Talking Energy Reform with the SC Tea Party

On Monday of this week, I got to speak at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention in Myrtle Beach about the ongoing V.C. Summer nuclear scandal. It was a great opportunity to find common ground with the Tea Party on important energy issues here in SC, as SACE has done with Tea Party groups in other states. I was asked to talk about what’s really going on with the nuclear scandal, who’s responsible, and what comes next, so I tried to wrap all of that up into about 10 minutes, but here are the main points: 1) In trying to understand how we’ve gotten to this point with huge debt for a canceled power plant that customers may end up having to pay, the details are many but can be boiled down to that monopolies, set up by the government, have been taxing us, killing competition, and taking away our freedom; and 2)Likewise, the solutions to the mess can be terribly complicated, but it comes down to this key question: in South Carolina’s energy system, are we going to continue the failed path of corrupt monopoly control that brought us to this point, or free our state’s electric customers to enjoy customer choice in a fair power market that people can understand?

The conference had a great videographer who has made the video available on Youtube here and I’ve copied it below. If you would like to read a written copy of my remarks, please scroll down below the video.

How I Went Solar In South Carolina

My wife and I just got solar installed on our home’s roof a couple months ago and here is our story of how we went solar. Hopefully it helps you go solar too. Before adding solar to our roof, we did a couple important things: 1) waited to install solar until after we’d replaced our [...]

4 Ways You Can Help Defeat Trump’s Disastrous New Drilling Plan

You may have heard the news that last week President Trump unveiled an utterly insane national plan for offshore drilling that seeks to auction off 90% of our country’s offshore waters to oil companies. In the plan, the coastlines of every single coastal state except Hawaii would be jeopardized by offshore drilling, with potential drilling [...]

Trump Administration pushes offshore drilling EVERYWHERE

Today, the Trump Administration took a huge step toward disaster with the announcement of their draft proposed five year program for offshore drilling. The proposed plan will foist oil and gas drilling as close as 3 miles to shore along the entirety of the coasts of the lower 48 states, including the Atlantic, Straits of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific. Drilling privileges for Atlantic coast areas from Central Florida to Delaware would be auctioned to oil companies beginning in 2020 and for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico area currently under moratorium and Straits of Florida (off of South Florida and the Keys) in 2023. Altogether, the new drilling plan makes 90% of the nation’s waters available for oil companies to drill. Please stand with us, and the thousands of businesses, 125 local governments, and hundreds of thousands of citizens who have stood up to reject offshore drilling in favor of our coastal economy and quality of life, and join us to fight President Trump’s reckless drive to drill.

These 51 Southeast Mayors and Communities Are Going for 100% Renewable Energy

Mayors and cities around the Southeast are going all in on renewable energy, which can help lower electricity costs, reduce pollution, and create jobs. Check out the list below (bolded communities have adopted formal goals) and if your mayor has already stepped up, please thank them. If your mayor hasn’t joined yet, please ask them to join!

Jobs, $$$, and Clean Energy: Solar Company Investing Big in South Carolina

South Carolina got a major announcement on Thursday, when solar energy development company Cypress Creek Renewables proposed a major investment in the Palmetto State. Cypress Creek announced they aim to build 2,000 megawatts of solar in SC over the next 3-5 years, which is enough to power about 600,000 homes. This amount of solar means a $1.5 billion investment in our state by a single solar company, and up to 10,000 construction jobs over the 3-5 year build out period. The buildout is reported to be spread among 80 sites, which likely means many localities–predominantly rural–would benefit by the development in the form of local jobs, and revenue from property taxes.

Clemson Goes Big With Wind Turbine Testing

Yesterday Clemson University announced they’d landed a big deal for testing a huge wind turbine. The world’s most powerful wind turbine, the MHI Vestas V164-9.5 MW, will be tested at Clemson’s world-class energy innovation center in North Charleston, SC. The facility, equipped with large test rigs, will be able to simulate 20+ years worth of field conditions on the turbines and measure their response and interaction with the grid in just a few years’ time, and then MHI Vestas will be able to optimize the turbines’ performance and reliability. The Clemson-MHI Vestas partnership, a $35 million investment, is a big step forward in realizing the economic potential of offshore wind for South Carolina and the Southeast.

Trump Admin Begins Rollback of Clean Power Plan

Following through on a campaign promise, the Trump administration signed a rule this week to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever national limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants. An historic public health regulation, which wasn’t scheduled to begin implementation until 2022, the Clean Power Plan was projected to save Americans $12 billion to $34 billion in health cost savings.

By setting modest carbon reduction goals and providing maximum compliance flexibility, including carbon reductions achieved through increased use of natural gas and nuclear, the Clean Power Plan established a balance of environmental and economic development goals. In fact, the rule would have provided relief in the form of utility bill savings, with an estimated $7/month savings realized by 2030 thanks to reduction in power demand thanks to increased energy efficiency.

Nuclear cancellation fallout in South Carolina

The last few days have been a whirlwind in the South Carolina energy realm with the announcement of abandonment of the under-construction nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer power plant. Here is a brief description of what’s been going on from SACE’s point of view.

New Climate Movie Great Way To Inspire Action

An Inconvenient Truth, released in 2006, was the first major Hollywood film about climate change and was undoubtedly a turning point in the American story of climate action. The movie, a double Academy Award winner, was viewed by millions of people who hadn’t ever given so much thought to the topic and educated people about both the problems we face ahead with global warming, and also inspired many to begin pursing solutions. Now more than 10 years later, the team that brought us the movie is releasing a sequel, called An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, to be released nationwide next Friday, August 4. The movie is sure to be an excellent conversation starter with those new to the intricacies of this topic and diehard climate action advocates alike. The movie will be showing in dozens of cities around the Southeast (partial list below), so check here to see where the movie will be playing in a theater near you.