The South Carolina legislature on Tuesday tackled a thorny issue: How to handle the sale of Santee Cooper. Consumers concerned about the mammoth debt from the terminated V.C. Summer nuclear plant should keep their eyes on the key criteria of a possible sale, as reported in the Post and Courier:
“But first a company must meet a pass-fail test. An application won’t be considered at all if a company doesn’t have adequate experience or financial backing. It also must spell out how it will pay off Santee Cooper’s roughly $8 billion debt and exactly which assets the company wants to buy.”
A key: Any proposal that doesn’t take care of this debt can leave Santee Cooper customers with the $8 billion (and growing) debt, likely paying for it with rate increases over decades.
In this regard, Gov. Henry McMaster, as reported in the News and Observer, has this view:
“McMaster, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, has been an advocate for selling Santee Cooper, arguing it is the only way to pay off the utility’s nuclear-related debt and ensure its customers don’t end up paying for the abandoned nuclear project.”
This is an important process. An important discussion. It’s is important not to rest – keep up the pace.
There is a lot of complexity to this kind of sale – making it even more important for consumers to keep their eyes on the ball: Follow the debt, follow the news, stay informed. How it is resolved will determine how, or whether or not consumers could foot the bill for an abandoned project.