Columbia, S.C. – S.C. Club for Growth today launched a statewide radio campaign alerting South Carolinians to the ongoing crisis at Santee Cooper and the state’s Electric Cooperatives, and urging citizens to contact state legislators at SellSanteeCooper.com.
The ads will run on local stations in the Columbia, Florence, Sumter, Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill, Greenville, and Charleston radio markets.
Honey, have you seen our power bill? It’s so high!
The nuclear failure being passed on to Santee Cooper and Electric Co-op customers… it’s ridiculous.
We’ll pay thousands in higher rates over the next forty years!
We need to call our State Senator and Representatives right now… and get them into gear.
This is scary.
Visit SellSanteeCooper.com to see what you’ll pay for state government’s energy failure, if Santee Cooper isn’t sold.
ISSUE BACKGROUND – WHY SANTEE COOPER MUST BE SOLD
Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned electric utility, is on the hook for more than $8 billion in principal and interest for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project. Unlike its partner in this debacle – SCE&G’s parent company SCANA – Santee Cooper does not require external approval for rate hikes, and it didn’t need the Base Load Review Act (BLRA) to charge its customers for the huge costs it incurred at V.C. Summer.
That means a repeal of the BLRA won’t help the direct customers of Santee Cooper or the hundreds of thousands of other customers across the state served by the Electric Cooperatives who get their electricity from the state-owned utility. Also, SCANA has shareholders who can front some of its debt, but with no shareholders, Santee Cooper customers are the only source for repayment of its debt, unless it is sold.
While SCE&G customers have paid more than $2 billion towards the SCANA portion of the V.C. Summer debt, Santee Cooper customers have paid much less so far – approximately $600,000. That leaves over $8 billion of debt remaining to be paid – by Santee Cooper customers – over the next 38 years until the debt is paid off in 2056. A recent report by the Palmetto Promise Institute and independent economists projects that future Santee Cooper electricity bills per residential customer must increase anywhere from $166 to upwards of $750 per year for nearly 40 years, while the state-owned utility’s industrial customers would likely have their bills increased by as much as $80,000 per month.
Continued high rates, so-called “management arrangements” or taxpayer bailouts are unacceptable solutions. South Carolinians already pay the highest electricity rates in the South, and some of the highest in the nation.
Enough is enough. Regular people across South Carolina have done their part. It’s time for South Carolina’s leaders to pursue a quick, market-based sale of Santee Cooper that protects customers and taxpayers from further pain. There is no scenario in which Santee Cooper and its underlying assets will rise in value. In fact, its problems are only going to fester.
South Carolina Club for Growth is a network of South Carolinians, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. We work to promote public policies that promote economic growth primarily through legislative involvement, issue advocacy, research, training and educational activity.
The Club’s website can be found at http://www.scclubforgrowth.org
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