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#NukeGate: SCANA Confirms Federal Investigation

Company acknowledges federal request for “broad range of documents” related to failed nuclear power project …

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One day after this website exclusively reported on a federal investigation into #NukeGate – South Carolina’s catastrophically failed command economic intervention in the energy market – one of the companies caught up in the drama acknowledged it has received a subpoena from federal authorities.

The revelation from SCANA, – a Cayce, S.C.-based publicly traded firm – came just moments after this website exclusively reported that federal agents were looking into the company’s stock in an effort to determine whether “state regulators, bureaucrats and lawmakers profited from their multi-billion dollar fleecing of ratepayers.”

According to a press release from the company, it has been “served with a subpoena issued by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina seeking documents relating to the Company’s new nuclear project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.”

“The subpoena requires the Company to produce a broad range of documents related to the project,” the company release stated.  “(SCANA) intends to cooperate with the government’s investigation. No assurance can be given as to the timing or outcome of this matter.”

Here’s the statement …

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To recap: SCANA and government-run utility Santee Cooper  spent the past decade collaborating on a pair of next-generation nuclear reactors – which were supposed to have been operational a year ago at a cost of $9.8 billion.  The money was spent, but the reactors aren’t finished.  Or even half-finished.  Not only that, estimates indicate they could cost another $9-16 billion to complete.

Unable to pony up its share of that amount, on July 31 Santee Cooper pulled the plug on the deal … killing an estimated 5,600 jobs, squandering billions of dollars in investment (including more than $2 billion raised through rate increases on consumers), throwing the state’s energy future into chaos, costing the government utility its credit rating and prompting a class action lawsuit against SCANA.

Documents released earlier this month revealed the utilities knew over a year-and-a-half ago the project was doomed – yet continued to raise rates on consumers anyway.  There’s also a looming S.C. attorney general’s opinion on the now-notorious “Base Load Review Act,” which lawmakers rammed through the legislature a decade ago as a means of socializing the investment risk associated with the project.

As we exclusively reported yesterday, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attended a House hearing on #NukeGate last week – and a Senate hearing on the matter earlier this week.  We’re also informed that assets of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are involved in the investigation.

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