SC House Speaker says he isn’t ready to call lawmakers for a special session after VC shutdown

FILE - This April 9, 2012 file photo shows construction well underway for two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C. South Carolina's state-owned public utility has voted to stop construction on two billion-dollar nuclear reactors. The reactors were set to be among the first new nuclear reactors built in the U.S. in decades, but the vote by Santee Cooper’s board on Monday, July 31, 2017 likely ends their future. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas says he isn’t ready to call lawmakers back for a special session to deal with the abandonment of two nuclear reactors under construction.

Lucas called a proposal by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate to come back to Columbia and freeze electric rates and halt any additional decisions about the reactors “impulsive”. The Hartsville Republican says he thinks that proposal would have unintended consequence and lead to higher electric rates.

This comes after the Senate Majority and Minority leaders requested for the South Carolina General Assembly to reconvene, after the V.C Summer shutdown.

The project was under construction in Fairfield County to build two nuclear reactors. Due to being billions of dollars over budget SCANA and Santee Cooper voted to shut the project down on Monday, causing more than 5,000 people to be without work.

The utility companies blamed now bankrupt construction company, Westinghouse and subcontractor Fluor Daniel for the failures of this project.

The Baseload Review Act that passed in 2007, allowed utility companies to increase utility users rates to pay for future projects. On Wednesday, a bi-partisan energy caucus was formed by state legislators to focus on that Act and what can be done to better protect utility customers.

In a press release, the Majority and Minority leaders want the General Assembly to reconvene to consider a joint resolution haulting new action on the VC Summer Project until the legislature has a chance to vote on any legislation during the 2018 session.