COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina lawmakers have rejected all bids to buy or manage state-owned utility Santee Cooper and the House and Senate appear to disagree on what to do next.
“Today was a great day for ratepayers and employees of Santee Cooper,” state Sen. Larry Grooms posted on his Facebook page. “The experts agreed with what I’ve been saying all along, keeping Santee Cooper is the best option to offer lower rates and reliable energy to customers.”
The House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill Thursday with some ideas to reform Santee Cooper, but also to create a committee of three House members and three senators with expert help to continue to negotiate with NextEra Energy of Florida to sell the utility.
An hour later, the Senate Finance Commission rejected the initial bids but created a subcommittee to come up with robust reforms to Santee Cooper. It was not told to reopen negotiations with NextEra.
The Senate Subcommittee will consider reform measures to improve Santee Cooper for years to come.