Dominion CEO to senators: In vetting deal, be deliberative 'with all deliberate speed'

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The room was a bit more cordial for Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell on Wednesday when he stepped back into the ring for round two against senators who had a whole lot of questions for the leader of the Virginia-based company trying to buy SCE&G.

Senators like Majority Leader Shane Massey (R-Edgefield) still feel uneasy that SCE&G customers will have to pay a bit each month for reactors that won't be built – even if those customers get a thousand dollar refund.

"Mr. Farrell, how much does Dominion expect to make on this deal over the next 20 years?" Massey asked.

"I don't have an estimate for you," he answered.

Meanwhile, some senators have said they might need more time to ask more questions about the deal. But if they delay the deal until next year, the deal might die, Dominion says.

"I think you should be absolutely deliberate, but I think to borrow a phrase from a Supreme Court case, I think we need to move with all deliberate speed," Farrell said.

Senator Mike Fanning (D-Fairfield) said – on that point – Farrell is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

"My grandpoppy said, 'There's nothing like the second kick of a mule.' At some point, we got to stand up and say, 'We moved too quickly last time. We failed to protect ratepayers. We failed to protect an investment in South Carolina. We're not going to make that mistake again," he said.

Senators also pointed out all the ads that Dominion is running across the state. Some of the places where those ads are playing – like Myrtle Beach or Rock Hill – don't have SCE&G customers. Senators like Massey and Fanning feel Dominion might be confusing people in those areas. Dominion's CEO said he'd check on that.

Dominion also pointed out that no other good deals to purchase SCANA have come forward from other companies.

Dominion believes it still presents the brightest energy future for South Carolinians.

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