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Columbia attorney Williams elected to PSC

Staff Report //July 9, 2018//

Columbia attorney Williams elected to PSC

Staff Report //July 9, 2018//

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Justin Williams, an associate attorney with Moore Taylor law firm, has been elected to the S.C. Public Service Commission as the Sixth District commissioner by the General Assembly.

Williams assumed his new role on July 1.

Williams practiced in the areas of civil litigation, workers’ compensation and criminal defense at Moore Taylor. He also serves as a captain and judge advocate in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Williams is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and a former USC student body president.

 “We are truly sorry to lose Justin, but we are excited for him as he embarks upon his new endeavor,” said Stanley L. Myers, partner at Moore Taylor, in a news release. “He is a talented trial lawyer who devoted his complete efforts to represent the best interests of his clients. He will be a fantastic commissioner.”

Nikiya Hall resigned her Sixth District commissioner post last October to take a job with a Washington, D.C., utility. S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster appointed USC law professor Robert Bockman to the post in November under a state law that allowed the governor to pick a replacement while the Legislature was out of session. Bockman served until the Legislature voted on a new, full-time commissioner.

The PSC, the state’s utility oversight board, has played a major role in the V.C. Summer nuclear debacle. Last week, it ordered a new state law temporarily reducing S.C. Electric & Gas customers’ bills by 15% to go into effect in August, though SCE&G has asked a federal court for an injunction. In December, the PSC is expected to decide whether SCE&G or its customers, or both, should have to continue footing the bill for the pair of abandoned nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear power station in Fairfield County.

The new legislation, passed in late June and made law when the Legislature overrode a McMaster veto, also redefines the roles of the PSC and the Office of Regulatory Staff. It establishes a firmer definition of prudency, the standard SCE&G parent company SCANA had to meet to receive nine rate increases while the reactors were being built.

After a series of rising costs and mounting delays and on the heels of contractor Westinghouse’s bankruptcy filing, SCE&G and project co-owner Santee Cooper abandoned construction of the reactors last July.