Tag Archives: Office of Regulatory Staff

Some state agency heads start new fiscal year with big pay raises

July 7, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has given five-figure pay hikes to a group of state agency heads, and a new law empowers the panel to recommend raises next fiscal year for certain statewide elected officials. The Agency Head Salary Commission (AHSC) on Thursday– the start of the new fiscal year – approved the […]

Continue reading...

‘Exempt’ state agencies staffed with $100K+ workers

December 18, 2020

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Two months ago, The Nerve asked the state-created South Carolina Research Authority for a list of its employees making at least $50,000 annually. In one-sentence written response, the SCRA – which has a state mandate to “advance the general welfare” of South Carolinians – said only that it “does not have taxpayer […]

Continue reading...

State stonewalls public comment on proposed Dominion rate hike

November 10, 2020

0 Comments

V.C. Summer Nuclear Station

By RICK BRUNDRETT Dominion Energy electric customers in South Carolina are angry. They were promised a rate cut following the 2017 collapse of the $9 billion V.C. Summer nuclear project. But Virginia-based Dominion now wants a significant rate hike. And the state panel that will decide whether to approve the nearly 8% rate hike has […]

Continue reading...

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

October 15, 2019

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

February 12, 2019

0 Comments

  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 […]

Continue reading...

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

January 23, 2019

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

August 8, 2018

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

April 18, 2018

5 Comments

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, […]

Continue reading...

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

January 24, 2018

1 Comment

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 […]

Continue reading...

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

January 17, 2018

19 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...