Time runs out on SC Energy Security Act


The South Carolina State legislative session ended May 9 which ended chances for SC House Bill 5118 to pass this session. The bill has been the focus of a lot of scrutiny with some praising the bill for providing the chance for South Carolina to produce its own energy and be self-sustaining; for example, bringing the Canadys Power Station Plant online as a natural gas facility. Others pointed out environmental concerns and also disagreed with the reduction of the number of regulators on the Public Service Commission which was felt would lead to lack of oversight reminiscent of the V.C. Summer nuclear facility failure.

The bill passed in the SC House and went to the Senate for approval earlier this year. It stalled when the SC Senate Majority Leader asked fellow legislators to slow down regarding the bill. As a compromise the Senate did pass a resolution acknowledging the work the SC House did in identifying important issues on this matter and committing to further study South Carolina’s energy issues with an intent on passing legislation early next session. The resolution, according to Senator Tom Davis, is to “reassure the utilities, the people of South Carolina and capital markets that provide money to the energy sector that we are taking this, and will take this, seriously in a comprehensive way that will address all aspects of energy generation and transmission.” Without H.5118 becoming law, Dominion Energy and Santee Cooper do not have the “go ahead” to turn the Canadys Power Station Plant into a natural gas facility. Davis went on to say the Senate would need to “take it up over the summer and fall and comeback in January prepared to reach some sort of specific conclusion with the same specificity that the House did.”