SCANA exec tries soothing public's worry about paying more for failed nuclear plant

SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh (WCIV)

How to fix a failed $9 billion nuclear power project .

Utility officials and state lawmakers met Thursday in North Charleston to discuss exactly that, as financial fallout from the V.C. Summer Nuclear meltdown continues to ripple across the Palmetto State.

"We have always been committed to be transparent about what we've done. We believe we have nothing to hide," SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh said at North Charleston City Hall Thursday night. "We're willing to share that information."

Marsh addressed numerous concerns from the Charleston County Legislative Delegation about the failed power plant expansion in Fairfield County, and talk of customers being billed $2.2 billion over the next 60 years to bail out the project.

There's now a move in the Statehouse to stop SCE&G from being able to do that.

House Speaker Jay Lucas said Wednesday a bipartisan committee will study "every possible option" for better protecting customers who have already "spent their hard-earned paychecks on a service they will never receive."

Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman announced the creation Tuesday of a similar committee.

Last week, SCE&G and state-owned Santee Cooper bailed on the V.C. Summer project after jointly spending about $10 billion.

A 2007 state law allows utilities to bill customers in advance and, if a project fails, recover their investments.

"We need time to unravel what went wrong and what the fixes are going to be to make sure the public is protected from bearing the burden of this loss," said Rep. Leon Stavrinakis.

SCANA officials are scheduled to meet again with lawmakers and the public on Wednesday, Aug. 23, in Columbia.

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