In 2007, our elected officials stealthily passed legislation, with virtually no debate, leaving South Carolina residents holding the bill for two nuclear reactors which were to cost us $11 billion. That bill increased substantially over time because of delays and cost overruns.
The legislators gave utilities a blank check with our signature, thanks to the bill they passed.
SCANA, SCE&G’s parent company, spent millions lobbying lawmakers to accomplish this – and there was virtually no opposition to the bill. To his credit, Mark Sanford, then governor, refused to sign it, realizing the negative implications the House and Senate ignored.
Now, even after several rate increases already passed down by the electric utilities, there will be yet more – to pay for a project which has now been abandoned. There is no remedy for this in sight.
On to another subject: State and federal legislators have been lobbied heavily, with many millions of dollars donated to campaign funds by Big Oil, to turn the filthy and accident prone oil industry loose in our ocean – and to industrialize our coast – with the promise of only 1 percent of economic return compared to what tourism and fishing currently contribute.
And some of these legislators are actually supportive of that!
Every single fishing village, town and city on South Carolina’s coast have adopted resolutions through their elected local officials – to oppose seismic blasting and offshore drilling. But there are still legislators taking stealthy measures, which both ignore this fact - and their constituents’ best interests.
One senator wants a referendum to "give the unincorporated areas a voice." Really? What percentage of the coastal population is unincorporated? A miniscule amount. This is how desperate they are.
Other legislators are busy setting up committees to debate the subject. Seriously, they are.
At this point in time, I think it would be appropriate for all of us to write our elected officials, every single one. We need to call them, too. We should demand that they send an official statement to BOEM, supporting the mindset of their constituents by opposing seismic blasting and offshore drilling.
There should be no more buffoonery like the nuclear reactor debacle. If we let them get away with offshore drilling, they will have made a "forever decision" against the will of the people, against all logic and fiscal responsibility AND against their chances of being reelected.
Please, everyone – let them know that!
The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.