Hal Stallworth Hal Stallworth
April 30, 2018

Are you tired of seeing your electricity rates increase over and over again? Do you want a more diverse mix of energy generation? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can take matters into your own hands – right now!

John forwarded many of you my email on Friday about another attempt to remove the cap on solar net-metering in SC before the legislature adjourns for the year. That’s great news and might be the last chance to save solar in SC this year. Clean energy champions in the House are hard at work to put solar into the Budget in the House, but it will be a fight. We need every single vote we can get, and that means we need your help. Please contact your Representative about supporting solar before it’s too late.

But solar energy isn’t the only thing going on at the Statehouse. Check out all the other legislative happenings below and take action today. We only have 6 legislative days left and we have to pull out all the stops before the clock runs out!

Last week at the Statehouse:

Shoreline Management – H.4683 began this session with the potential to roll-back critical protections that were worked out through a consensus-driven, scientific process over the past decade. Through many meetings and compromises, our partners successfully defended the policy of “no seaward movement” of the shoreline that is integral to the effectiveness of the policy. The compromise bill also gives beach front property owners flexibility in how the most recent lines are set and outlines the public notice process that DHEC must go through for setting future baselines. The bill isn’t perfect, but it got second reading Wednesday, and third reading Thursday. The House concurred with the Senate amendments, and the bill awaits the Governor’s signature.

Landfill Clean-up & Emergency Fund – H.4644 gives DHEC the ability to respond immediately to landfill emergencies and requires construction and demolition recyclers to quickly process the debris they collect. This bill passed unanimously out of the Senate last week, and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

Solar Habitat – After passing out of the Senate Ag Committee last week, Senators will discuss this week creating a voluntary vegetative management standard for solar farms that will encourage native habitat around solar panels that are beneficial to game birds, songbirds, wild pollinators, small mammals and other wildlife. H.4875 is a great example of how our wildlife and conservation partners are working with DNR and other state agencies to protect the SC we love.

Litter – H.4458 gives greater discretion to Law Enforcement for litter penalties, distinguishing between illegal dumping and smaller indiscretions. After passing out of Committee last week, this positive bill should be considered by Senators soon.

The week ahead in Columbia:

Anti-Home Rule – H.3529 is the short-sighted legislation that undermines the rights of local municipalities to find local solutions to local plastic pollution problems. We avoided a vote on the Senate floor this last week because of your action, but we need to keep up the pressure. Please keep contacting your Senator and tell them that you believe communities should have the right to find local solutions to local problems and ask them to vote against this unnecessary government overreach.

Saving Solar Jobs – We’ve emailed and talked about the importance of solar legislation a good bit over the last few weeks – over 3,000 solar jobs are at risk as well as your ability to get fair compensation for the energy you generate. Amendments are up for a vote in the House Budget this week that would increase the net metering cap. If not lifted this year, those who install solar will no longer receive fair credit for the energy they generate. Please contact your Representative today and ask them to support solar in the budget. This is our last chance to save solar jobs, help reduce energy bills, and move us to a clean energy future.

As always, please visit our Legislative Action Center for the latest and most urgent actions. >>

And, if you have any questions about these bills or want to read more about our conservation priorities for this session, check out our summary of 2018 legislative priorities here. >>

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