Posted by: Dave Wilson | September 26, 2008

Environment vs. Economy in SC

In an already turbulent financial time when the national economic scene is in an uproar and state economic forecast is anything but blue skies, Gov. Sanford and his Climate, Energy & Commerce Advisory Committee is pushing for cuts in greenhouse emissions in our small state at the cost of industry and jobs.

We received this comment today to our anonymous tip email

All is not well in the land of environmental extremism in South Carolina.  The scam, uh, committee, Gov. Sanford formed to provide radical, uh, thoughtful, recommendations has landed like a turd in a swimming pool.

While the committee chairman tried to give the impression that its package of environmental recommendations was virtually unanimous, it was not.  Buried in the back of the report where nobody reads are letters critical of the committee and its findings from some of its members.

The committee, among other things, says the state should reduce its carbon emissions by five percent, but here’s the problem: There is no wall around South Carolina shielding us from the rest of the world.  A five percent emissions reduction in this state without 49 other states doing the same will make NO difference.  None.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.

But unilateral action in South Carolina could destroy whatever economy we have, and there’s not much of that left.

Climate Strategies Watch, a very credible climate watchdog group, weighed in with their own analysis in this press release today.


RALEIGH, N.C.-Proposals intended to avert a feared climate “catastrophe,” delivered to Gov. Mark Sanford this week by the South Carolina Climate, Energy and Commerce Advisory Committee (CECAC), promote initiatives that would raise costs and regulation in government, increase gasoline and energy prices, and restrict individual freedoms.

The recommendations produced by CECAC, meanwhile, would do nothing to accomplish the goal of affecting global climate, according to Paul Chesser, director of Climate Strategies Watch.

“South Carolinians ought to be wary of this basket of goodies baked largely by a group of environmental extremists who want increased government meddling in peoples’ lives,” Chesser said. “The usually conservative state legislature ought to see them for what they are and consider them dead on arrival.”

CECAC was managed by the Center for Climate Strategies, a Pennsylvania-based environmental advocacy group that purports to help states determine for themselves how to develop climate change policies. In reality CCS tightly controls these commissions, who consider proposals mostly from a menu of options presented by CCS themselves. Nearly all the choices represent new taxes or higher prices on energy, increased costs of government, new regulations for businesses, and reduced energy options for utilities, and therefore consumers. That CECAC’s initiatives promote socialist policies and bigger government is not surprising, since the committee and CCS were completely funded by an eye-opening cabal of left-wing foundations: the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Turner Foundation.

“It’s beyond me why Governor Sanford, who the American Conservative Union has called America’s most conservative governor, would kowtow to global warming alarmists,” Chesser said.

According to analysis of publicly-available data and peer-reviewed studies of weather-related trends in South Carolina, the Science and Public Policy Institute ( found that no observed phenomena – including seasonal temperatures, hurricanes, drought, crop loss, and sea level rise – has fallen outside of normal variation. Further, after applying findings by former Al Gore adviser Thomas Wigley — even if South Carolina could completely eliminate its CO2 emissions — SPPI determined that the effect would be no more than two-thousands of one degree Celsius by the year 2100, a nearly undetectable change.

“Governor Sanford, when he created CECAC, called for the committee to determine potential benefits of any carbon mitigation measures for South Carolina,” Chesser said. “Al Gore’s own adviser would admit that no climate change would result if these costly policies were implemented, and therefore zero benefit.”

“At a time in which we see shaky U.S. economic indicators and all-time high gasoline prices, CECAC’s proposed ‘solutions’ to climate change should be a non-starter,” Chesser said. “To impose policies that only produce higher energy costs and unnecessary regulations on South Carolinians, just so some global warming alarmists can feel better about themselves, should not be taken seriously.

Meanwhile, Citizens for Sound Conservation are adding their two cents to the discussion as well saying…

While the committee should be applauded for reaching consensus on a number of market-based recommendations, the report as a whole is fatally flawed because the committee did not analyze how its recommendations would impact jobs or economic development in South Carolina.



  1. The current meltdown of U.S. financial markets requires a $700 billion bailout by the American taxpayer. Taxpayers are expressing their outrage. Elected officials have joined in the outcry because it’s good politics. They don’t really care.

    Curiously, American taxpayers haven’t been nearly as upset over the fact that, this past year, they have paid some $700 billion for foreign oil. Americans seem oblivious to the fact that many of their elected officials made this happen by blocking domestic oil production, and who continue to do so, to this day.

    Why is it OK for politicians to hurt the economy by making us pay foreign counrties $700 billion for oil that could have been produced at home, but not OK to pay $700 billion to save the economy from ruin? What’s the difference?

    Why haven’t our elected officials been taken to task for what they’ve done? Foreign oil purchases caused unnecessary hemorrhaging of trillions of taxpayer dollars over the past ten ears. You can bet the financial executives will be crucified. Why do taxpayers not give politicians the same treatment? Why will we continue to reelect these officials. They have caused more economic harm to our economy than the 911 terrorists and the CEOs of failed financial institutions, combined.

  2. While the CECAC report doesn’t go so far as to advocate the reprocessing of radioactive spent nuclear fuel, it comes close. Reprocessing would be a costly program that would depend 100% on government handouts and leave a dirty, dangerous mess behind, as witnessed by the high-level waste at the Savannah River Site. It would also be a net energy drain.

    Narrow special interests which would benefit from a socialist reprocessing program are counting on their friends in Congress to force us pay for this scheme which could well end up causing great harm to the environment of SC (if SRS is chosen as the reprocessing site, to which the nation’s spent fuel could be shipped and dumped).

    Fiscal conservatives and environmentalists have a perfect alliance against this nonsense. But if you love subsidies and bailouts then reprocessing may be for you.

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