While our governor and other state leaders are promoting offshore oil exploration along the South Carolina coast, neighboring states are rapidly exploiting the no-risk energy alternative — solar power.

Georgia Power just announced the construction of a new 200 acre, 30 megawatt solar farm near Columbus, Ga., which already has approximately 30 times more solar capacity in place than South Carolina.

North Carolina is doing even more. In 2014 almost 400 megawatts of solar power were installed — second highest in the country — bringing the state’s total to 953 megawatts. That’s about 100 times more solar power than we have in our state and enough to power more than 100,000 homes.

In the last five years the cost of solar panels has dropped by almost half. Business is booming in solar friendly states. There are now approximately 180,000 jobs in the solar energy industry in the United States — more than twice that of the coal industry. In North Carolina the solar jobs number is 5,600 and growing.

When it comes to the development of solar power, why is South Carolina being left in the dust by our neighbors? Why aren’t our leaders as gung ho for new jobs in the solar industry as they are for those in the oil/gas industry?

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Why would you choose to develop a power source that comes with the risk of oil spills while overlooking one which is risk-free?

The state should give first priority to the resource which is right under its nose.

CARL VOELKER

Deer Point Drive

Seabrook Island