COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge in South Carolina is considering whether she'll grant a power company's request to keep its customers on the hook for a multibillion-dollar nuclear project failure.

U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Childs presided this week over a hearing in a lawsuit filed by South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. The utility is seeking to stop implementation of a law slashing its rates by 15 percent.

SCE&G says the law ordering the temporary cut is unconstitutional. Media outlets report Childs said Tuesday she'd rule before August 7, the date rate cuts go into effect.

SCE&G and state-owned utility Santee Cooper abandoned the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station project last year following the bankruptcy of contractor Westinghouse. SCE&G ratepayers have already paid more than $2 billion toward the project.