January 17, 2018


Powerful State House panel behind blueprint for South Carolina’s nuclear push

PURC Report

By RICK BRUNDRETT Nearly a decade ago, an influential state legislative committee quietly released a report advocating a quick expansion of nuclear energy in South Carolina, claiming, for instance, the small state might face power shortages and blackouts by 2016. Those dire predictions didn’t come true. As the now-abandoned V.C. Summer construction project in Fairfield County […]

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January 10, 2018


What S.C. lawmakers aren’t telling the public about the failed V.C. Summer project

By RICK BRUNDRETT Last summer’s stunning news that South Carolina Electric & Gas and its partner, state-owned Santee Cooper, would abandon a major expansion of the V.C. Summer nuclear plant – after some $9 billion was sunk into the project – sent public officials scrambling for answers in the wake of public outrage. State and […]

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December 12, 2017


2012 Nerve Story: Critics Question Rate Increases for Nuclear Plant

V.C. Summer Nuclear Station

In 2012, an intern at The Nerve asked editor Rick Brundrett if she could do a story on a utility law called the Base Load Review Act. Katie Geer wanted to explore the law that allowed SCANA to charge customers up front to build two nuclear plants. Back then, no one was writing much about […]

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December 1, 2017

Comments Off on People who live in glass houses…

People who live in glass houses…


Lawmakers are against wasteful spending – in the counties By HANNAH HILL In a House Ways and Means subcommittee meeting this week, state lawmakers expressed great concern about the responsibility of county spending practices. Let’s be clear: County spending habits are technically no concern of the state, from a jurisdictional perspective. However, the law requires […]

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November 17, 2017


Taking the Honest Approach

South Carolina Pension

Fixing South Carolina’s pension system requires realism By BRYCE FIEDLER The Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) – the agency responsible for administering the state’s retirement plans – recently released its annual report assessing the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). In a huge upswing from previous years, the state’s pension investments performed very well during FY16-17, […]

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November 3, 2017


Legislative Power-Sharing – with the People?

SC House Energy Committee

Lawmakers want to even the playing field between themselves and the people By HANNAH HILL “…When we have to go back to the ratepayers and explain what we’ve done and things like that, you know the first thing they’re gonna say is ‘Well, why’s it three/two? Why can’t we be at the same table?’” – […]

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October 13, 2017


Meet the Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council

SC Governor

Why Can’t the Governor Pick His Own Advisers? By BRYCE FIEDLER As it turns out, the now suspended V.C. Summer project isn’t the only nuclear concern in South Carolina. The Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council (NAC) met on October 11th to discuss the troubles facing a poorly managed plutonium fuel construction operation at the Savannah River […]

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October 7, 2017


You gotta serve someone

In the nukes debacle, Santee Cooper seemed alone and sleepy By BRYCE FIEDLER Chairman Russel Ott appeared frustrated sitting across from outgoing Santee Cooper CEO Lonnie Carter during Tuesday’s House Utility Ratepayer Protection committee hearing. “So you don’t know why the board’s not here?” asked Ott. “I didn’t know they were invited. I don’t think […]

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October 6, 2017


Technical colleges dinged

Comparisons raise questions about how well they’re working for whom By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ When it comes to higher ed, powerhouse four-year schools like USC and Clemson understandably get most of the attention in South Carolina and beyond — and much of it is positive, interspersed with concerns about mounting costs. At the same time, in […]

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September 29, 2017

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An Agency Left Unchecked

Problems stem from lack of accountability By BRYCE FIEDLER Every government body deals with its share of problems. In an ideal world, proper oversight systems are in place so that when those issues arise, the right people can be held accountable. But what happens when a government department answers to virtually no one? Look no […]

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