“The Buck Stops Here,” was a sign on Harry Truman’s desk and spoke volumes about his sense of leadership. Our nation just marked the 75th anniversary of Truman taking the oath of office. Want a decision? Harry made decisions, took action. No sugar-coating. No guessing about meaning. Forthright.

This made me think of where energy bucks stop, and start, too. Particularly with Santee Cooper.

Regular ECC readers know our views about energy leadership – we like good planning, accountability, ability to execute, customer perspective. Readers know we believe consumers should have access to accurate energy information. Excellent stewardship. Insight. The ability to get a job done well.

Let’s talk about where the buck stops for Santee Cooper consumers. Since Santee Cooper is owned by the state, let’s add legislators, too.

The bucks stops when Santee Cooper finds a way to quickly zero the debt. It stops when the company stops exposing its customers to ongoing financial danger. It stops when legislators can trust the company line. It stops when decisions are made.

Instead, Santee Cooper passes the buck. Evades accountability. Engenders chaos. Makes decisions about their public, as a public organization, in private.

For now, the South Carolina Legislature’s Continuing Resolution puts Santee Cooper decisions into the future. Customers and policymakers can lay the groundwork for real change, though.

Santee Cooper customers could have it so different. A public company that answers to its owners and customers, and has deliberate oversight from state and federal experts. (Remember, Santee Cooper has NO oversight from regulators, only its board. A board vote is the only approval needed to raise rates.)

The buck starts with customers, though. Where the buck starts ought to impact where and how the buck stops.

Customers and citizens who want no debt risk, a progressive energy company, and accountable stewardship can tell their legislators to sell Santee Cooper.


Feature image: National Archives