Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Two of the top leaders in the South Carolina Senate are calling for a special session of the legislature to deal with the situation caused by the decision to shut down a reactor project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.
Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey (R-Edgefield) and Minority Leader Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington) are requesting the action, and sent a letter to Senate Pro Tem with their concerns. They want lawmakers to consider a resolution that would stop any actions by state agencies on V.C. Summer until lawmaker reconvene in January.
Earlier this week, Santee Cooper and SCE&G announced plans to abandoned a multi-year, $9 billion project to build two new reactors at the Jenkinsville nuclear facility. The decision led to 5,600 people losing their jobs immediately.
The House and Senate have announced plans to investigate and review the shutdown. But Massey and Setzler are concerned that Santee Cooper or the Public Service commission might increase power bills again before the review is complete.
"We believe South Carolinians should have an opportunity to understand what has happened, and the General Assembly should have an opportunity to evaluate the facts, corporate responsibility, and the state's energy policy, before the utilities seek additional increases," they wrote.
Earlier this week, a bipartisan energy caucus was formed in the legislature to look at what actions they could take. Lawmakers are considering making changes to the Public Service Commission and laws that allowed SCE&G to raise rates before the project was complete. The company raised rates on customers nine times since the project was announced.
SCE&G has also said it's pursuing a plan that to recoup losses on the project that would require a rate increase on bills that would last 60 years.