S.251, H.3433 & H.3447 – Prohibits campaign contributions from regulated utilities

Three bills (S.251, H.3433 & H.3447) would prohibit lawmakers or legislative candidates from accepting campaign contributions from regulated utilities – including SCANA and every electric cooperative. However, under H.3447, the utility contribution ban would be also be applied to the state’s five constitutional officers (the Treasurer, Comptroller General, Attorney General, Secretary of State and the Secretary of Education). This bill goes so far as to prohibit the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) and Public Service Commission (PSC) from accepting gifts from entities that they regulate.

H.3447 would also impose more filing requirements on lobbyists. Under state law, lobbyists are required to file periodic reports with the State Ethics Commission, and this bill would mandate that they file an additional report if they engage with either the PSC or ORS.

The only real way to reform the state’s energy system is to abolish the legislature’s power over it. These bills would only tweak the system, and they ignore the fact the lawmakers control both regulatory bodies and have far too much influence over energy policy.

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