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Executives of unfinished South Carolina got $9 million in performance bonuses from state utility

South Carolina’s state utility paid bonuses to private execs WP,  May 9 2018  COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s state owned utility paid $9 million in performance bonuses to executives of a private utility for two nuclear reactors that were never finished, according to the public utility and emails turned over to state and federal investigators.

SCANA Corp. even billed taxpayer-supported Santee Cooper $3.2 million for bonuses in August, a month after the utilities abandoned 10 years of construction and planning for the reactors, according to the emails released by Gov. Henry McMaster’s office on Wednesday.

Santee Cooper refused to pay, utility spokeswoman Mollie Gore said.

“I will not approve this invoice,” Senior Vice President for Nuclear Energy Michael Crosby wrote in one email. “I may get over-ridden … but if SCANA cares to push this … CFOs & CEOs will need to get involved.”

Crosby also suggested letting SCANA CEO Jimmy Addison know his company was still seeking performance bonuses after the reactors were abandoned, and suggested that other executives “man-up and ask if he wants to push this,” according to the emails……..

The invoices indicated at least $5 million of bonuses paid to SCANA executives, but Gore said Santee Cooper’s records showed the public utility paid $8.9 million to the executives at the private firm.

The governor also sent the emails to legislative leaders, asking senators to confirm his nominee to run the Santee Cooper board as soon as possible.

“Santee Cooper’s customers, including individuals and the electric cooperatives of our state, deserve to know how their hard earned money is being spent by the utility, and now, we know that much of it was going to pay SCANA executives’ bonuses related to the failed reactors,” Symmes said in a statement.

……. Also on Wednesday, South Carolina lawmakers made a last-minute push to pass several bills to give ratepayers temporary relief and pass regulations to prevent anything like this from happening again.A committee of House members and senators could not reach a compromise on how much to cut a charge that customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas — a SCANA subsidiary — pay for the abandoned reactors.

……. The Senate tentatively approved repealing the Base Load Review Act which allowed utilities to charge ratepayers for the nuclear plants before they ever generated a watt of power. Nine different rate increases were passed during the 10 years of planning and construction on the reactors……



May 11, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA

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