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 Not only that, our state is already on track to continue those gains as our utilities plan to retire numerous outdated pollution-belching coal plants while also expanding solar power and energy efficiency.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.