From Scott Carlberg

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.