South Carolina residents and lawmakers are gearing up for the state’s 2020 legislative session beginning in January and the many hot-button issues that are up for debate this year.
One of the issues at top of mind is that of Santee Cooper.
In January, lawmakers will review recommendations for the state-owned utility, and make a decision on the future of the debt-riddled utility company.
With billions of dollars of debt that customers could be on the hook for, many customers are expressing their concern.
Letters To The Editor
Santee Cooper Bailout? – South Strand News
“Santee Cooper is again proving it’s an unaccountable state agency operating in the shadows. For years, the state-owned utility has promised that South Carolina taxpayers won’t have to bear the burden of the nuclear debt. So much so that one of its “Facts are Facts” blog posts is titled “Taxpayers Are Not Responsible For Our Debt.” To quote the post, “FACT: Our debt will be paid off through our revenues, and not by tax dollars.” Lies. Last month Santee Cooper filed a lawsuit against the SC State Fiscal Accountability Authority and the SC Insurance Reserve Fund in an effort to recover the money it lost in the V.C. Summer nuclear fiasco. Both are state agencies. So that means Santee Cooper is seeking a bailout from the state, plain and simple. Many have suspected that this would happen. Santee Cooper kept denying it. The truth always comes out. Santee Cooper can’t fix itself and will have to depend on taxpayers to dig itself out.”
– Lee Padgett, Georgetown
Letter To The Editor: Santee Cooper – Charleston Chronicle
“Since 2012, Santee Cooper, the state-owned and largest utility, has increased rates by 15% to build the VC Summer nuclear plant that ultimately failed. The immediate impact felt by laid-off workers and the local rural community was horrendous enough but the fall-out will continue for years to come because of the lingering debt of $10 billion. Rates are expected to increase unless major changes take place.
This is a real negative impact on low-income, marginalized communities where regular, everyday folks working 2-3 jobs, lack transportation make real-life decisions about keeping the lights on. Santee Cooper is conducting a getting to “know the CEO” tour of our state with “movers and shakers” but where is the concern for those folks who can’t afford the admission fee for private receptions or closed forums.”
– Marilyn Hemingway, Charleston
Easy Choice On Santee Cooper – South Strand News
“Now is the perfect opportunity for legislators on both sides of the aisle to sell failed utility Santee Cooper and protect ratepayers from skyrocketing rates.”
– Thomas Herron, Myrtle Beach
Santee Cooper Needs To Be Honest With Ratepayers – Summerville Journal Scene
“Santee Cooper is at it again, trying to pull the wool over all of our eyes. The new executives are trying very hard to make you believe they can pay down the $7 billion-plus of debt without raising rates. A few weeks ago they said they’ve got enough money on hand to start paying down the debt. In that same announcement, they said they are also going to freeze rates for the next five years.”
– Claire Robinson, Columbia