It's Time to Give to the Woodyard Fund

Every winter, The State promotes the Woodyard Fund, a local charity with more than two century old roots. The Woodyard Fund, administered by the Salvation Army, provides needy families with help paying their utility bills. The need can be particularly acute this time of year, when temperatures dip. Please send your donations to The Woodyard Fund, c/o The Salvation Army of the Midlands, P.O. Box 2786, Columbia, SC 29202. Make checks payable to The Woodyard Fund. All donations are tax-deductible.

These words are tired

Let’s give them a break in 2020:

per: not a word. Strike its cousin “as per” too.

close of business: as if we are characters in a Dickens novel who close shop at a set time and retire to the club for a glass of sherry.

trove: journalists have adopted Victorian English. The most mundane FOIA request now yields a “trove” of documents. Would you believe Neal Sheehan didn’t use the word once in his June 13, 1971 article publishing the Pentagon Papers?

host: more Victorian English, as in “Democratic presidential candidates have put out fresh policy proposals this year on a host of issues”

writ large: if you listen to political podcasts, it won’t be long before a pundit intones something to the effect of “if one considers the Democratic electorate writ large”.

curate: I thought we gave this one back to the museum, but it still gets loose every so often

protein: restaurateurs now fancy themselves dieticians, with offerings such as “three vegetables and a choice of protein”. I don’t find the term “protein” appetizing at all. Just ask me if I would prefer chicken or fish, or use the old “meat and three”.

path: “I don’t think Tom Steyer has a path to the nomination”. All I can think of is candidates moving around on a Candyland game board. Well, maybe it’s a good analogy after all.

Add your own.

Fourth Circuit: NC Customers Don't Have to Pay for Virginia's Underground Lines

Donald Lee Purdue

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a FERC ruling that NC customers should not bear the incremental cost of placing Dominion’s transmission lines in Virginia underground. The Fourth Circuit agreed with FERC that the North Carolina customers did not receive any benefit from placing the lines underground.

The Fourth Circuit agreed with FERC’s finding that the decision to underground the lines was made for reasons that did not benefit North Carolinians. Virginians testified at a public hearing that they believe undergrounding would result in better aesthetics and the avoidance of electromagnetic radiation. The Virginia legislature also adopted legislation insisting the lines be placed underground.

These facts, and the lack of evidence of any benefits accruing to North Carolina customers, led the Fourth Circuit to affirm the FERC’s departure from the general rule that improvements to an integrated system are presumed to benefit the entire system.

The case is Northern Virginia Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. v Federal Energy Commission, Case No. 17-1262 (4th Cir. December 20, 2019).

Vogtle Further Behind Schedule

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia Public Service Commission staff is warning that the Vogle nuclear expansion is falling behind its already delayed schedule, and is not likely to meet its current in-service dates of November 2021 and 2022 for the two new reactors. PSC staff says Georgia Power’s current schedule is “no longer relevant to the project”. Southern Company counters the project is still on schedule.

My fellow South Carolinians, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, try to resist the schadenfreude that may arise as you read this article.

David Wright Nominated for Full Term on the NRC

David Wright (left) nominated to NRC – photo

Former PSC Commissioner David Wright has served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission since May of 2017 when he was nominated to serve the remainder of a five-year term ending in June of 2020. On Friday, President Trump nominated Commissioner Wright to serve a full term beginning in 2020. The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

The Department of Consumer Affairs Wants You!

The Department of Consumer Affairs is hiring a lawyer to appear at the PSC: essentially, a public defender for the consumer. This could be a great opportunity for someone who wants to practice in the field of public utilities.

Excerpts of the positing are below.

Minimum and Additional Requirements

A Juris Doctorate degree or its equivalent from an accredited law school and experience as a practicing attorney.  Must be a member in good standing with the SC Bar.  Must be able to work well with a team including legal assistants, paralegals, and other co-workers.  Must be organized and be able to work independently in meeting deadlines. Some travel may be required.

Preferred Qualifications

At least three (3) years as a practicing attorney.  At least two years of experience related to state or federal energy regulations applicable to utilities.  Demonstrated interest or experience in the core mission of SCDCA. Knowledge of or experience in one or more of the following: energy, water, utility, finance, economics, environmental, or related technical field. Experience in litigation or administrative law.  Possess excellent written and oral advocacy skills.  Ability to interpret and apply relevant laws and judicial decisions.  Ability to perform legal research involving complex legal problems. Thorough knowledge of the laws of South Carolina.   Must have completed Rule 403 trial experience requirements. 

Pay Band

Band 7

Hiring Range – Min. $49,594.00 Hiring Range – Max. $90,000.00