Lonnie Carter, President and CEO of Santee Cooper, the state owned electric utility in South Carolina resigned last week. In his position, he was the highest paid “state employee not involved in athletics,” according to the local press. His resignation came after legislative hearings about Santee Cooper’s management of and involvement in the cancelled V.C. Summer nuclear project. The utility’s Board continues to retain his counsel in numerous ways and he leaves with a generous six-figure pension. But at his final press conference he said literally nothing. As Baker Street irregulars know, when the dog doesn’t bark you got problems. Mr. Carter’s immediate predecessor, Graham Edwards, was a tad less reticent. He almost single handedly ended then Governor Mark Sanford’s plan to privatize Santee Cooper. He did so by making one very simple statement: Privatization means higher electricity prices for everyone in return for no meaningful benefits. The issue was quickly dropped and even disavowed.
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