Public Service Commission, Fairfield Lawmakers Blindsided by SCE&G’s Nuclear Abandonment
SCE&G Lays Off 650 Employees
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- SCANA executives sat before the state’s Public Service Commission answering tough questions about their decision to abandon a multi-billion dollar nuclear project.
“Those two that are suffering are the ratepayers and economic development, part of the two legs of public interest,” said Chairman Swain Whitfield who said he grew up in Fairfield County.
Fees to assist the project have been included in customers bills for years. SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh says the customers rates will not change but they do plan ease some rate payer’s burdens by using money awarded by Toshiba.
“We believe those costs are appropriate. While they will not be refunded, we are taking all the steps we can, to take the amounts we receive from Toshiba as part of their parental guarantee settlement. Take that cash, which we believe will about $1.1 billion before tax, and use that to offset and mitigate impacts to customers going forward,” said Marsh.
Marsh said the company hopes to begin those installments this October and continue until around 2022.
“This commission was blindsided by this news,” said Whitfield.
The commission said they had no idea the decision would be made Monday. Executives said they were left with no choice after Santee Cooper announced their suspension.
“We were prepared to bring a plan forward for ORS (Office of Regulatory Services) and you to consider of completing one plant, and that wasn’t officially taken away until yesterday when santee made their vote. So we had to honor that and wait and ensure that that critical factor was executed,” said SCANA Executive VP James Addison.
SCANA board members said 650 of their workers lost their jobs after the decision. Senator Mike Fanning said this news is not only devastating for those workers but for the entire community.
“The reason I’m here today is that no one is speaking up for those that are abandoned. Hundreds of thousands of rate payers have been paying higher rates are being abandoned, Fairfield County has been a partner for decades and on that process at least 10 years have been abandoned. 5,000 contract workers, 650 employees have been abandoned, we feel betrayed,” said the Fairfield Democrat.