Sorting out facts on energy bill
I always strive to get my facts straight on political issues, especially those on environmental policies. The proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act (known as cap and trade) is not perfect, but it bothers me to see misleading facts published about it. The current bill would require states to produce 20 percent of their energy beginning in 2020 from renewable sources and energy savings, not 25 percent as a recent writer stated; 15 percent must be from renewable sources of electricity production and 5 percent from electricity savings (efficiency). The bill also provides for further increasing the efficiency portion and reducing the renewable portion of this 20 percent requirement.
While nuclear power is not and should not be counted as a renewable energy source, the bill supports loan programs for financing nuclear power plants.
The bill also provides incentives for clean-tech energy technology, which increases efficiency. This includes renewable energy sources, such as biofuels and wind, which have potential in South Carolina and would benefit our economy and reduce reliance on coal.
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First lady wary of visit to S.C.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn recently said that a conversation with White House staff left him with the sense that a hostile environment in South Carolina is keeping the first lady from visiting.
Clyburn said he has received numerous invitations for Michelle Obama to visit South Carolina. When he brought one of those requests to her staff this summer on behalf of his alma mater, S.C. State University, he was told her security was an issue in the state.
Our first lady recently visited the "dangerous" streets of New York for dinner and Copenhagen, which is ranked as the "most violent" place in Denmark, on behalf of Chicago for the Olympics. Her refusal to visit our state is an insult to all South Carolinians.
State officials disrespect Obama
I am ashamed of the way President Obama is being lambasted in the press by public officials from South Carolina. I love living in this state, but lately some of our politicians have blurted out disparaging remarks about the president that reflect on the character and wisdom of the people here. I honestly don't know if the underlying factor is racism or partisanship. What I do know is that I have never seen, or heard of, a president of the United States being so blatantly disrespected by government officials.
Freedom of speech is a cherished right in this country: However, members of the Senate and House of Representatives and all other elected officials should curtail theirs in the media and spend this time discussing and debating their views, and trying to work through this country's issues in a diplomatic way.
Our country is at war and in a terrible recession. This is not the time to propagate any signs of instability in our government.
New direction needed in S.C. leadership
I would like to thank Gov. Mark Sanford, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and the Legislature for leading us into a new era of prosperity, low unemployment, unparalleled economic development and our vast improvements in public education. We have a health care system that is the envy of the world. They have put aside their petty personal differences to lead this state to unparalleled gains on all fronts. Not.
If any party deserves to be voted out of office, it is the Republican Party here in South Carolina. If you keep doing what you've been doing, you will get what you've been getting. Look around, South Carolina. We can do better.
ROBERT M McGAUGHEY
Hickory Ridge story boosted spirits
Thank you for featuring a positive human interest story. The Oct. 9 article, "Hickory Ridge has new spirit," highlighting the little community of Hickory Ridge and the good works of Evelyn and Jesse Cook, members of that small neighborhood, was tonic for the soul. Placing this article on the front of the Metro section reminds us that there are people who give back without asking for anything in return.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. and Mrs. Cook and how genuine their giving nature truly is. I am happy our community can read how this couple is making a positive contribution to our world in their own way and learn that there is still a neighborhood out there that takes care of its own.