South Carolina Says NO COAL!!!

July 31, 2009 at 12:23 pm Leave a comment

July 27th, Santee Cooper ratepayers, commercial & industrial business leaders and young people from across South Carolina called on Santee Cooper to implement an aggressive, broad based energy efficiency plan to reduce electric bills, create more jobs and restore the state-owned utilities tradition of leadership. The appeal came as Santee Cooper board members met to approve a 15 percent rate increase for residential customers over the next two years. Much of the proposed rate increase will pay for a multi-billion dollar coal plant on the Pee Dee River.

At the event, over 33 people spoke to the board and not one of them thought that the rate hike, especially to benefit such an outdated technology, was a good idea. People from a broad spectrum of campus, community, and industrial backgrounds spoke passionately about Santee Cooper’s need to take control of our energy future.

Lorena Hildebrant, a student at Winthrop University, said that “our generation cannot afford to live with the longstanding harmful effects of coal-fired energy. As young people, we realize the threat to our generation from climate change and environmental degradation. That is why we are asking Santee Cooper not to build a new coal fired plant.”

Here is part of us SCASCC/PEAC folks who came.

SEN Staff and South Carolina student network leaders.

Santee Cooper advertises the rate hikes as the first since 1996. During that period, however, the utility’s investments in programs that help its customers save energy and lower bills has decreased by nearly 70 percent. –According to the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, energy efficiency can reduce present day electricity use by 20 percent over the next several years, equivalent to 80 percent of the regions’ future power needs.–

Due to rising costs to construc and operate coal plants – as well as a discouraging regulatory environment – utilities across the country have cancelled plans for more than 90 plants in order to protect ratepayers from the high risks of coal. “Every other utility in our state has sworn off new coal plants because they are too expensive,” said Nancy Cave, Coastal Conservation League North Coast Director and Santee Cooper customer. “Other utilities are moving forward with energy efficiency, which is cleaner, cheaper and can more than adequately meet the energy demands of Santee Cooper’s customers.”

Many thanks to those who were able to make it out early to help canvass and get to know your fellow advocates! We had a weekend full of beach fun and local outreach and had a good time doing it!

For more information about the event check out

The board will make a decision on the proposed rate hike on August 24th. Details on how you can express your opposition to come!

Outisde the board meeting just before it starts

Outisde the board meeting just before it starts


Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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