The Latest: Senate panel unsure about refunds; rate freezes

November 21, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on proposals from lawmakers to fix problems with South Carolina’s abandoned nuclear projects (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

It looks like South Carolina lawmakers may be split on whether they can force two utilities involved in an abandoned South Carolina nuclear project to refund billions of dollars or stop new rate increases.

Both ideas were included in six bills approved Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee and sent to the House floor when the session begins in January.

But a Senate committee reviewing the two scuttled reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station appears hesitant to support bills with refunds or rate freezes.

Several Republicans agreed with Democratic Sen. Brad Hutto who says lawmakers can’t get that involved with decisions made by a private company like South Carolina Electric & Gas.

SCE&G and state-owned partner Santee Cooper abandoned the project July 31, after spending more than $9 billion.


2:35 p.m.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved six bills that lawmakers say fix problems found in the wake of a pair of abandoned nuclear reactors that could cost South Carolina ratepayers billions of dollars.

The proposals approved Tuesday would block project co-owner South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. from continuing to charge its customers $37 million a month for the two scuttled reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.

A different bill would refund at least some of the nearly $2 billion SCE&G has charged customers for the plants. Another proposal would eliminate the law that let utilities charge customers for the plants before they produce power.

The bills head to the House floor when the General Assembly returns in January.

A Senate panel also discussed its own ideas Tuesday.

Update hourly