Tag Archives: PURC

State stonewalls public comment on proposed Dominion rate hike

November 10, 2020

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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 […]

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S.C. lawmakers continue tight grip on PSC elections

September 23, 2020

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Update: The Legislature on Sept. 23, 2020, elected four newcomers to the S.C. Public Service Commission: Carolyn “Carolee” Williams, District 1; Stephen “Mike” Caston, District 3; Headen Thomas, District 5; and Delton Powers, District 7. By RICK BRUNDRETT For many South Carolinians, the size of their utility bills ultimately rests with state lawmakers. Not only […]

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Santee Cooper’s $100K-plus club doubles in less than 10 years

February 26, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As lawmakers this week consider sale and management proposals involving Santee Cooper, one issue that likely won’t get much attention is the growth in recent years of well-paid workers at the state-owned utility. Of Santee Cooper’s approximately 1,650 full-time employees, 312, or 18.9% of the total, receive a base annual salary of […]

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PURC legislative members took junkets to utility industry-sponsored events

February 19, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT From 2007 through 2016, five longtime legislative members of a panel that nominates candidates to the S.C. Public Service Commission each attended at least two out-of-state events sponsored by utility-industry trade groups, records show. The total taxpayer cost of the trips by the five lawmakers who sit on the six-legislator, 10-member State […]

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State law violated: PURC fails to submit annual reviews of PSC members

January 24, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee violated state law in recent years by not giving the General Assembly annual performance reviews of individual S.C. Public Service Commission members, who set utility rates for residents and businesses statewide, a review by The Nerve found. Timing could be everything. Before the V.C. Summer nuclear project collapsed […]

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PSC seats in limbo again after legislatively controlled panel delays nominations

January 14, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another convoluted legislative process for selecting six-figure state Public Service Commission members, who can greatly affect utility bills for many South Carolinians. The State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC) was scheduled to screen a total of 17 candidates over two days last week for four open seats on […]

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Ex-lawmaker withdraws as PSC candidate; legislators still control nominations, elections

January 7, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Former longtime state House member Chip Limehouse confirmed Monday he is no longer a candidate for a six-figure seat on the legislatively controlled S.C. Public Service Commission, though another ex-lawmaker is scheduled to be screened Wednesday for a separate PSC seat. Limehouse, a Charleston County Republican who was a House member from […]

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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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S.C.’s massive debt load partly based on misleading state finance report

March 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When it comes to debt, the state of South Carolina is swimming in billions of it. Yet an important report on the state’s finances, issued by Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom – the state’s chief accountant – and considered a key document by credit rating agencies in evaluating state debt, according to an […]

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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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