House leaders want the Senate to move more quickly on nuclear-related legislation, but say a Senate resolution delaying the state Public Service Commission from acting also needs more work.
The bill would “Prohibit the Public Service Commission from issuing an order for requests made pursuant to the Base Load Review Act until 90 days after the South Carolina General Assembly adjourns sine die for the 2018 legislative session.” The measure tries to prevent the PSC from approving any rate requests or the proposed merger between SCANA and Dominion Energy until at least November.
The bill passed the Senate Tuesday and was presented in the House a day later, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee. At the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee meeting Thursday, Rep. Peter McCoy, R-Charleston, said the bill needs some amending.
“What the Senate sent over to us is absolutely unacceptable,” he said. “It’s not something that the House is going to accept. There will absolutely be amendments and changes made to this resolution. From my talks with leadership and (Judiciary Committee chairman Greg) Delleney and others, this particular issue is going to be amended at full committee. So expect a change at full committee.”
Senators say they want to prevent a vote by state regulators until they have time to debate changes to state law.
And with that, the subcommittee voted to advance the resolution to the full committee.
The bill also includes an experimental rate order to revise electric rates. It is one of several legislative proposals designed to address utility rates and policies after SCE&G and Santee Cooper decided in 2017 to abandon construction of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County. Several bills have been proposed to protect ratepayers from continuing to pay for construction on the now-defunct project and to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future.