Tag Archives: Office of Regulatory Staff

Long legislative tradition of putting ex-colleagues, relatives in high-paying public jobs

October 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The possibility that two more ex-lawmakers could join the state Public Service Commission – with six-figure salaries – highlights a longstanding tradition of legislators giving well-paying jobs to their former colleagues, relatives and friends. On Friday, the six-legislator, 10-member State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC), which nominates PSC candidates for […]

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Taxpayer cost grows for high-priced consultants in wake of V.C. Summer fiasco

February 12, 2019

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Since the 2017 collapse of the V.C. Summer nuclear project – which the Legislature made possible through a quietly passed law 10 years earlier – lawmakers and state utility regulators collectively have spent at least $729,000 on consultants hired to give them advice or issue reports. The total includes $379,203 this […]

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S.C. lawmakers likely to fill PSC seat with one of two insiders

January 23, 2019

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Update: On 2/6/19, the Legislature in a joint session voted 99-1 to elect former longtime PSC attorney Florence Belser to the congressional District 2 PSC seat after incumbent Elliott Elam withdrew from the race. The only lawmaker who voted against Belser was Rep. Jonathon Hill, R-Anderson. By RICK BRUNDRETT After nearly a year and a […]

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S.C. legislative panel to consider PSC insiders for ‘do-over’ PSC election

August 8, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT An incumbent state Public Service Commission member, a past commissioner and an ex-PSC attorney are among six candidates who have applied for a PSC seat in a “do-over” election imposed by lawmakers in May. The former PSC attorney, who dropped out of a May race for another PSC seat, recently moved so […]

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No V.C. Summer concerns raised by obscure state panel that includes governor

April 18, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT During the years-long V.C. Summer nuclear project, a little-known committee including the governor and four other elected statewide officials never met once to discuss the now-abandoned project. And despite all the controversy surrounding the $9 billion debacle, the Santee Cooper advisory board – made up of the governor, attorney general, comptroller general, […]

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State utility watchdog rarely bared teeth in V.C. Summer debacle

January 24, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the years, the state’s utility watchdog acted more like a lapdog in reviewing rate hikes for the now-abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear project. The S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), which under state law is supposed to represent ratepayers’ interests, didn’t oppose any of the nine South Carolina Electric & Gas rate […]

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

January 17, 2018

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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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