Santee Cooper unveiled its “business forecast” at its board meeting a couple of weeks ago. On its face, the plan looks as though Santee Cooper will be making great strides in using more sustainable energy to power homes and businesses.
The strategy includes increasing solar capacity by 500 percent and adding 100 megawatts of power from a natural gas-fueled turbine.
These are all noble pursuits, which our region so desperately needs. But when you take a closer look at what Santee Cooper plans on doing, you have to take a step back and ask, “How?”
How can we trust this state agency to do what it says it will do? Santee Cooper’s long history of making big promises with little to no follow-through doesn’t give us much hope.
How will it be possible to make these necessary improvements when it has over $7 billion in debt?
How is it going to update to solar and natural gas when there is no existing infrastructure to make it happen?
How is it going to accomplish these sustainability goals and get out of debt at the same time without raising rates again?
I hope our region one day comes to rely on sustainable energy options. Unfortunately, history has taught us we can’t rely on Santee Cooper to give us those options.
A transportation difference
One way we can make a big difference in global warming is by raising taxes on gasoline so folks will start driving less.
Our cars have such a big carbon footprint, and time is running out. Carbon tax money could be used to improve mass transit and alternative forms of transportation.
It will make it harder for us to get around, but when you weigh the cost of environmental destruction against our convenience, it seems like an obvious choice.
Robert E. Lee Boulevard
Education system failings
Our South Carolina legislators have failed the education system again.
It’s enough that S.C. has one of the worst state education systems in the country. Someone has to be at the bottom, but us?
Apparently, the Legislature isn’t ashamed of that ranking because it hasn’t made many, if any, improvements.
In this case, our lawmakers need to eat some crow and learn how other states have turned their lagging education systems around. Florida is a great example.
South Carolina has legislation that says lottery funds are for education. Isn’t a lottery windfall lottery funds? Is $50 each for tax-paying citizens meant to buy votes like chicken dinners during election season?
I dare say it is a pittance, and most everyone would rather see the money go to schools, whether it’s for new buses replacing dangerously old ones, or helping schools most in need. It should all go to education.
Shame on all of you who chose not to use that tax windfall for education. With flawed priorities like that, I, for one, won’t vote for you again.
Marsh Harbor Lane
Stop destroying Charleston
Hear, hear to the writer of the Oct. 1 Post and Courier letter, “Goose’s golden egg.”
Disgrace is a good word to describe the annihilation of what once was a pristine, breathtaking, masterpiece of creation.
Charlestonians of days gone by, myself included, have only memories of what it was once like to smell pluff mud, walk barefoot on the ground (not asphalt), run and play in the woods, swing on vines hanging from giant oak and pine trees, walk over large sand dunes at Folly Beach and past sea oats to get to the ocean to swim in water that didn’t have plastic pellets in it.
After playing all day on the beach, we would go to the Folly boardwalk to eat and play at the arcade with our family and friends.
It’s too bad our grandchildren will never experience this.
I understand that things change over time. However, the conscious destruction of entire ecosystems in the name of “progress” and all the ramifications it entails is something worth serious contemplation.
I wonder what Charleston will be like 100 years from now. Would any of us recognize it?
Walkers Ferry Place
Demolition by neglect
I commend the Post and Courier for highlighting the problem of “Demolition by neglect” in the Sept. 26 edition of the paper.
Unfortunately, without stronger enforcement and penalties, this problem will continue to take historic structures in Charleston. There are two structures close to the St. Philip Street structure that are rapidly reaching the point of no return.
The home at 131 Ashley Ave. was a wonderful single house in the not-too-distant past. It is now a forlorn structure with no attempt being made to preserve it. It appears the owner, MUSC, is allowing this structure to melt away, maybe so it can remove the rubble and put up another building.
Behind 150 Wentworth St., a wonderful surviving example of a frame carriage house is suffering a similar fate.
When the Fisher House was fighting the neighborhood over the design for a new building on Wentworth, officials gave lip service to saving this structure. Once the Fisher House was built, nothing happened. The construction has even aggravated the demise of the structure by raising the grade of the site, leaving the building in a water trap.
