Diverse energy

I truly enjoyed the articles by Doug Pardue and David Slade about SCE&G, rates and nuclear plant construction. The pieces contained good research, presented differing views and gave glimpses of the complexity of the issue.

The aspect that needed more discussion was that major construction projects are hard to start and stop. Not long ago, many natural gas plants were being built by independent power producers. Then gas prices rocketed up, and those plants were shut down as too costly to operate. Now gas is cheap again, for which I am thankful.

Utilities, however, must plan for multiple energy scenarios, which is why they prefer to have diverse long-term fuel sources for generation. That seems smart to me. Don’t put all your energy eggs in one basket.

Steve Weise

Woodland Walk

North Charleston

Road work

I see that a tax increase is being sought for the S.C. Department of Transportation to repair roads. Well, in the area I have lived for the last 30-plus years I’ve watched SCDOT repair the same holes in the road about twice a year except when it rains, then more often.

Then you see signs along the side of the road stating “road repair ahead” when they haven’t worked on that stretch of road in over a year or sometimes two. Those signs are not cheap.

I think the DOT should learn how to use what they have before more is sought.

Richard Moore

Fox Chase Drive

Goose Creek

Ethics laws

The June 24 lead editorial titled “Who is paying your legislators” is doing a real service to S.C. residents who have legitimate questions about our state Legislature. The issue of just how much of legislators’ income is derived from taxpayers is truly difficult for a layperson to find out and shows a nearly total lack of transparency on this issue.

Another issue your paper has spoken out strongly on is ethics. The failure of the Legislature to pass much-needed ethics laws is a disgrace and again shows a lack of transparency and a cynical Legislature that exists in South Carolina.

This past year Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigned after being accused of misusing campaign funds. Sen. Robert Ford resigned after similar charges.

Almost totally forgotten, however, is Speaker Bobby Harrell who reimbursed himself from his own campaign funds over $300,000, mostly to pay for his use of his very expensive single-engine airplane, supposedly for legitimate state business.

To the average S.C. resident, this seems to be a big-time misuse of campaign funds and makes the spending by Ard and Ford look like penny-ante chiseling.

Of course, Speaker Harrell has vehemently denied allegations. It was only pressure from Common Cause and others that finally sent the issue to the S.C. Attorney General for investigation.

When a person calls the AG office for information, the only answer given is “no comment.” The office will not even verify that the issue was turned over to SLED in February. When SLED is called and asked about this, all the caller gets is an even more firm “no comment.

I do believe if someone asked the NSA for details on the mega-bugging program recently exposed, more information would be obtainable.

The way the Harrell issue has been buried makes me wonder if the Speaker’s position might just be the reason we hear nothing from SLED.

This issue cries out for detailed investigative reporting from The Post and Courier. It was one of your fine reporters who broke the story over nine months ago.

We, the public and taxpayers, have a right to know.

Bob Ielfield

Sequoia Drive

Summerville

Better re-think

A July 7 article regarding Savannah deciding not to build a cruise terminal definitely needs to be read by all cruise ship devotees.

It suggests it might not be a win-win for Charleston to renovate (rebuild) a terminal that ultimately might see little use. The ramifications of overburdening the peninsula and jeopardizing sightseers’ experience need to be considered more in-depth than has been done.

Sounds like Savannah did its homework.

Fran Dionne

Riggs Lane

Yonges Island

Immigration bill

The Post and Courier seems to support the immigration reform bill. In the June 15 edition you state that it is gaining support in South Carolina. Is that because people don’t know the implications of the bill, or what it contains, just like the Affordable Care Act?

The media and certain politicians want the focus on illegal immigrants instead of those trying to move to the USA legally. I say we should secure the border and require e-verify nationwide to prevent illegal immigrants from working.

The bill requires that the 11 million illegal immigrants keep a job. We have 20 million Americans without a job. Should we not focus on them? This bill is all about two political parties battling for votes in future elections.

I would like to add some comments on behalf of children of U.S. citizens who are following immigration laws, but have to wait their turn in their home countries.

I have proudly and legally lived in South Carolina since 1993, becoming a naturalized citizen in 2007. I filed an I-130 form and paid the fee to sponsor my daughter back in late 2010. We were shocked to find out that she would have to wait up to six years for her chance at living the American Dream. Only a limited number of visas are available each year for children of U.S. citizens.

I have just submitted paperwork for my son to move here too. Both of my children have college degrees. Both would be valuable additions to this country.

The proposed immigration bill allows illegal immigrants to live and work here in the USA, while waiting the 10 years for their visa. How is that fair?

The important thing for people to realize is not how long illegal immigrants have to wait, or where they are in the line for legal status; it’s where they get to wait.

If you want to make it fair, illegal immigrants should be required to return to their home countries to wait their 10 years. Otherwise it is just amnesty, and how did that work out in 1986?

I have asked Sen. Lindsey Graham to give me one good reason why one single illegal immigrant should get legal status to live and work in the USA before my children. The silence is deafening.

Paul Jinks

Omni Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Voting Rights Act

In a recent article bemoaning the recent Supreme Court decision concerning the Voting Rights Act, Leonard Pitts quotes Georgia Rep. John Lewis, who claims the court has “plunged a dagger in the heart” of the freedom movement and criticizes Clarence Thomas, “the brother on the court,” for voting with the majority. “I think he’s lost his way,” Lewis says.

I’d like to suggest another interpretation of Thomas’ vote. Perhaps “the brother on the court” has, in fact, found his way — to escape the temptation to define himself as a victim, to vote his conscience irrespective of the color of his skin, to graciously forgive the abuses of his country’s past, and to declare his faith in a brotherhood of all Americans, not just a subset that shares a common ethnicity. Freedom doesn’t bleed because of courageous decisions like Judge Thomas’ — it flourishes.

Jeff Erickson

Bampfield Drive

Mount Pleasant

Pipe up, paper

It was very disappointing to pore over the paper the past two weeks and see nothing about the Citadel Regimental Band & Pipes trip to the Tattoo in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Watching videos on their web page showed how well received they were and what a spectacular job they did.

These talented and dedicated young men and women gave up their summer to represent our city and our country (they were the only U.S. band invited) at these games. Why was there no coverage?

Barbara Blasch

Larry Blasch

Spinnaker Beachhouse Villas

Seabrook Island