Press Release | July 31, 2017

SELC Statement on Abandonment of VC Summer Reactor Construction

Charleston, S.C.- SCE&G customers face some of the highest utility bills in the nation, mostly to underwrite the financial meltdown of the VC Summer nuclear plant, a joint venture with Santee Cooper.

These customers – including many on fixed incomes – have borne the brunt of the reckless financial gambles that have today led to the abandonment of one of the largest utility failures in history. At several points, key decision makers pushed forward with rate hikes, ignored warning signs, and turned aside pleas from customers to lessen their burdens with cost-saving energy efficiency programs.

Blan Holman, managing attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Charleston office, today released this statement:

“This is a $9 billion hole in the ground, and the only good that can come from this would be to revamp energy policy in South Carolina. The entire system is rigged to reward utilities to take these massive and ill-informed risks at the expense of South Carolina electric customers. This can’t continue.”

The current power-supply system in South Carolina is biased towards building massive and costly facilities on the backs of customers while delivering handsome profits to backers – even if the plants fail.

A more efficient system would encourage locally based solar power stations that could provide a similar volume of energy at a fraction of the cost.

“We have the opportunity to learn from this costly mistake, and to completely rework the ways South Carolinians get their power,” Holman said. “Instead of spending billions on new, massive, cash-burning plants as the hub of the system, we need smaller and cheaper solar arrays across the state. That saves money and spreads jobs and tax revenue to more communities.”

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