The nuclear plants fiasco in Fairfield County has proven, yet again, that too many of our elected and appointed representatives are not willing to take on powerful corporations when they take advantage of consumers and taxpayers.
First, the Legislature passed a law that made it much easier for utilities to charge consumers for construction of facilities that offered no immediate or guaranteed benefit to them; then, the Public Service Commission provided no accountability when those utility companies mandated multiple rate increases over a number of years; and, finally, our Legislature simply sat and watched as the warning signs of cost overruns and construction delays continued to pile up.
Throughout all of this, the lobbyists for the utilities continued to pour money into our legislative process year after year.
This is an opportunity for voters to carefully watch our elected and appointed representatives (from the governor down to the PSC) to see what substantive actions they take. If they don’t stop the utilities from keeping the billions of dollars that have been spent — and from charging us billions more — with no tangible outcomes for our state and its consumers, we should, as voters, exercise our nuclear option in the voting booth.
We must stop rewarding and ignoring incompetence, complacency, greed and corruption.
If the project is not completed, or if ratepayers are not held harmless, no elected or appointed incumbent should be considered safe 15 months from now.
Co-Founder, American Party of South Carolina