This was a fantastic week at the State House. After months of negotiating, tweaking, and discussing; H.3659 – the Energy Freedom Act – passed out of the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry (LCI) Committee this week – unanimously!
The bill was amended to extend the current net metering program under Act 236 through June of 2021. The two-year extension gives time to phase out the program for when the Public Service Commission finalizes the details for the next phase of rooftop solar in SC.
It’s a path to a clean energy future that encourages renewable energy and saves solar jobs before the clock runs out.
Why is it so important we achieved this milestone now? First, the Energy Freedom Act is ahead of the budget, which usually stops things dead in the House. Second, H.3659 is ahead of other bills that might be more complex and controversial. Finally, the Energy Freedom Act is moving to the House floor (and hopefully through the House) right around the 50-day mark of the 100 Day Clean Energy Agenda – leaving us a good bit of time to focus on the Senate.
This is great progress and I’m so happy that we’ve been able to get this far so quickly. I’m particularly thankful for the work of our conservation and solar industry partners, House members and staff on the LCI Committee, and the long list of bipartisan co-sponsors for their commitment to a collaborative process and outcome for South Carolina.
What happened last week:
- Clean Energy: H.3659 passed unanimously out of the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry (LCI) Committee. Many thanks go to the House LCI Committee for their support of clean energy and to the latest cosponsors: Representatives Funderburk, Huggins, Anderson, Hardee, Cogswell, Tallon, Sandifer, West, Gagnon, Forrester, Blackwell, Spires, Calhoon and B. Newton.
The week ahead:
- S.332 (the Senate companion to H.3659) will be in Senate Judiciary Subcommittee this Wednesday for discussion as H.3659 moves to the House floor for a vote, right at the 50-day mark on the 100 Day Clean Energy Agenda. This is great progress! Please help us encourage legislators continue to vote for clean energy this week on the House floor.
- Can you join us for breakfast this Thursday? On, Thursday, Feb 21, the Conservation Coalition will host its Legislative Breakfast – RSVP today. From 8-10 am in Room 112 of the Blatt Building, we’ll enjoy breakfast from Blue Marlin while chatting with legislators and our friends in the SC Conservation Coalition about our legislative priorities and conservation values.
- Oysters? Yes, please! Please sign up for the March 19 Conservation Coalition Lobby Day and Oyster Roast.
As always, you can continue to follow our weekly hotlist and more opportunities to take action at www.cvsc.org.