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Best & Worst of the General Assembly is Here

WONDER WHAT YOUR LAWMAKERS WERE UP TO IN 2013? IT’S ALL HERE. Our annual guide to the year’s legislative session, The Best & Worst of the General Assembly, has been published. To download your electronic copy, click here.  As in years past, we covered a large number of bills. Although it’s not feasible to analyze […]

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Renewable Energy: What’s the State’s Role?

HOW STATE FAVORITISM HURTS TAXPAYERS AND DRIVES UP ENERGY PRICES An attempt to loosen South Carolina energy regulation and licensing constraints for the benefit of solar energy firms has gained a fair amount of attention recently. A bill now in the legislature seeks to enable a process by which solar companies lease solar panels to […]

What Kind of Green-tech Jobs Do Your Tax Dollars Buy?

It’s easy to criticize the federal government’s attempt to boost economic growth by promoting “green” technology. The idea has a certain superficial charm, and it goes something like this: Since we all know that environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies are the Next Big Thing, why shouldn’t the federal government “invest” billions of public dollars in the green energy industry? That will (a) create jobs in the short term and (b) put the U.S. economy ahead of the curve in the long term.

A Review of Environmental Policy for 2009-2010

As we review the best and worst environmental legislation of 2009, it’s also time to begin to consider what ideas are likely to resurface during the 2010 session. Following a national trend, South Carolina’s legislature has become increasingly enamored with green initiatives that will have little to no impact on global warming and instead are […]

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A Look into the Future of Alternative Energy

Alternative energy advocates unveiled elaborate visions of what green energy could mean for South Carolina’s future during a climate change conference last week at South Carolina State University. State and educational officials advocated for hydrogen, wind, biofuels, switchgrass and nuclear as potential options for South Carolina to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. But with […]

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Legislature Sticks Taxpayers With $1.45 Million Bill for Hydrogen Fueling Stations

here were no two ways about it: as legislators worked through the spring to cobble together a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, they claimed South Carolina was on the brink of financial ruin.

But amid the handwringing and fear mongering, the General Assembly somehow managed to scrape together enough taxpayer money to subsidize a pair of hydrogen fueling stations, redirecting public funds to pay off loans made under a little-known state-operated program.

In a last-minute move, legislators slipped a proviso in the FY 09-2010 budget that repaid $1,450,800 taken out by the city of Columbia and Aiken County for the fueling stations. That money went to pay off loans originally taken out by the municipalities through the ConserFund, a low-interest program administered by the South Carolina Energy Office.

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Economics of Climate Change in South Carolina

Written by: David G. Tuerck, PhD Economic analysis of the Climate, Energy and Commerce Advisory Committee (CECAC) report would cost taxpayers billions of dollars while offering a negligible environmental benefit, according to the Policy Council study performed by economists at the Beacon Hill Institute. The Center for Climate Strategies, authors of the CECAC report, propose […]

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South Carolina’s Climate Advisory Committee: What to Expect

Public policy choices should be informed, well balanced, and based on solid empirical data with dynamic analysis of costs and benefits. While the Committee offers South Carolina an excellent opportunity to rigorously evaluate important environmental policy options, lawmakers should not be surprised if CCS instead produces yet another carbon-copy of its expensive and partisan regulatory […]

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