Don’t kill solar
(I)t’s understandable that officials are considering implementing a protective tariff on solar panel imports to try to level the playing field. Boosting U.S. manufacturing is a laudable goal, and a thriving solar industry would potentially help balance out job losses in dirtier energy technologies like coal.
But putting a tariff on solar panels would also risk slowing the expansion of solar power in the country, including here in S.C. where solar power installations increased by almost 300 percent last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Cost plays a big role in that expansion. This year, the tiny town of Cottageville announced plans to go solar in an effort to save money in the municipal budget, for example.
If costs were to rise dramatically, it’s likely that new installations would dip in response. In other words, propping up solar panel manufacturing could mean cutting back on solar expansion more broadly. That would be disappointing.
Putting a tariff on solar panels would also risk slowing the expansion of solar power in the country, including here in S.C. where solar power installations increased by almost 300 percent last year.
Solar power offers one of the cleanest ways to generate electricity, taking advantage of the most readily abundant source of energy on earth. It’s a perfect fit for sunny places like South Carolina, especially considering that electricity use in the state tends to peak when the weather is the hottest — when the sun is shining.
And zero-emissions energy from solar panels could help slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change, which threatens the S.C. coastline with sea level rise, among other possible effects.
Don’t deny Dreamers
It’s hard to understand why anyone would block a student who has worked hard, gotten their education and earned a degree from pursuing a job in their chosen field.
But if that student happens to be a DACA immigrant, that’s exactly what is happening. The state has 7,061 students known as Dreamers, young people who came to the United States at an early age with their undocumented parents.…
Children of undocumented immigrants came to this country through no fault of their own. They are able to get a public education, and even attend college; so why shouldn’t they able to become nurses, teachers and beauty professionals? Without question, our state needs more bilingual professionals. And DACA students who would otherwise qualify for these licenses have already proven they are hard working and productive members of the community.
These students and their parents pay taxes just like other residents of our state.
South Carolina should take a different path with these young people, rather than traveling the path of denying people who have lived in the state for years a chance to be as productive as possible.
California, New York and Nebraska offer all types of occupational licenses to DACA students. States such as Florida and Nevada allow DACA students to obtain certain licenses.
What is the harm in South Carolina doing the same? After all, these students and their parents pay taxes just like other residents of our state.
We can cut smoking
Many tobacco-control regulations have been hit or miss. Most regulation is done at the state or local level, and while some states have made it a priority, many have done little or nothing to reduce smoking, according to (Action on Smoking and Health). ASH’s report urges the country, states, cities and counties to increase their efforts to fight tobacco.
Where the ASH and government, from the national level to local, should not be directing the fight is electronic cigarettes.
Lindsey Stroud, government relations coordinator at The Heartland Institute, notes that not only is the Food and Drug Administration shortsightedly battling e-cigarettes, county health departments around the country are joining in the battle to “demonize devices that can help improve public health.” …
“It is of the utmost importance e-cigarettes be treated differently than traditional tobacco products,” Stroud said. Though they mimic the sensations of cigarettes, e-cigarettes are tobacco-harm-reduction tools that have proven to be successful in aiding millions of people in their quest to quit smoking.