The Office of Regulatory Staff has filed a motion requesting SCE&G and Dominion Energy release all documents related to the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project in Fairfield County, claiming some of those related documents are being deliberately held back.
The ORS filed the motion with the Public Service Commission, asking it to order SCE&G and Dominion Energy to release all documents and investigative requests within 15 days.
“The information in this motion is based on ORS’s information and belief based on documents already collected and reviewed by ORS — too many remain hidden,” the motion reads. Click here to read the 94-page motion.
Governor Henry McMaster previously ordered Santee Cooper, SCE&G’s partner in the failed project, to release all its documents related to V.C. Summer. Santee-Cooper is a state-owned utility, while SCE&G is owned by a publicly-traded holding company SCANA. Dominion Energy is seeking approval to acquire SCANA.
“That is the Bechtel report that I had to force out of Santee Cooper, which is one reason the chairman is no longer the chairman,” McMaster said Thursday. “I had to remove him because they’ve not been forthcoming with the people of South Carolina.”
McMaster claimed Santee Cooper withheld some of the files from an audit done by engineering firm Bechtel which was critical of the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion more than a year before its eventual failure. SCE&G officials had previously argued, including at a House committee hearing last year, that the report is confidential because of a potential lawsuit with the project’s lead contractor Westinghouse.
Acting ORS Director Nanette Edwards thanked McMaster for directing Santee Cooper to make documents provided to the Department of Justice available to ORS.
The motion accuses SCE& and Dominion of failing to comply with the law and its disclosure obligations by providing “unresponsive, incomplete and evasive responses”
“Documents we have discovered indicate SCE&G has been more interested in protecting its profits than the customers,” ORS counsel Matthew Richardson said. “We filed this motion for full disclosure because the truth has to come out.”
Dominion Energy’s merger with SCANA must be approved by the Public Service Commission. Part of the agreement includes Dominion being allowed to continue to charge ratepayers for debt costs related to the V.C. Summer construction.