The speaker of the S.C. House announced a committee Wednesday to study the failure of a Fairfield County nuclear project, adding it is possible he could call House lawmakers back to Columbia for a special session.
Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, named state Rep. Peter McCoy, R-Charleston, to lead the 18-member Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee.
From the Midlands, the committee includes state Reps. Nathan Ballentine, R-Richland; Micah Caskey, R-Lexington; Kirkman Finlay, R-Richland; Russell Ott, D-Calhoun; James Smith, D-Richland; and House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland.
Lucas said the committee will study what went wrong with the joint SCANA-Santee Cooper nuclear project and determine a “viable plan that best serves the interests” of the state’s power customers.
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“Based upon the multi-billion dollar disaster at V.C. Summer (Nuclear Station) and the nearly 6,000 workers who have lost their jobs, it is obvious that our current standard for energy development in South Carolina is flawed and in need of reform,” Lucas said. “Acting impulsively could potentially create greater turmoil for thousands of ratepayers who have spent their hard-earned paychecks on a service they will never receive.”
The state “has a responsibility to fully investigate this situation and ensure ratepayers do not experience this kind of failure again,” Lucas added.
The state Senate also has formed a committee to investigate why the nuclear construction project failed. No dates have been announced for when the House or Senate committees will meet.
Lucas’ office said he could call the House back to Columbia for a special session if the special panel determines legislative action is necessary.