COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A day after Senate leaders created a committee to review the failed nuclear reactor project at the VC Summer plant in Jenkinsville, the House has followed suit with the creation of its own committee.
House Speaker Jay Lucas has created the House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee in response to the abandonment of the SCE&G and Santee Cooper project that was funded partly by rate increases of nearly 18 percent over the past several years.
Lucas said in a statement that the thousands of jobs lost and the end of the project moved him to form the committee.
"Based upon the multi-billion dollar disaster at VC Summer and the nearly 6,000 workers who have lost their jobs, it is obvious that our current standard for energy development in South Carolina is flawed and in need of reform. Acting impulsively could potentially create greater turmoil for thousands of ratepayers who have spent their hard-earned paychecks on a service they will never receive," Lucas said.
Eighteen House members were selected to join the committee: Carl Anderson (District 103-Georgetown), Nathan Ballentine (District 71-Richland), Bart Blackwell (District 81-Aiken), Micah Caskey (District 89-Lexington), Heather Crawford (District 68-Horry), Bill Crosby (District 117-Charleston), Sylleste Davis (District 100-Berkeley), Kirkman Finlay (District 75-Richland), Mike Forrester (District 34-Spartanburg), Wendell Gillard (District 111-Charleston), Kevin Hardee (District 105-Horry), Pat Henegan (District 54-Marlboro), Bill Hixon (District 83-Aiken), David Mack (District 109-Charleston), Russell Ott (District 93-Calhoun), Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope (District 47-York), Todd Rutherford (District 74-Richland), James Smith (District 72-Richland). Chairman Bill Sandifer (District 2-Oconee).
Lucas said the panel will begin meeting soon. If a conclusion is reached by the panel, Lucas said he'll call a special session before lawmakers return in January.
Senate Pro Temp Hugh Leatherman, meanwhile, created the VC Summer Nuclear Project Review Committee on Tuesday to look at every aspect of the failed project.