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Proposed Dominion/SCANA merger clears key federal hurdle

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Dominion Energy’s proposed acquisition of SCANA cleared a key regulatory hurdle when the Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of a required 30-day waiting period on Thursday.

The waiting period was required under the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

The merger is also contingent upon authorization of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and approval from the public service commissions of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. SCANA shareholders would also have to approve the acquisition, expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

The proposed merger ran into legislative stumbling blocks this week as the S.C. House passed bills that dealt blows to its completion. Among other measures, the House approved potential legislation that would halt customer payments to SCANA subsidiary S.C. Electric & Gas for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project and repeal the Base Load Review Act, the state law that allows SCANA to collect such fees.

Richmond, Va.-based Dominion has said that it must be allowed to continue to recoup V.C. Summer-related costs from ratepayers, albeit under a plan that would shorten the period of customer liability and refund ratepayers some of their money. 

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February 07, 2018

The Base Load Review Act has always been a bit of a double-edged sword. Had the project been completed, it would have saved rate payers a ton of money over the long term by allowing the company to borrow less money (less interest to repay). Unfortunately, the project failed. The failure was not caused by the greed of SCANA or SCE&G, but by the bankruptcy of Westinghouse. It stinks, yes, but the BLRA was passed knowing full well that there were no guarantees the project would be completed. It was a calculated risk. Now that the result is known, they want to change the rules and get their money back. Try pulling that at any casino. Oh no...I don't want to lose that money I bet on black. I will pass a law to make you give it back to me. Good luck. Changing the rules of the game because you don't like the outcome is not only unfair, it is immoral. Our state legislators ought to be ashamed of themselves for trying to pass the buck like this. They passed the BLRA; they should face the consequences.

February 05, 2018

Another case of no one being held accountable for poor decision making and lining their own pockets. What kind of pay raises and bonuses were being handed out to the upper management of both SCANA and SCE&G execs during this period? Probably generously rewarded for non-performance and scamming the citizens for SC. When will the criminals start going to jail for this kind of horrible behavior? Who ever thought that the BLRA was a good plan? If I charge something on the credit card, I have to pay. Why don't these to entities have to pay -- after all, they took a lot of money from the citizens for it??? Maddening!