My thanks to Gov. Henry McMaster and legislators for seeking bids to sell troubled state-owned utility Santee Cooper, which is about $8 billion in debt and on the verge of dramatically increasing rates to start paying it off.

Four utility companies have submitted qualified bids that would essentially pay off all of Santee Cooper’s debt and ensure substantially lower rates for the long-term.

All have agreed to preserve the lake system and, between property taxes (Santee Cooper pays none) and other payments, would meet or exceed Santee Cooper’s funding for economic and community development.

It just makes sense for our legislators to stand up for ratepayers and sell Santee Cooper. It will get ratepayers out from under crushing debt payments and out of a failed utility business.

I hope our legislators are willing to continue to do what is right for ratepayers.

Preston Edwards

Wagon Run

Murrells Inlet