Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee is finally hearing from ratepayers following the shutdown of construction at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant.
On Tuesday, nearly two dozen people spoke out to voice their concerns.
"The decision you make either helps or hurt your constituents," says Allen Olsen, ratepayer. "This hurt your constituents."
"Please do something to help all of us, because our lives, yours, mine, depend upon SCE&G dissolving," says Patricia Lutz.
Some voiced that they were concerned that the company had become a monopoly in South Carolina.
"I think I should have a choice to buy my power from a different company," says David Isenhower.
Others explained that ratepayers were destined to take the majority of the hit if the construction failed, thanks to the Base Load Review Act.
"When you adopted the base load review act you sent a strong message," says John Ruoff. "What's your job Mr. Scott, what's your job Mr. and Mrs. commissioner? It's to get this blooming plant built and they did their job."
The BLRA, voted on by lawmakers in 2007, allowed SCE&G to continue raising rates throughout the building of two nuclear reactors.
Several people who spoke during the hearing called for a repeal of that act, as well as the creation of an individual consumer advocacy group that could put rate payers first in the future.
"These entities knew this was a failed project, but yet they continued to go forward and ask these commissions for hundreds of millions of dollars," says Representative Peter McCoy, R-Charleston. "Knowing the fact that they knew that this project wasn't going forward is a problem."
Lawmakers say now they are looking for a way forward.
"I think everything is on the table and that's what we're hearing today," says Representative Russell Ott, D-Calhoun County. "There are a lot of moving parts that led to this disaster and that's ultimately where we're trying to get so that we can improve."
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