The South Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the a Public Service Commission decision approving the construction of two nuclear power plants 25 miles north of Columbia.
The facilities located at Jenkinsville planned by South Carolina Electric & Gas and state-owned utility Santee Cooper, were opposed by environmental group Friends of the Earth, which filed an appeal to the high court.
Friends of the Earth asserted that the Public Service Commission was mistaken when it agreed that SCE&G had clearly established a need for the new plants, especially considering the current recession and the fact that the exact design of the proposed facilities has not been tried before. The environmental organization argued that SCE&G is too small to be the first utility to construct such facilities, and also asserted that a new standard of review should be used because this is the first application the commission has ruled on that bears the names of two different utilities.
The high court said that SCE&G has established a need for the facilities and approved the proposed rate increases.