suffer from the same displacement effect. Scientific research has shown that seismic surveys cause physical harm to invertebrates like scallops, squid and crabs. Whales and dolphins will not be found for sightseeing tours. And research has shown that zooplankton, the base of the ocean food chain, is killed from the loud blasts. The failure of the National Marine Fisheries Service to address the threat to marine life and humans from seismic blasts causing the release of toxic chemicals from deteriorating bombs and radioactive waste drums dumped off the coast is unquestionably negligent.”—Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the SCSBCC.
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New Credit Card Processing Benefit
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