Graham plans to take nuclear project concerns to Trump

Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham leaves Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Courthouse after testifying on behalf of Sen. Bob Menendez, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Newark, N.J. Menendez is on trial for bribery. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham plans to take his concerns about the abandoned nuclear project in Jenkinsville to President Donald Trump.

On Monday, the South Carolina Republican told reporters that he would urge the President to not let the project fail.

“I’m going to work with the governor and the President to try to convince him that if you do not try to build these three nuclear power plants, that’s the end of the nuclear renaissance in America and that would be a loss for this country,” Graham said, referencing the two abandoned nuclear projects in South Carolina and one that’s currently under construction in Georgia.

Graham says the debate over the future of V.C. Summer expansion is not over.

“I don’t want people in South Carolina to pay for a hole in the ground,” Graham said.  “We’ve had 9 rate increases to pay for these power plants.  There are other companies out there that can partner to build these plants.”

In July,  SCANA, the parent company of South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G), and its state-owned partner Santee Cooper abandoned an expansion project at the V.C. Summer nuclear site.

Last week, South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas introduced six new bills at the statehouse to protect ratepayers from the financial burden of the project.  To date, Santee Cooper and SCE&G customers have been charged nearly $2 billion.  According to a state agency, SCE&G continues to charge its customers $37 million per month for the project.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Constitutional Law Subcommittee will review the bills that Lucas introduced.  The group hopes to send the proposals to the full committee before the legislature reconvenes in January.

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