COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The efforts to hold electric companies accountable for the nuclear energy project fall-out, and protect customers who paid higher rates for reactors for years, continues.
Friday's meeting was in response to the recently revealed report on the nuclear project many believe raised red flags against it, the Bechtel report. The electric company's testimony began with an apology.
"I have said this before, but I want to repeat it for the committee. We are very sorry that we're in this situation," SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh said.
The meeting became more of an interrogation—lawmakers, questioning SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh and other company executives on why there will be no new nuclear reactors out at V.C. Summer.
But, will electric customers be stuck with the bill to deconstruct the site, $2.2 billion? That depends. SCE&G announced they could settle, with government help.
Rep. Peter McCoy (R- Charleston), who co-chairs the committee asked: "Is your organization making any guarantees, promises, or plans to pay back ratepayers for a project that is no longer going to be available for them?"
Marsh replied: "We have made it clear that we are willing to participate in a comprehensive settlement plan that will allow us to attempt to address that further."
The bombshell that took up most of the hour-long discussion, is the Bechtel report. The once-secret report is critical of the project—and was conducted more than one year before companies decided to call-off the work. Should it have been public?
McCoy: "So, to me, I want to understand what you're saying. So, you do not think an omission of material fact is a misrepresentation?"
Marsh: "I don't know if I can respond to a general statement. I'm not an attorney. I'm not going to try to interpret the law. But with respect to the Bechtel report, it was confidential. It was prepared in anticipation of litigation."
SCANA claims the report was confidential, only for their eyes. But the panel of lawmakers seemed to agree it should have been made known to customers and to the government oversight groups.