No sale: Santee Cooper’s future is reform, not private owner

South Carolina News

Senate Minority Leader Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, listens online during a meeting over a Santee Cooper overhaul bill on Tuesday, June, 1, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. Powerful legislative leaders reached a compromise on the bill that will be considered at a special session. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina legislative leaders most ardent about selling state-owned utility Santee Cooper now say it’s obvious there are no interested buyers.

The House leaders signed off Tuesday on an overhaul proposal that leaves the utility publicly owned.

Both the House and Senate will need to approve the compromise reached by some of the state’s most powerful lawmakers during a special session later this month. House Speaker Jay Lucas says overhauling Santee Cooper was too important to demand a sale and derail the compromise.

The proposal kicks nine of 10 members off the utility’s board and gives state regulators more power over Santee Cooper’s rates and future power generation plans.

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