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Santee-Cooper

  • The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to make former lawmaker and U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy the new chairman of state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster still wants to sell state-owned utility Santee Cooper after signing into law a bill to overhaul the company. McMaster's signature Tuesday was mostly symbolic. Lawmakers sent him a veto-proof reform proposal that kicks nine of 10 members off the utility's board and gives regulators more power over rates and future power generation plans.
  • A former official for the contractor hired to build two South Carolina nuclear reactors that were never completed has pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities. Court records show Carl Churchman entered the plea Thursday. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced. Churchman was the project director for Westinghouse Electric Co., the lead contractor to build two new reactors at the V.C. Summer plant. Two utilities spent nearly $10 billion on the project before halting construction in 2017 following Westinghouse's bankruptcy. Authorities say Churchman lied to an FBI agent in 2019, saying he wasn't involved in communicating the project timeline with utility executives. He was interviewed again last month and admitted lying.
  • A powerful group of House and Senate leaders are pledging to take differences in each chamber's proposal to overhaul state-owned utility Santee Cooper to their members. Conference committee members also said Wednesday they hope to approve a compromise at next week's meeting. But the biggest difference — whether to create a committee of lawmakers to continue to accept bids to sell Santee Cooper to a private firm — appears to be off the table for the senators on the conference committee. The Senate and House agreed on a number of points like giving state regulators more power over Santee Cooper.
  • It was two years ago this week that the state saw the largest business failure in its' history, the collapse of the giant V.C. Summer nuclear project in…