Expanding Renewable Energy Sources and Protecting the Environment

South Carolina has been at the forefront of renewable energy for more than a century. The power of the Catawba and Broad Rivers has been harnessed for hydroelectric power since 1904, providing clean energy to thousands of customers. I support the expansion of these renewable resources as we continue to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels that damage our water and air. 

I also recognize the renewable alternative that nuclear power can provide. Over the long term, nuclear energy can be an affordable option for providing electricity as is shown by the operating plants in York and Fairfield counties.  However, we must be diligent in protecting rate payers from boondoggle projects like the VC Summer expansion.  It is unacceptable that the state allowed nine consecutive rate increases on Midlands ratepayers only for the company to turn around and abandon the site in exchange for a massive tax break.  We need to ensure that rate payers don’t pay the price for greed and corruption at the highest levels of Columbia and Washington.

The 5th District of South Carolina is largely rural. Not only is preserving the environment critical to preserving the everyday traditions of rural life for the citizens of the 5th district, but its constituents depend upon its rivers for energy and local farmers for food. Climate change has made droughts and flood worse, sprawl has turned rural communities into faceless exurbs, and commercial polluters have changed the way our children interact with the nature that surrounds us.  

I oppose the dismantling of federal environmental regulations that allow corporate polluters to get away with poisoning our community’s drinking water, soil, and air. I believe that it is possible for industry to thrive without abusing our air and water, and look forward to giving the EPA back the enforcement capabilities that keep South Carolina workers and families safe. I am also in full-opposition to offshore drilling off of South Carolina's coast.

Last, I believe that pollution respects no border and we should not disengage from the Paris Accords.  We must safeguard our planet for future generations.