Virginia-based Dominion Energy has been getting slammed in the South Carolina press lately …
Just yesterday, the company was on the receiving end of a brutal piece by reporters Jeffrey Collins and Christina Myers of The Associated Press.
Collins and Myers’ wire story closed with a damning critique of Dominion from state representative Wendell Gilliard, one of many South Carolina lawmakers who has been vocally critical of the company in the aftermath of its purchase of crony capitalist utility SCANA.
“Dominion is coming in on the same tide that SCANA left out on,” Gilliard told wire reporters, referring to the notorious #NukeGate debacle. “That’s not good.”
Gilliard is right … it’s not good, although the Democratic legislator threw Dominion a life line last week (one the company’s South Carolina team inexplicably failed to grab).
Anyway, if Dominion’s goal was to tamp down the whole “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” line of criticism (which we have argued is unfounded, incidentally), it probably wasn’t the best idea to roll out its appointment of two SCANA board members to serve on its own governing board this week.
Talk about playing into your opponent’s narrative …
Nevertheless, Dominion announced on Tuesday that two former SCANA board members – James A. Bennett and D. Maybank Hagood – had been elected to its board, a move that surprised many Palmetto political observers seeing as the company was only required to select one SCANA board member per the terms of its acquisition of the company.
Frankly, one SCANA board member strikes us as one too many given the former company’s starring role in #NukeGate – a spectacularly failed command economic experiment that resulted in the abandonment of a pair of next-generation nuclear reactors.
In fact, we don’t know why Dominion would keep any of SCANA’s leaders around … especially in light of the documented deception and gross negligence the company displayed during the #NukeGate disaster. Seriously: How anyone involved in the leadership of this failed former utility is still drawing a paycheck is beyond us … especially in light of the ongoing stumbles that have marked the current transition period.[su_dominion_video_scb]
Most notably, Dominion has been slammed for failing to adequately communicate details of its purchase of SCANA to the public – which, again, is an allegation we do not believe to be valid.
Still, the company’s Palmetto State subsidiary – the Southeast Energy Group – has not distinguished itself in managing the crisis. At all.
To recap: In negotiating for SCANA, Dominion consistently pushed for a deal that included $1.3 billion in up-front rebates for ratepayers of SCE&G, a SCANA subsidiary that serves an estimated 720,000 customers across the Palmetto State. These rebates (which would have amounted to an average of $1,000 per residential household) were a key selling point in the company’s bid to make ratepayers at least partially whole for #NukeGate.
Unfortunately for ratepayers eager to get their hands on one of those $1,000 checks, state lawmakers rebuked the deal. Then, months later, regulators with the S.C. Public Service Commission (SCPSC) followed suit and approved a SCANA sale that did not contain the rebates.
As this news outlet has previously pointed out, we think it is ridiculous that state lawmakers would now try to force Dominion to dole out the very rebates the S.C. General Assembly voted to kill … but whatever. As they continue to demonstrate year after year, South Carolina lawmakers are not the sharpest tools in the shed.
Of course then again neither is the team Dominion has dispatched to negotiate with them …
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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