Next month, South Carolinians will be treated to Santee Cooper’s version of a magic show – a proverbial rabbit-out-of-the-hat maneuver ostensibly in the works from the Palmetto State’s government-run, politically managed utility.
The trick? Resolving billions of dollars in debt without raising rates on consumers.
Can it be done? No …
We are sorry to be that blunt, but … no. It cannot.
Santee Cooper can talk all it wants about “reform” (ahem), but the sad reality is things remain very much “business as usual” at this habitually dishonest government bureaucracy. New leaders, it would seem, haven’t put a stop to old favors.
Take Santee Cooper’s latest speculative “economic development” deal – a $5 million loan to the Laurens Electric Cooperative, which is using the money to make a speculative commercial real estate investment.
You read that right …
Amazing, isn’t it?
“Let’s loan money we don’t have in an effort to buy a constituency,” one Santee Cooper critic lamented.
That is exactly what is happening … and this is exactly the sort of favor-trading that cannot be tolerated from this tone deaf utility any longer. Hell, it should have never been tolerated in the first place.
Also, as we pointed out the last time Santee Cooper tried to purchase loyalty on the backs of its ratepayers, in what alternative universe should we trust its judgment?
From our previous coverage …
We hate to point out the obvious here, but Santee Cooper was also “confident” in the two reactors it was building in Jenkinsville … only to see that project abandoned before they were completed at a $10 billion loss.
In fact, the utility was still borrowing up to its eyeballs and raising rates on its customers long after its leaders knew the project was doomed.
Yet these are the people we should permit to travel across the state throwing ratepayer money at speculative real estate deals?
Santee Cooper’s new bosses are sure looking a lot like their old bosses: Trading favors with money they don’t have and promising us they will tell us “soon” how it’s all going to work out.
Rest assured, the rest of us are going to wind up paying the price for this “constituency building” the same way we are paying for the #NukeGate disaster into which Santee Cooper so confidently led us.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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