It never ceases to amaze me that organizations and individuals espouse their love of Charleston and yet do absolutely nothing to preserve the history of Charleston under their charge.
Until the city of Charleston actually enforces “demolition by neglect” ordinances with swift, harsh penalties, the problem shall continue.
DAVID B. HOFFMAN
Graham changes tune
It has become increasingly apparent that President Donald Trump has used his position to game the system.
This is just one phone call in which 12 people were aware of what was said and only one person came forward.
This is a systemic problem that stems from an unstable man. Imagine what was said in private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He supports dictators while attacking women in Congress, telling them to go back to where they came from.
When Trump was running for office, Sen. Lindsey Graham warned the nation about the business mogul.
But now, Sen. Graham is a disgraced lap dog. He had some sense at one point. It’s time to be on the right side of history and get Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and all his fake news mongering cronies out of the White House. They are the swamp.
I urge Sens. Graham and Tim Scott and Rep. Joe Cunningham to stop putting their party before their country and vote to impeach.
China’s horrible heritage
As China celebrates its 70th anniversary under communist rule, it’s important to keep things in perspective when negotiating with the regime.
How will China react to tariffs as they take a toll on Chinese employment and business?
In a country where the party is everything, it boils down to what effect tariffs will have on the party.
Lest we forget, from 1947-51 the party committed “classicide,” eliminating 30 million landowners.
From 1958-62, Mao’s Great Leap Forward to industrialize and collectivize the populace literally starved to death or murdered an estimate 40 million Chinese.
Between 1966 and 1976, the party’s Cultural Revolution cost 10 million Chinese lives by torture, murder and starvation.
Tiananmen Square and the brutal suppression of Uighurs are not to be overlooked in considering the extent of totalitarian control of all aspects of life in China.
The penchant for brutal suppression and the capacity of a population to endure such savage repression are not encouraging signs the party will lose face over foreign pressure in the form of tariffs.
President Xi Jinping, China’s leader for life, is obviously intent on perpetuating party control and is on a path to creating a personality cult like Mao did.
The Communist Party’s penchant for brutal suppression, infliction of pain on its own people along with the capacity to endure it, coupled with the concept of absolute party power at all costs, can’t be overlooked in negotiating with China.
Gun violence a cultural issue
All the headlines about the dangers of guns are justified, but not in all communities. Locally, where are most of the shootings and murders committed? For example, the horrific Emanuel AME shootings in June 2015 left nine people dead. But between 2015 and 2017 in North Charleston, 35 people were killed. How many in 2018-19?
In Chicago, during the same period, 1,926 people were killed. How many people have been killed nationwide by “mass shooters”? Where is the gun problem?
Yet no government, local newspaper, social media or church group, neighborhood association, school system or civil rights group wants to talk about this issue. Instead they focus on the NRA, President Donald Trump, Trump voters, gun shows and white men.
When do civil rights and government leaders focus on the bigger issue?
The problem is not about more money for schools, free lunches, lowering standards or affirmative action. It is about behaviors that are killing people and ruining their chances to live a good, positive life for themselves and others.
She Crab Court
Questions for Democrats
Watching the Sept. 12 Democratic presidential debate, I was waiting for the moderators to ask probing questions regarding the medical coverage proposals, but those questions never came.
So in preparation for the next debate on Oct. 15, I propose the following questions:
Since you are proposing free Medicare, please explain why I am paying more than $1,000 per year for Medicare.
Why do I have to pay another $3,000 for a Medicare Supplemental Policy that covers the procedures Medicare won’t pay for?
Will your Medicare proposal eliminate the deductible/out-of-pocket requirements, which would be thousands more, before the coverage kicks in at 100%?
Will the government be setting the prices for all medical procedures to “keep costs down”? When doctors have their compensation reduced because of price controls and close their practices, how long do you think it would take to get an appointment?
How do you intend to pay for Medicare? If the answer is to tax the “rich,” what happens when the rich move to another country?
Free health care for everyone sounds great, but when the models that candidates are using are anything but free, and when you consider the cost controls that would have to be put in place to contemplate such a scheme, it seems doomed to the same fate as Obamacare: higher costs, degradation of our medical care and broken promises.
Legends Club Drive