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Letters to the Editor: Feb. 24

  • Updated

When money and influence corrupt

A local paper in Pawleys Island says a miracle has occurred with the Prince George Tract. However, unless having a bleep-ton of money and powerful connections is what constitutes a miracle, there is no miracle. In fact, I would call it a flat out rip off, not only of Georgetown County citizens, but all the citizens of South Carolina.

A true miracle would have included public access for everyone to a beautiful beach that only an exclusive group of individuals can enjoy. A true miracle would have protected 130+ acres West of Hwy 17 where endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker cavity trees are glimpsed in the rare Longleaf Pine woodland that RCW’s inhabit. A true miracle wouldn’t have Mr. Bud Watts dividing up the “miracle” property into “4 parcels” and building “8 homes and outbuildings” on it. A true miracle would have stopped the unholy union between USC Development Foundation and “the undeveloped portion of DeBordieu” (whatever that means) from blocking public acquisition of this property way back in 1994. Then we’d have another Huntington Beach State Park only better because of high quality habitats.

Shame on the USC Development Foundation. Shame on whoever or whatever “the undeveloped part of Debordieu” is. As the number of people keeps increasing, the amount of land never changes. Wealthy people get tax breaks for protections that “can be lifted” at any time as long as “a court of competent jurisdictions” agrees to it. As usual, money and influence corrupt what is right.

Maureen Mulligan

Pawleys Island

Let the National Guard go home

How is it that everyone knew the Trump rally would become a riot but security was not beefed up? Seems to me that President Trump cannot be any more accountable than all those in charge of the safety of those in the capitol. Additionally, how was it that people were allowed to leave the capitol at any time during the riot? Schools go into immediate lockdown when there is any type of safety issue but there was no lockdown to prevent people from going in or out of the capitol on January 6th. They should not have to round up the suspects now when there was an opportunity to arrest them on their way out.

Why is it okay to surround the capitol building with the “immoral” wall to protect Congress but not morally correct to surround our country? The expense of keeping the National Guard in Washington, D.C. to date is unbelievable when cities and states are requesting funds due to shortfalls created by closing down the economies in those areas. The money spent on keeping the Capitol “safe” could be better spent by sending funds to those directly affected by the lockdowns (which are mostly political and not following the science!). Let the National Guard go home to be with their families! Give them the money but allow them to leave Washington D.C. That seems the most logical solution at this point.

Denise Day

Myrtle Beach

Kudos to Santee Cooper

The next time that you flip on a light switch, please remember the our state legislature is back in session and that the buzzards, i.e. private power utility lobbyists, are flying around our state house again trying to get the legislature to sell our electricity provider Santee Cooper.

Yes, Santee Cooper made some mistakes when former President Obama announced that he would be shutting down all of our coal fired electric power plants. At that time, our power needs in Georgetown County coming from Santee Cooper were being generated via coal fired plants. The management of Santee Cooper took Obama seriously and made the decision to pivot and enter the arena of Nuclear Power. In 2008 they teamed with South Carolina Electric & Gas 55% and Santee Cooper 45% to build two reactors at a cost of $8B. Westinghouse won the contract for engineering, procurement and construction for the prefabricated reactors to allow for modular construction of the reactors. As we all know, that build strategy didn’t end well. Westinghouse declared bankruptcy in 2017 and our supplier of electric power took the hit!

As the Santee Cooper debate continues into the forth and hopefully the last consecutive session of the SC General Assembly, I encourage you to be informed on the issues. I am a Conservative and a Capitalist, but I clearly understand that public utilities have a vital role to play in our economy. I spent thirty six years of my life in East Tennessee going to college and working for three major manufacturing corporations. During that time, all of my electricity needs were supplied by a public utility called the Tennessee Valley Authority. Although TVA had its own uncomfortable moments with transitioning from Fossil to Nuclear Fuel, it survived the pressures of misinformed and uninformed politicians and the private sector energy suppliers trying to persuade the US Congress to sell it off to the highest bidder.

With the nuclear issue in the rearview mirror, Santee Cooper has come back strong! Actions have been taken to reduce operating expenses and settling the Cook Litigation. The settlement included SCE&G paying $320M and Santee Cooper paying $200M in cash over three years for costs incurred by the customer class, and freezing electricity rates over four years. These actions allowed Santee Cooper to meet the terms of the rate freeze, continue to reduce debt and implement their leaner greener Resource Plan. They enjoy a stable “A” credit rating which aligns with the top 4% of U.S. investor-owned utility holding companies.

In addition to supplying me with electric power at a price that does not include a profit margin because it is a public entity, I can assure you that Santee Cooper always has and will continue to be there for Georgetown County and all of us who live here. They understand that if we are successful, they will also be successful.

Bob Anderson

Pawleys Island

Reach Nick Masuda at 843-607-0912. Follow him on Twitter at @nickmasudaphoto. 

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