COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP) - Two South Carolina State Senators are calling for a special session of the General Assembly to reconvene after the abandonment of the V.C. Summer nuclear project in Fairfield County.
The statement, released Friday says:
The decision came after the board of state-owned utility Santee Cooper voted Monday to halt construction. The reactors were set to be among the first new nuclear reactors built in the U.S. in decades, but the vote by Santee Cooper's board on Monday likely ends their future.
"There just needs to be a time out, a pause, whatever you want to call it until the General Assembly has the opportunity to understand in detail what has happened here," said Setzler, who was one of 25 Senate sponsors of a 2007 law that allowed utilities to increase rates to pay for the plants before they ever generated power.
A different group of bipartisan lawmakers calling themselves the Energy Caucus also called for a special session this week to review that law and to consider firing the Public Service Commission, which has to approve all of SCE&G's rate hikes.
Neither Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman of Florence nor House Speaker Jay Lucas of Hartsville has called for a special session, but Lucas did release a statement, saying.
Gov. Henry McMaster's ability to call a special session was greatly hampered by a state Supreme Court ruling six years ago. His office has said there need to be exhaustive legislative hearings to figure out how to prevent something like this from happening again.
Both utilities have increased their rates several times over the past decade to pay for construction of the reactors. The project accounts for 18 percent of SCE&G's residential electric bills and more than 8 percent of Santee Cooper's. Neither company plans to refund a dime.