Lowcountry Senator speaks out about future of Santee Cooper

Berkeley County News

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Senate may have moved forward on a proposal Thursday, but the future of Santee Cooper is still up in the air.

The state-owned utility has been a hot topic at the state legislature this week, and it does appear that a possible path forward has been reached.

Every Senator voted for Thursday’s proposal except for Sen. Larry Grooms. He said he voted against it because he would like to see a valuation of Santee Cooper first.

However, he believes the proposal is a good next step. It would have the Department of Administration hire consultants to gather the best offer for a full sale, the best offer for another company to manage Santee Cooper and Santee Cooper’s best plan to continue managing itself.

Grooms says it will take about a year for this process to play out, but the General Assembly should have that information during next year’s session.

He believes this will help measure the different options equally.

“And then the General Assembly will make a decision, whether it’s in the best interest of the ratepayers and the people of South Carolina to sell the utility to have a company come in and manage it or to restructure Santee Cooper,” he said.

The Senate Proposal will now go to the House next week. Sen. Grooms said he believes it will pass in the House and Governor McMaster will sign it.

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