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Friends of the Earth Releases Ad Aimed at Repeal of South Carolina Law that Enabled $9 Billion Waste at V.C. Summer Project

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With the South Carolina legislature engaged in a highly charged debate over the fate of legislation concerning the failed V.C. Summer nuclear reactor construction project, Friends of the Earth this week began an ad campaign encouraging the public to take action against any ratepayer-funded bailout.

The print ads, which began running yesterday, calls on customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) to contact their legislators in support for repeal of the Baseload Review Act – which allowed $9 billion to be wasted on the V.C. Summer reactor construction project before it was canceled on July 31, 2017.

The ads will run in The State newspaper in Columbia, SC, where the legislature is located, and in the Charleston Post & Courier on Friday, April 27. The ad will also be run in the weekly papers in Columbia and Charleston – the Free Times and Charleston City Paper – on Wednesday, May 2. Accompanying the ads will be digital ads on the homepage of The State and Post & Courier, complete with a link to an on-line petition that people can sign asking for a repeal of the BLRA. Coincidentally, AARP is also now running full-page ads in both The State and Post & Courier, also aimed at the much-hated BLRA.

Currently, SCE&G customers pay 18% of their monthly bill for the nuclear project and collectively pay $37 million per month for nothing while shareholders continue to reap high profits. If Dominion and SCE&G have their way, charges for the project could continue for 20 years or more and stockholders would be allowed to over 10% profit per year.

“While the impact of the failed nuclear project is serious in nature and of paramount importance to the energy future of South Carolina, we need to focus attention on the public bailout of SCE&G and Dominion,” said Tom Clements, senior adviser with Friends of the Earth, in Columbia, SC.  “Until now, the utilities have felt untouchable and have exploited a rigged system but we’re showing with these ads that the public isn’t afraid to push back against them.”

Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club have led the fight against the nuclear project since its inception in 2008.  The groups now have a complaint against SCE&G’s bungled project before the South Carolina Public Service Commission.  A hearing on the complaint (Docket 2017-207-E) is likely to be heard beginning on November 5. Numerous other interveners will also participate in the proceeding and are in uniform opposition to SCE&G’s mismanagement and waste on the grossly mismanaged nuclear project.

The print version of the ad is available here. The digital version of the ad is available here.

Expert contact: Tom Clements, (803) 240-7268, tomclements329@cs.com
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

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