S.C. could lose in proposed energy bill
I was very pleased to see the editorial page topic on Sept. 24 was climate change. The proposals being debated in Washington could affect our lives for decades and need to be thoroughly discussed.
However, I was troubled to see that none of the columns or letters addressed the proposed Renewable Energy Standards, which could have longer-range consequences for our state than even cap and trade.
This proposal, which was part of the House climate change bill and will eventually be considered by the Senate, requires every state, regardless of size or geography, to produce 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
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Because some lawmakers from states with a notable geographic advantage refuse to include nuclear power on the list of acceptable renewable fuels, states with little wind or solar potential (like ours) are at a huge disadvantage under this proposal.
South Carolina could end up having to buy acceptable electricity from wealthier states.
How can we ever hope to advance if lawmakers force-feed one-size-fits all federal laws down the throats of the taxpayers in South Carolina?
College access important for all
I couldn't agree more with editorial suggesting that South Carolina do more to reduce financial barriers to higher education for African-American students.
However, the issue of affordability is not limited to African-Americans.
The University of South Carolina recently initiated its Gamecock Guarantee program, one of numerous initiatives to ensure access and affordability for all S.C. residents. The Gamecock Guarantee was created to increase access for low-income students, many of whom are under-represented minorities. S.C. residents whose family income is within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines are guaranteed to have no out-of-pocket expenses for the cost of tuition and related fees for four years of study.
However, access to higher education is not just the responsibility of our colleges and universities. Our state's commitment to pre-K, primary and secondary schools must be strong to ensure that graduating high school students are prepared for college.
The University of South Carolina's commitment to academic excellence is an important investment for our state, but no less important than a sincere commitment to college access for all. We should not have to choose one over the other.
PAUL L. BEASLEY
TRIO director, University of South Carolina
The right is wrong on 'death panels'
It seems that the ghosts of Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee have been reincarnated in Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Joe Wilson. One of the arguments of reform opponents is that health legislation might lead to "death panels" (shades of the concentration camps run by Germany in WWII).
Here are several reasons this could never happen:
(1) It would be regarded as unconstitutional by any court.
(2) It would have to equally apply to relatives and friends of the liberals as well as the rest of society.
(3) We would be rebuked and sanctioned by our allies as well as the rest of the world and left in complete isolation or maybe even have war declared upon us by our ex-allies if some of their relatives here were faced with death because they were too useless and expensive for society to maintain.
While men such as Hamilton, Jefferson, Franklin and Madison would protect our right to free speech, they would be appalled to know that any significant portion of our citizens took such claims seriously. Now I see why P.T. Barnum started the circus here.
Don't worship at altar of capitalism
Throughout the current health care and economic stimulus debates, I have constantly heard the mantra that almighty capitalism will lead us into a utopian economy. Profit possibilities will generate new cures and products. Do we not have anyone left in this world who strives to advance mankind just for the reward of serving humanity?
I refer you to statements that have been in force long before there was a capitalistic philosophy: "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil," 1 Timothy 6:10. "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter he kingdom of God," Matthew 19:24. "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money," Luke 16:13.