Dominion Bid to Buy SCANA in Trouble Following Passage of SC Bill

In January Dominion Energy announced a deal to buy out and merge in South Carolina-based SCANA Corporation (see Dominion Buys SCANA, Mulls Atlantic Coast Pipe Expansion into SC). SCANA is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. In other words, the local electric and gas company for much of South Carolina. Dominion is a big company with many operations–they are a pipeline company, an electric generating company, and a utility company (like SCANA). The merger makes sense. Dominion gets to grow and add more customers to its utility business. We didn’t think there was any tie-in with the Marcellus/Utica, but turns out there is. We brought you news in early December that Dominion and their partner in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project, Duke Energy, are considering expanding the original ACP to more locations in North Carolina, AND expanding the pipeline into South Carolina (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Future Plans: Expand in NC & SC). Dominion openly says that the SCANA purchase makes it more likely they will push to expand ACP into SC–meaning even more Marcellus/Utica gas could be flowing to Dixie. But now there’s a big, fat wrinkle. SCANA is in trouble because they began to build, and later abandoned, a nuclear plant project–costing ratepayers millions of dollars. SC politicians want to rebate some of the money that was paid for the project back to ratepayers. They passed a bill on Wednesday (now on the governor’s desk) that will slash rates for customers by 15%. Dominion reacted strongly, implying they may pull out of the deal if the bill is signed by the governor…

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