Legislative Session Wraps Up In Days, Where Does That Leave V.C. Summer Nuclear Project and Ratepayers?
Columbia, SC (WOLO)– There are only two days left of General Session for the State Legislature and not a single law has been passed relieving ratepayers from the failed VC Summer Nuclear Project. According to Senator Mike Fanning (D, Fairfield), ratepayers have a lot going for them. It is locked in that rates will be reduced. The Conference committee cannot agree on whether it will be an 18% or 13% rate deduction.
“Between now and Friday at Five, we expect to have passage on the reform of the Public Service Commission and the ORS to make sure they have some teeth, to make sure we’ll never be lied to by big utility monopolies ever again,” Fanning said.
Senator Fanning and Senator Tom Davis are working on a bill that will protect the $9.5 billion ratepayers invested in the VC Summer project, saying if they put that money in, ratepayers should be able to get that money out.
“Ratepayers today were charged 1.3 million dollars more than the utilities they used to go to failed reactors. And if that didn’t sound bad enough, 900-thousand of that 1.3 million is going directly to shareholders,” Fanning said.
Time is not the only thing on ratepayers side. Every seat in the house and the Governor’s seat are up for election this year; adding more pressure on those parties to get legislation through that pleases their constituents.
“We need to show the people of South Carolina that we’re not just going to let this die, it’s a shame we haven’t already passed it,” Rep. Russell Ott said, (D, Calhoun).
It is likely the legislature will have to come back for a special session because they still have to pass a budget and deal with three vetoes. If they cannot come to an agreement on how to proceed with VC Summer during the special session, rates will remain high through January.
“The very first day of session we were told everything is going to take a back seat to Nuclear this year,” Fanning said.
“For me, the worst case scenario is to go home with no relief whatsoever. And I think it’s incumbent upon the conference committee to get into a room together for however long it takes between now and Thursday and pass a solution to the problem,” Ott said.