Monday, November 5, 2007

Power & Energy 2

I have given a lot of thought to my power and energy post concerning Santee Cooper's proposed plant in the Lowcountry. First off, let me say that I do not and will not, as a Legislator, have a vote in this. The permitting process lies with DHEC/EPA and public hearings are underway. But this is not just a Lowcountry issue. It is a South Carolina issue - from an environmental angle and from a future power angle.

I have heard that some folks say that if Santee Cooper and the other power producers would just raise their rates, companies like Alcoa and Nucor would leave South Carolina, lessening the demand for power and negating the need for a new power station. I, for one, don't want to see Alcoa and Nucor, or any other business providing wages for South Carolinians for that matter, go away. In addition, meeting the power supply demands of future businesses and industries is important to job creation in South Carolina - and that is important to me.

I don't believe that wind farms and solar arrays can provide enough power to meet these demands - because if they could, you would see entrepreneurs lining up to get these things up and running. That is not to say that theses sources are irrelevant - because they are not. They are a part of the formula for lessening our dependence on foreign oil and providing clean energy, not the solution. The solution has yet to be found - it is not hydrogen, it is not ethanol, it is not biodiesel, it is not wind, it is not solar, and it is probably not LNG - yet. Right now, it is a combination of all of these things that are helping us reduce our addiction to Arab oil. By working on these things, I hope and believe that we will find a solution. And to be honest, I like having electricity at my home or office when I flip the switch.