Environmental group: SC utility deal falls short


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Environmentalists said a deal to acquire a troubled South Carolina utility "falls far short of protecting ratepayers" from absorbing costs of a failed nuclear construction deal.

Friends of the Earth issued its release Wednesday in response to plans by Dominion Energy to acquire SCANA. Officials said the $14.6 billion deal involving the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. could mean $1.3 billion in refunds to SCE&G customers, including immediate $1,000 cash payments within 90 days of closing its purchase of the company.

SCANA has been reeling since announcing last summer that it was abandoning new reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. SCE&G customers have paid about $2 billion toward the company's debt on the project.

Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club have a complaint pending before South Carolina regulators seeking repayment to customers and a future commitment to pursue cleaner, cheaper, alternative energy.

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