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A good deal for SCANA, a good deal for South Carolina.

In 1999, I became chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Authority, Santee Cooper, the state-owned electric utility. My experience in that capacity revealed the complexities of the generation, the distribution of electricity and the need for a highly qualified management team to provide the leadership for success.

Dominion has demonstrated that leadership and will be a good partner for SCANA and South Carolina.

The Dominion option is the best available and any decision by the legislature that threatens the partnership with SCANA might cause ratepayers to lose the cash refunds, rate relief and debt reduction offered by Dominion. Other offers may come forward in the future, but I think Dominion Energy is the right partner. They are financially strong and well-managed with offices in Columbia and a $750 million investment in the former SCANA gas pipeline plus a solar farm.

In the weeks ahead, the legislature must make critical energy decisions that will shape our state's economy for the next generation. It goes far beyond election-year politics and should be based on what is best for the people of South Carolina and the state's economy. Our economy, like most states, is affected by reliable, affordable electricity both for residential as well as industrial and commercial development. We need to put this energy issue behind us, shore up SCANA and then get back to recruiting new jobs and investment in South Carolina.

Former Santee Cooper board Chairman H. Donald McElveen is from Columbia.

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