FERC Approves Dominion Energy/SCANA Merger – Deal Still Alive

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, especially if they expand their now-under-construction Atlantic Coast Pipeline–flowing Marcellus/Utica gas–into South Carolina (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Future Plans: Expand in NC & SC). But there was recently a big bump in the road. SCANA had started, and later abandoned, building a nuclear plant, costing ratepayers boatloads of money. In June, the SC legislature passed a bill (vetoed by the governor but overridden) lowering SCANA’s electric rates by 15%. Dominion threatened to cancel the merger (see Dominion Bid to Buy SCANA in Trouble Following Passage of SC Bill). But then the sun came out. Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission officially blessed the merger plan, and in announcing FERC’s approval, Dominion didn’t say a word about the 15% reduction or pulling out of the deal. All of that seems to now be forgotten. In fact, Dominion’s CEO told SC Gov. Henry McMaster that Dominion is not canceling buyout/merger plans, even with the bill…

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