Tag Archives: State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee

Santee Cooper deep in debt, still spending millions on ecodevo projects

August 12, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Santee Cooper’s electric customers are on the hook for billions in debt payments, but that hasn’t stopped the state-owned utility from spending millions in recent years on economic development projects. The Nerve’s review of utility records provided recently under the state’s open-records law found that from May 2018 through May of this […]

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Santee Cooper board still has expired, vacant seats despite ‘reform’ law

June 18, 2021

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Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT Of the 12 seats on the board governing state-owned utility Santee Cooper, two are vacant while seven members are serving past their expired terms. A new law that purportedly will reform Santee Cooper – pushed by lawmakers after they couldn’t decide to sell the debt-burdened utility – doesn’t change the selection process […]

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Santee Cooper, Ports Authority board members paid thousands for part-time gig

April 16, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Unlike panels overseeing other state agencies, the governing boards of the state-created Ports Authority and utility Santee Cooper are paid thousands of dollars annually for their part-time jobs, records show. Most members of the Ports Authority Board of Directors made $11,700 last year, while members of the Santee Cooper Board of Directors […]

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Lawmaker-controlled panel violates state law – again

January 6, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has once again violated a state law requiring that it provide the General Assembly with written individual evaluations of S.C. Public Service Commission members. The seven-member PSC’s authority includes setting utility rates for investor-owned gas and electric utilities. The PSC is holding additional public hearings this week on […]

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Hundreds of Santee Cooper employees receive ‘incentive’ bonuses

December 4, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT “Incentive” bonuses totaling more than $5 million were doled out this year to 1,463 Santee Cooper employees, with individual cash rewards averaging about $3,500 and topping out at $165,000 for a high-level executive, The Nerve found in a review of utility records. The records, provided by the state-created utility under the S.C. […]

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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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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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