COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) The Latest on a rate cuts after a nuclear project failed in South Carolina (all times local):
South Carolina lawmakers have approved a temporary rate cut of nearly 15 percent for customers of a private utility who paid billions for two nuclear reactors that never produced power.
The proposal passed both the House and Senate on Wednesday with margins well over the votes needed to override a promised veto from Gov. Henry McMaster.
McMaster promised to veto the bill because he thinks lawmakers should have cut rates by 18 percent to cover all the rate hikes South Carolina Electric & Gas customers paid for the reactors, which were abandoned last summer.
Virginia-based Dominion Energy again warned lawmakers that passing the rate cuts for six months could cause it to pull out of a proposed merger with SCE&G’s parent company SCANA Corp.
SCE&G has said they will likely sue because it thinks only regulators can set electric rates.
Customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas could see their rates cut by nearly 15 percent, under a compromise plan being considered by state legislators after the company oversaw two failed nuclear plants.
But lower rates aren’t the only thing at stake. If lawmakers approve the proposal Wednesday, it could also scuttle a proposed SCE&G merger with Virginia-based Dominion Energy.
The proposal endorsed by a House-Senate conference committee Wednesday after weeks of negotiation also pushed back a decision by regulators until the end of the year on how to split the debt between customers and shareholders of SCE&G’s parent company SCANA Corp.
Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday renewed his promise to veto any bill that doesn’t cut rates by a full 18 percent.