Kevin Marsh

SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh talks with media after a special meeting with state Public Service Commission concerning the failed VC Summer nuclear project in on Sept. 28, 2017, in Columbia. Sean Rayford/Special to The Post and Courier

Kevin Marsh, CEO of SCANA, is retiring from the company three months after it cancelled construction of the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Jenkinsville. Chief Operating Officer Stephen Byrne is also retiring. SCANA and subsidiary South Carolina Electric and Gas, after getting ratepayers to finance construction of the nuclear reactors, have tried to continue sticking ratepayers with the bill for the failed project — drawing the ire of state leaders. Marsh and others have also drawn fire for not disclosing that the project was in jeopardy. In a statement, Gov. Henry McMaster said, “While this decision indicates that SCANA is beginning to fully understand the devastating consequences of abandoning the V.C. Summer project, any effort to regain the public’s trust starts with no longer charging ratepayers for this failed project, and refunding them the money they’ve already paid for it.” — Eva Moore

Problems Stack up for SCANA, Santee Cooper

In other SCANA news, The National Society of Professional Engineers has called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to investigate the V.C. Summer nuclear project, The Post and Courier reported. The association called for the federal agency to look into the failed construction after a revelation that Westinghouse, with complicity from SCANA, used unlicensed engineers to authorize design plans for the reactors. “Internal published documents also allege a deliberate attempt by Westinghouse attorneys to narrowly interpret South Carolina professional engineering statutes to evade generally accepted design and construction practices,” said Tom Roberts, president of the National Society of Professional Engineers. 

Meanwhile, lawmakers and state regulators are questioning SCANA about high-cost materials weathering at the former construction site. According to The State, a containment unit with nuclear components has been left uncovered and exposed to the elements. Other valuable items are suspected to be harmed by exposure. Lawmakers are disturbed by the unprotected components, as this might severely hamper any attempts to restart construction in the future. In a letter, the Office of Regulatory Staff urged the Public Service Commission to get answer from SCANA on their plans for the site. Preserving the site could cost up to $15 million a year, according to former Santee Cooper President Lonnie Carter. State-owned utility Santee Cooper said they’ve contracted with a company to preserve the site for a year. As of yet, no preservation efforts have been reported as underway. — David Travis Bland

Steve Spurrier’s Columbia House Sold

Former University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier has sold his house in Columbia’s Woodcreek Farms. The 6,386-square-foot house sold for $950,000. The Head Ball Coach bought the house for $1.25 million in 2005. “Just happy to sell the house, that’s all,” Spurrier told The State. “Sometimes you hold those things two or three years and it can be expensive just hanging onto houses. I was just happy to sell it.” — Chris Trainor

Templeton Praises Steve Bannon

Gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton says she’s fine with controversial former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon speaking at The Citadel in November. The scheduled Citadel appearance by the lightning rod conservative political operative has drawn criticism from some. “I think it’s ridiculous they’re upset,” Templeton said in a recent radio interview. “For people to be upset that he’s going to come to South Carolina to give his perspective is so hypocritical. It’s such a marker of liberal outrage for not getting their way. I’m glad he’s coming, I’m welcoming him to the state.” — Chris Trainor

Probe Target’s Law License Suspended

Former state Rep. Jim Harrison, who recently has been charged in special prosecutor David Pascoe’s long-running State House probe, had his law license revoked by the state Supreme Court. The suspension order, which is indefinite, was signed by Chief Justice Donald Beatty. According to The Post and Courier, Pascoe has said recently indicted political consultant Richard Quinn, “paid Harrison $900,000 over 12 years, but Harrison never reported the income on campaign disclosure forms, despite knowing Quinn’s clients employed lobbyists at the Statehouse.” — Chris Trainor

Haley Evacuated from Sudan Site

Former South Carolina Governor and current U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was “rushed away” from a U.N. camp for displaced people in South Sudan. According to The State, Haley was evacuated amidst protests of President Salva Kiir. Moments after Haley was gone, tear gas was fired to disperse the crowd, some of whom had been looting a local charity. — Chris Trainor

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