To the editor,

With the elections behind us, it’s important for the General Assembly to focus on protecting Santee Cooper ratepayers when it reconvenes in January.

Gov. Henry McMaster and the House and Senate leadership have blasted Santee Cooper’s recent decision to go behind the legislature’s back and increase its already crippling debt by $100 million. 

House Speaker Jay Lucas said Santee Cooper had a “lingering disdain for any oversight.” Sen. Shane Massey said “Santee Cooper desperately needs a house cleaning. The entire board. The entire management team.” Sen. Hugh Leatherman called on the board chairman to resign. 

Gov. McMaster called the utility a “rogue agency.”

Time after time Santee Cooper has proven that its leadership cannot be trusted and that it’s a poorly functioning, unaccountable state-owned bureaucracy, not a well-run utility. It just can’t be fixed. 

There is no way Santee Cooper can bail itself out of a nearly $7 billion debt hole without rates skyrocketing, especially when it’s adding more debt instead of paying it off. 

The General Assembly must work towards a sale of Santee Cooper. That’s the only way out for ratepayers and taxpayers.

Larry Kelley

Surfside Beach

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