Sen. Climer Plans Water Legislation

The Charlotte Observer reports Sen. Wes Climer plans to introduce two bills to regulate water utilities in the next session. Climer wants utilities to file plans similar to Integrated Resource Plans required of electrical utilities. A second bill Climer plans to introduce would preclude a water utility from earning a return on equity when there is a shortfall in service. The text of the bills is not available at this time. Climer said they will be pre-filled in December.

PSC Candidates Announced

According to the Public Utilities Review Committee, the following candidates have filed to run for the Public Service Commission.

                  DISTRICT 1:                Paul S. Gawrych  (Mt. Pleasant)

                                                         John E. “Butch” Howard  (Moncks Corner)

                                                         Alvin T. Johnson, Jr.  (Charleston)

                                                         Harry B. Limehouse, III  (Charleston)

                                                         George “Robert” Newman  (Mt. Pleasant)

                                                         Lawrence D. Sullivan  (Summerville)

                                                         Darryle B. Ware  (Summerville)

                                                         Carolee “Carolyn” Williams  (Charleston)

                  DISTRICT 3:               Stephen M. “Mike” Caston  (Clemson) 

                                                         Kevin G. Evans  (Salem)

                                                         Santana D. Freeman  (Abbeville)

                                                         Comer H. “Randy” Randall (Clinton) (I)

                  DISTRICT 5:                Luther P. Hendrix  (Camden)

                                                         Headen B. Thomas  (Rock Hill)

                                                         Stephen R. Thomas  (Fort Mill)

                                                         Swain E. Whitfield  (Winnsboro)

                  DISTRICT 7:               John Q. Atkinson, Jr.  (Marion)

                                                         Alys C. Lawson  (Conway)

                                                         Bonnie D. Loomis  (Murrells Inlet)   

                                                         Thomas G. “Tee” Miller, Jr.  (Georgetown)

                                                         Ted M. Vick  (Pawleys Island)   

SC Coastal Conservation League v. Dominion Energy and SC Solar Business Alliance v. Dominion Energy

There was a Supreme Court argument worth watching last week. The case involved an appeal of the Public Service Commission’s decision to adopt then SCE&G’s proposed capacity cost factor (zero) for solar energy in the company’s 2018 fuel cost case. OK, this may not be the most exciting issue for some of you, but the oral arguments were great! Blan Halman, Joseph S. Dowdy, and John Hoefer went mano a mano before a hot bench. The argument also shows how strange the customs and practices of the PSC seem to the outside world. It caused me to to take a fresh look at how to draft my next proposed order.

Yesterday was Aisha Butler’s Last Day at ORS and We Already Miss Her

Senior Auditor Aisha Butler has left the Office of Regulatory Staff. Aisha was thorough and professional. She didn’t give anything up in her audits. But she was also so pleasant that my clients were never upset with her, even after receiving an initial AIR with over one hundred subsections. Aisha had a rare talent for maintaining a cheerful and positive attitude in an often stressful adversarial process. She will be missed, and we all wish her well in her future endeavors.

Gift Wipes Out Medical Debts of Upstate Residents in Need

Kathryn Williams and Tom Ervin

There is a very nice article in the Post and Courier about PSC Commissioner Tom Ervin and his wife Kathryn Williams‘ donation to RIP Medical Debt a non-profit that helps erase medical debt for people who earn less than twice the federal poverty level. RIP Medical Debt buys bundled medical debts for pennies on the dollar, and forgives the debts of those most in need. Commissioner Ervin and his wife’s donation resulted in $1.5 million in debt being forgiven for 1,000 Upstate residents. Ervin and Williams, who have distinguished careers representing the injured and disabled are well aware of the burden of medical bills on people with low incomes. At the time this post was written, RIP Medical Debt had wiped out over $800,000,000 in medical debts.

PSC is Hiring

This could be your chance to live the life of fame and danger.