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Why conservative South Carolina could actually be a sign of the future of U.S. energy

Friday, February 19, 2016

From the Washington Post: Coastal South Carolina has long been recognized by locals and tourists alike for its warm waters, dazzling natural landscapes and prime seafood cuisine. But lately, communities up and down the shoreline have been making a name for themselves in another way: They’re leading the historically conservative state in a shift toward support for alternative energy and away from fossil fuel energy development. In the past year, the waters off the coast of…

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Decision nears on oil and natural gas drilling offshore

Friday, February 19, 2016

From the Post and Courier: Federal regulators are expected to announce in March whether they will propose leasing more offshore oil and natural gas exploration and drilling in the Atlantic, including off South Carolina, say environmental attorneys who are monitoring the decision. The “best information” given to Southern Environmental Law Center attorneys is to expect a decision between March 14 and March 18, said center spokesman Mike Mather late Thursday. A Bureau of Ocean Energy Management…

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Transportation on the Senate Floor

Friday, February 19, 2016

To fix the potholes, fix the system This week on the Senate Floor, Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort filibustered to ensure that reforming transportation is part of any law to address our roads. Senator Davis explained that if the General Assembly simply raises the gas tax without reforming the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank, any new money would not necessarily go to fixing existing interstates. Citing the example of South Carolina Highway 51, Senator Davis predicted…

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A Persistent Plastic Menace

Monday, February 15, 2016

From the Post and Courier‘s editorial page: Seven tons. That’s how much plastic a study from The Citadel estimates is breaking down in Charleston Harbor right now. It’s bad enough that so much trash is littering a body of water so important to local commerce, recreation and ecology. But according to The Citadel researchers, natural processes may be turning those tons of plastic into a serious health risk to marine animals — and…

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From the Post and Courier editorial page

Monday, February 8, 2016

To ban or not to ban bags Feb 8 2016 12:01 am Without much fanfare, Isle of Palms recently became South Carolina’s first municipality to ban single-use plastic bags from the city’s businesses. If a bill proposed in the state House late last month gains much traction, the Isle of Palms ban may also be the state’s last. Two lawmakers representing upstate districts home to or located nearby major…

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Land, water and air. Smart plants, dumb developers. Kiawah fallout. Boondoggle costs.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Folks, We live in three physical media (air, water and land), and each was in the news (media) this week. The first article (on land), from CNN, provides a wonderful retrospective on “America’s Best Idea,” the National Park System, whose 100th anniversary we celebrate this year. It is fascinating to learn, for example, that Yellowstone was established as a national park not because anyone was particularly wild about the idea of federal parks,…

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Plastic from China. Corn subsidies for Iowa. Coastal wind. A new park. A road build on sand. A road surprise.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Folks, The Post and Courier’s Bo Petersen follows up on last week’s news about plastic microfibers in Charleston Harbor with an article this week on the worldwide plague of plastic pollution.  According to researchers in the U.K. and with the World Economic Forum, in 30 years there will be more tons of plastics in the ocean than there are tons of fish.   It may seem obvious to…

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The Roads Bill in the Senate

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Here’s an update on the progress of the roads debate in the SC Senate, with voices from social media.

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“Don’t raise gas tax, unless you reform road funding.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We’re working hard on transportation reform at the State House this week. Our South Coast Director, Kate Schaefer, wrote a piece in response to the Post and Courier’s editorial on roads. The Post and Courier chose the headline “Don’t raise gas tax, reform road funding.” To be clear: Our position is “Don’t raise gas tax, unless you reform road funding.” Kate does a great job of explaining why: As anticipated, the…

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Post & Courier Editorial: Turning point for I-26 transit

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Turning point for I-26 transit By the Post and Courier Editorial Board January 23, 2016   After more than a year and a half of research public meetings and intensive planning, an effort to build a mass transit alternative along Interstate 26 between Summerville and peninsular Charleston is reaching a major turning point. On Monday, the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments will host a series of three meetings to gather one last round of…

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