I hope that you are staying healthy. These days, we find ourselves not only relying on our own inner strength; but, also we find ourselves having to lean on the strength of others now more than ever. Although we may not feel it, it is times like these that give us the chance to build qualities like courage and hope. While many things remain outside of our control, how we respond to these times is important.
Water Rollbacks and Public Health Webinar
Whether it has been to escape the challenges of the day or to learn more about our beautiful South Carolina, I hope that you have been able to tune in to our weekly webinar series, Conversations with Conservationists. This week, the webinar will focus on how rollbacks of environmental protections in Washington D.C. are impacting our water in South Carolina.
We know that clean water is essential to life. However, damaging rollbacks of environmental policies from the federal government could lead to disastrous health crises – particularly in poor and Black communities. Webinar speakers will include environmental attorneys Blan Holman and Frank Holleman from the Southern Environmental Law Center and Amy Armstrong from the SC Environmental Law Project.
Clean Water Policies
On the weekly Coalition podcast, Public Concern, we’ll continue the conversation with Frank Holleman and Representative JA Moore – who will talk about what we can do to improve water quality in SC. Click here to register for the webinar and to subscribe to the podcast here. To follow our webinar schedule and view past recordings, please visit our website.
Great American Outdoors Act
As stay-at-home orders are being relaxed across the country, many people are eager to enjoy and explore the great outdoors. At the same time, Congress is considering a historic bill, the Great American Outdoors Act, which fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provides funding to restore our national parks. This is an incredible opportunity for our federal lawmakers to dedicate money to providing land and water access to all communities while boosting our state’s outdoor recreation, tourism, and agricultural economies. And, these aren’t tax dollars – LWCF funds come from royalties on existing offshore drilling leases.
To ensure this extraordinary, bipartisan legislation is made law, we need your help. The US Senate is debating the bill as we speak and could make their final vote as early as tomorrow!
Over the past five decades, LWCF has provided land and water protections and public access to every county in South Carolina. After the Senate considers the Great American Outdoors Act, the House will take up the companion bill introduced by Congressman Cunningham. Stay tuned for updates on this monumental conservation effort!
Clean Energy Progress
It is no shock that a clean energy movement – with the expansion of renewable energy – is taking place in South Carolina since the passage of the Energy Freedom Act in 2019. It’s all the more encouraging, though, to see the South Carolina legislature take the concepts related to choosing renewable energy as the least cost option and apply them to their recent decision on Santee Cooper. Read more about this clean energy evolution in this Post and Courier editorial as they discuss how the state legislature has “seen the light on clean energy.”
Typically, at this time, our state legislature is on break. However, both chambers will soon be returning this month to address COVID-19 spending. The Senate will return on June 23rd, and the House will return on June 24th. Although we do not expect any conservation legislation to move during time, we will be monitoring their efforts closely.
Please accept my gratitude for your continued support and advocacy. Ensuring a healthy and safe South Carolina for all is our ultimate goal.