SCANA's headquarters is near Columbia, but that hasn’t stopped its top executives from supporting campaigns of elected utility regulators in neighboring Georgia.
Since 2006, SCANA officials and their family members, including those who oversaw the failed $9 billion V.C. Summer nuclear project, gave at least $53,300 to candidates for the Georgia Public Service Commission, a new compilation by the Energy Policy Institute shows.
Kevin Marsh, SCANA chief executive officer, and his wife were among the most generous, chipping $5,500 to four candidates. Stephen A. Byrne, senior vice president of generation, and his wife gave at least $3,000, and Jeffrey Archie, SCANA’s chief nuclear officer donated $2,000.
Georgia Public Service Commissioners are elected, unlike South Carolina’s seven commissioners, who are appointed by state lawmakers.
Georgia’s five commissioners have received large amounts of money from lobbyists and other interests affected by their regulatory authority, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported.
SCANA has had contracts to provide natural gas to low-income customers in Georgia, but Georgia commissioners don't set SCANA’s electric rates in South Carolina.
Eric Boomhower, SCANA spokesman, said the company has "long taken a nonpartisan approach to supporting political candidates who are supportive of economic development in our service territory," which includes SCANA Energy in Georgia. "No contributions are made to any official to support the passage or defeat of any specific legislation, or to advocate on behalf of our company."