House panel advances bills to clean up S. Carolina nuke mess

V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station
This Sept. 18, 2017 photo shows the partially built V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station near Jenkinsville, S.C. On Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, the boards of state-owned Santee Cooper and the private South Carolina Electric & Gas approved the sale of their share of a $2.2 billion, five-year settlement over the failed nuclear project so that they can recover nearly 92 percent of the cash immediately. (AP Photo)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina lawmakers are moving forward on proposals to shake up state laws and boards that enabled the nuclear fiasco that has cost ratepayers billions.

Media outlets report a House panel Tuesday unanimously approved six bills designed to limit how much more the state’s power customers must pay for a now-closed reactor project co-funded by South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

The utilities had already collected $2 billion from ratepayers on behalf of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station project when they abandoned it in July. In introducing the bills last week, House Speaker Jay Lucas said they would “gut existing laws” that allowed such charges before the reactors were complete.

Lawmakers, state and federal authorities and Wall Street regulators are probing the failed project.

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