STATE w-update: Energy Is Not the State's Business

The government has proven — time and again — that it’s not very good at running things, and this is no exception.” Gresham Barrett, explaining that a true solution will get the government out of the business of running a utility.

STATE: PEC’s Barrett in The State newspaper: “The state government needs to get out of the business of running a utility. Period.”

 

Columbia – Palmetto Energy Coalition Chairman Gresham Barrett weighed in on South Carolina’s ongoing energy debate in this morning’s edition of The State. 

“The government has proven — time and again — that it’s not very good at running things, and this is no exception,” Barrett writes, explaining that a true solution will get the government out of the business of running a utility.

Key excerpts are below and the full piece can be read here.

 

 

RELATED: Dominion Energy will purchase SCANA:

 

http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article192688859.html

 

 

“As legislators discuss the best way out of this energy mess, it is important to remember how we got here and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“First and foremost, we must recognize that the state government needs to get out of the business of running a utility. Period.”

“Santee Cooper is funded entirely by its customers…The only way those customers will ever see relief is for Santee Cooper to be sold.”

“We can pay off our houses, we can pay off our cars, but electricity bills keep coming month after month, and we deserve better. We deserve affordable and reliable energy sources that don’t burden our families, that create jobs and that positively contribute to the state’s economy.”

“It’s time we sell Santee Cooper and get our state government out of the energy business. It’s time to insure SCANA and not its customers pay for that utility’s mistakes. And it’s time to beef up oversight to ensure something like this never happens again.”

Read the full op-ed here.

 

The Palmetto Energy Coalition is a coalition of advocates working to provide a voice for South Carolina residents and businesses in the energy debate as they demand relief from paying for the poor decisions of Santee Cooper and SCANA that have cost the state and its taxpayers billions of dollars. The group, launched in November, believes that it’s time for lawmakers to take action to protect South Carolina consumers by getting our government out of the business of owning and running a utility by selling Santee Cooper to a utility with a strong record of reliability and reasonable rates, giving us relief from paying for a nuclear facility that will never be completed and strengthening the state’s oversight of our energy providers.

For more information on the coalition, visit http://www.palmettoenergycoalition.org/.

UPDATE: PEC Statement on Proposed Acquisition of SCANA by Dominion Energy Columbia, S.C. (January 3, 2018) – Palmetto Energy Coalition Chairman Gresham Barrett issued the following statement following Dominion Energy’s announcement that it will seek to acquire SCANA Corp. in a deal that would only partially repay electricity customers: “While today’s announcement takes some steps in the right direction, it leaves much to be desired for thousands of South Carolina families struggling to pay rates for electricity they didn’t and won’t receive. The proposed payments and partial reduction in rates pales in comparison to the more than $2 billion Santee Cooper and SCANA / SCE&G customers have already paid and the nearly $5,000 each SCE&G customer will still be on the hook for under this agreement, while the management who got us into this mess keep their jobs. “Furthermore, this proposed deal only spotlights the need to address the ongoing damage being inflicted on Santee Cooper’s customers, especially the electric cooperative customers, who are still left entirely holding the bag and who can only see relief through a sale of the state-owned power company. This further reinforces that the government shouldn’t be in the business of owning a utility and that oversight should be increased to insure this never happens again.”

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