Environmentalists beg to differ with Gov. Haley

This just in from Ann Timberlake with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina:

Dear Conservation Voters,

Governor Haley appears to have been misinformed on South Carolina’s ability to meet standards for reducing emissions that threaten our state’s valuable coast.

“This is exactly what we don’t need,” the governor said after addressing a gathering of the S.C. Electric Cooperatives at Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms. “This is exactly what hurts us. You can’t mandate utility companies which, in turn, raises the cost of power. That’s what’s going to keep jobs away. That’s what’s going to keep companies away.” She added that officials in Washington “stay out of the way.”

Governor Haley,  Post & Courier, June 4, 2014

It appears that she has been given incorrect information about South Carolina’s ability to meet carbon pollution standards.

Here are the facts.  Since 2005, South Carolina has reduced its energy carbon emissions by 30% even while growing our economy and our population.  Not only that, our state is already on track to continue those gains as our utilities plan to retire numerous outdated pollution-belching coal plants while also expanding solar power and energy efficiency.

In fact, just last week, Governor Haley signed a bill to unleash the Palmetto State’s vast solar capacity.  That’s progress and it will create many jobs right here at home. South Carolina now has a valuable competitive edge over other states when it comes to meeting proposed carbon pollution standards.  That is something to brag about — not attack. That’s what is going to bring companies here.

For 40 years, vested fossil fuel special interests have tried to scare citizens away from protecting their air and water by saying the sky would fall economically.  But those scare tactics have been repeatedly disproved. In reality, jobs and economic growth have gone hand in hand with cleaner environment.

South Carolina has more to lose from climate change than almost any other state. Our coastal communities are iconic. But they are extremely vulnerable to increased flooding and extreme weather.

We will continue to work with DHEC, our conservation community, energy providers and other stakeholders to map a prosperous way forward that protects the South Carolina we love.

South Carolina is poised to be a twenty-first-century powerhouse.   We can do it and we can do it our way.

Ann Timberlake

7 thoughts on “Environmentalists beg to differ with Gov. Haley

  1. Norm Ivey

    The percentage reduction required of South Carolina by the proposed EPA regs surprised me. Because we generate so much of our energy in nuclear plants, I would have anticipated that the reduction requirements would be lower than most other states. As best as I’ve been able to figure out, the 50%+ reduction requirement is because many of our coal-powered plants are so old and inefficient. (McMeekin at Lake Murray is the targeted plant closest to Columbia). The addition of the two new reactors at VC Summer and the changes in the solar power laws should make much of the reduction a simple thing.

  2. Mark Stewart

    In South Carolina, the state IS the power company for more than a third of the population. Santee Cooper is a poisonous blight on the state, in lots of ways; as Norm has alluded.

  3. Harry Harris

    The commentary seemed to be a pretty good smack-down to Governor Haley’s standard misleading generalizations. She is surrounded by her army of large contributors, stealth-funded groups, and anti-labor interests. Couple that with her usual parochial and anti-federal jabs, and you have a pretty standard “good ol’ girl” candidate.

  4. Karen Pearson

    Ms. Timberlake has her facts right. The fact that Gov. Haley continues to encourage pollution of our state with needless fossil fuel use is beyond me. Our coal burning plants are old and inefficient. They waste money as well as polluting the state. They should be retired. SC has no coal mines that I know of. I don’t see any oil wells around here, either, although there could be some offshore that I’m unaware of. I do see plentiful sunlight, breezes (especially in the mountains) and the continuous power of the tides at the beach. The use of the latter as a power source is still in it’s infancy, but lets not forget it. SC can make a mint if it works to be a leader in solar, wind, and water power. We can be a cleaner state. And we can do our part to ameliorate the environmental disaster that will certainly be visited on our children and grandchildren.


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