Was Governor McMaster's address the 'kiss of death' for Dominion deal?

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Governor Henry McMaster stepped up to the podium for his first State of the State address after rising to the state's highest office exactly one year ago today.

From school choice and the opioid epidemic to offshore drilling and protecting the coast, his speech hit on a number of big issues. One of the biggest issues was the state's energy future, after billions of dollars were spent on a failed project.

It was a soaring speech that touched on Education, tax cuts, and battling the state's opioid epidemic.

"So let us seize this day and each that follows," Governor Henry McMaster said.

But two abandoned nuclear reactors in Fairfield County seemed to capture a lot of Governor Henry McMaster's attention.

"The customers must either get their reactors or get their money back," McMaster said, to applause.

The governor didn't mince words about the controversial Base Load Review Act, a law from 2007 that allowed utilities like SCE&G to raise rates time-and-time again.

Related: READ: Full transcripts of Gov. Henry McMaster's 2018 State of the State address

"Send me a bill that continues to place the financial burden on the ratepayers, and I'll veto it," McMaster said, to a bipartisan standing ovation.

It was a standing ovation that could signal the end of a Virginia company's plan to buy SCE&G and SCANA. Dominion Energy has said it'll pull out without part of the controversial law intact.

"Dominion is shaking in their boots right now. Dominion made one big mistake, and that is, they inserted the General Assembly into their contract with SCANA," Sen. Mike Fanning (D- Fairfield) said.

Related: READ: SC Gubernatorial responses to McMaster's first State of the State address

"I think that Dominion has figured out just over the last week that although we appreciate them being involved, we appreciate the offer that they've made, we need more," Sen. Shane Massey (R- Edgefield) said.

"I do believe that tonight was probably the kiss of death for that momentum that was the Dominion deal," Fanning said.

Even Rep. James Smith, the Democrat who might face off against McMaster for governor didn't disagree with the governor's stance. However, if the Dominion deal doesn't succeed, and other deals arise, Smith wants more transparency from McMaster.

"We need a process, a process that is a joint process between the House and the Senate where all of these offers are laid out on the table in full view of the public and they can be properly and independently evaluated," Rep. James Smith (D- Richland) said.

Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant, who is also running for governor, said he feels the best solution for the nuclear debacle is to privatize utilities in South Carolina.

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