For the past four months South Carolina state legislators have publicly sworn, almost to a person, to rollback SCE&G rates associated with the nuclear debacle in Fairfield County and take action to make sure that such a disaster never happens again.

But here we are with just 6 days remaining in the legislative session and SCE&G is very close to defeating every legislative promise to the consumer on this issue.

If that happens, SCE&G ratepayers will continue paying on average $27 more a month to cover the construction costs of the now abandoned nuclear plants thanks to an unchanged Base Load Review Act, which led to this economic disaster.

SCE&G shareholders, management and lobbyists will be thrilled that the gravy train will keep on rolling.  Dominion Energy will be licking its chops to acquire the SCE&G money machine on the cheap.

If the members of the General Assembly don’t want this “legislative debacle” hanging around their necks, they need to approve these 5 measures:

  1. Rollback SCE&G rates by either 13 or 18 percent temporarily.
  2. Set December 21, 2018, as the date certain that the Public Service Commission will rule on a permanent SCE&G rate cut pertaining to the increases previously approved for the nuclear construction.
  3. Give a legal definition to “prudent” and “imprudence” so that the Public Service Commission can cut SCE&G rates now and empower the Commission to say “no” in the future.
  4. Revise the mission of the Office of Regulatory Staff so that it is not concerned with the fiscal health of utilities.
  5. Create a Utility Consumer Advocate position in the Department of Consumer Affairs to solely represent the interests of residential ratepayers.

The legislature still has time to put up a complete victory for the public, but it will have to overcome the efforts of the wily (and still powerful) SCE&G.

The clock is ticking.

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