The ongoing surprises of Santee Cooper can be gone in a relative heartbeat if it is sold to an investor-owned utility. Period. No more debates about what kind of surprise is next. Done.

The State of South Carolina has a lot of other issues on its agenda. Santee Cooper is an obvious decision that can make way for other needs to be addressed.

No supposed oversight or added layers of process will create the consumer protections afforded by the processes in place. Added bureaucracy is, well, added bureaucracy. No layers help if they are not well-managed. That has been evident already.

The State of South Carolinas directs Santee Cooper to do or not do certain things. The opposite happens. People decry the behavior at Santee Cooper and call for a house-cleaning. There is none. Santee Cooper is asked to be more forthright, so Santee Cooper’s board holds private executive sessions.

The running list of issues with this utility is pretty amazing. Never know what will turn up next, as if it is part of a competition, a wheel of surprises for the next company concern.

  • Any more bond rating surprises?
  • Any more money that pops up to pay settlements?
  • Any more partial refunds to customers?
  • Any more failed projects?
  • Any more executive bonuses?
  • Any more board perks like health insurance?
  • Any more added executives?
  • Any more executives gone with packages?
  • Any more surprise social media issues?

Spin the wheel. Take another chance.

Were Santee Cooper a company with investors there would be change. There would have to be change. Accountability. Improvements would be crystal clear and quick. Customers would not be burdened by financial decisions of people who retreat to executive sessions. The numbers would be public.

In the end, though, if the State of South Carolina does not eliminate this dilemma, does the State of South Carolina endorse this game?