Statement of Frank Knapp Jr., President of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and pro se intervenor in the Public Service Commission consolidated Dockets 2017-370-E, 2017-207-E, 2017-305-E in response to the PSC ruling against bifurcation of the Dockets.
Today’s ruling from the SC Public Service Commission gives Dominion Energy the undeserved ability to influence the future PSC decision on how much SCE&G ratepayers will pay for the abandoned nuclear plants in Fairfield County. Dominion Energy had no part in the construction decisions or decision to abandon the nuclear plants. Dominion is not a customer of SCE&G. Dominion also has a financial interest in influencing the PSC decision unrelated to the facts regarding the construction and abandonment of the nuclear plants. Dominion’s participation in the PSC hearing about the ratepayers’ obligation to pay for the nuclear plant construction costs is thus not fair to the SCE&G customers.
In addition, Dominion has spent millions on an advertising campaign to convince the SCE&G ratepayers, and indirectly the PSC, that its offer to acquire SCANA provides great value (i.e. a $1000 check) to individual customers but only if SCE&G is allowed to recover much of the nuclear plant construction costs. Thus, allowing Dominion to be a party to the abandonment hearing could unfairly prejudice the Commissioners in their decision regarding financial responsibility for the failed construction project. The public will never know if the Dominion offer to SCE&G customers influenced the PSC decision in this matter, a decision that will impact ratepayers for decades to come.