Offshore Wind and Updates from Santee Cooper!
This is Meagan Diedolf, the new CVSC Government Relations Director with your weekly hotlist. This session has been fast paced and rapid fire, but I’ve been honored to represent CVSC in the lobby and I’ve learned a ton. I believe last week represented some positive steps forward for us.
Here’s what we worked on last week and what we anticipate happening this week:
Offshore Wind: With bipartisan support, H.4831 passed out of a full House LCI committee and now moves on to the House floor. H.4831 directs the Department of Commerce to create a roadmap for attracting offshore wind energy supply chain industries to the state.Testimony at the subcommittee highlighted the potential positive economic impact these industries could have for our state. CVSC supports this legislation as it facilitates the growth of South Carolina’s clean energy economy and may open the door for more wind energy opportunities beyond the supply chain. We’ll be following up with House members to hopefully get this to the Senate quickly.
Santee Cooper and Conservation Bank Funding: Both Santee Cooper and the Conservation Bank presented their budget requests to House Ways and Means subcommittees. Santee Cooper promised stable rates through 2030 as well as more reliance on clean energy; unfortunately, the utility also mentioned that they are working towards major, new natural gas generation resources. CVSC does not support Santee Cooper rushing towards an expensive and risky mega-project before all the options have been fully evaluated – and before the SC Public Service Commission has a chance to review and approve Santee Cooper’s generation planning as required by the Santee Cooper reform bill passed last Year.
The Conservation Bank asked for an additional $2.5-million of recurring (on top of $5-million from past Years) and $12.5-million of nonrecurring funds, putting them at $20-million total. Their testimony at the hearing highlighted that most of its spending has been geared towards land for public use with well-leveraged investments – only a quarter of their spending has gone to private easements. We support the Conservation Bank’s request and will continue to encourage lawmakers to support them and other state and local efforts to protect more land.
The Week Ahead at the State House
More funding conversations: This week we’ve got our eyes on the Department of Health and Environmental Control, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, and the Rural Infrastructure Authority budget hearings. Provisos are also due, so we’ll be keeping an eye on what has been submitted.
Clean Drinking Water (PFAS): S.219 is moving along, and we can not thank you enough for voicing your support of this legislation. On Thursday, February 3rd at 10 am, S.219 will be taken up in a full Medical Affairs committee. It is beyond time that we ensure clean drinking water for our state’s most vulnerable communities. You can watch this meeting here.
Ask your Senator to support S.219 – a bill that will allow the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to fund solutions and direct resources to address PFAS contaminated drinking water.
Register to Attend! Join us on Wednesday, February 16th at 5:30 pm as we welcome our team, partners, voters, and legislators back to the state house for another Year of protecting the South Carolina we love. This is an in-person event, and we encourage you to only attend if you feel comfortable doing so and to take proper COVID precautions. You can register here.
Also, please make sure to sign up for Action Alerts via Text here!
As always, thank you for using your voice for a healthy, clean, and safe South Carolina.