Santee Cooper needs to be honest with ratepayers

To the Editor:

Santee Cooper is at it again, trying to pull the wool over all of our eyes.

The new executives are trying very hard to make you believe they can pay down the $7 billion-plus of debt without raising rates.

A few weeks ago they said they’ve got enough money on hand to start paying down the debt. In that same announcement they said they are also going to freeze rates for the next five years.

That all looks good on paper, but of course the devil is in the details. The two payments Santee Cooper will make come from one-off sources of cash.

For the first payment, Santee Cooper is going to use money from a lawsuit settlement.

The second payment will come from the money they think they can get for selling the equipment from the abandoned VC Summer project.

Let’s not forget they were offered money for this equipment a while back and have been paying for its upkeep ever since.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t use those sums of money to pay down their enormous debt, but what I am saying is don’t make customers believe this is a long-term solution to the debt problem.

These two payments only get them to 2021 and still leave billions to be paid back.

Santee Cooper needs to be truthful. Without action, a short five years from now customers are going to be paying dearly for the executives’ decision to kick the can down the road.

Claire Robinson