S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s recent betrayal of South Carolina’s economic and environmental best interests has officially jumped to a higher energy level …

On Wednesday, the advocacy group S.C. Conservatives for Truth in Politics (SCTIP) announced a statewide advertising buy that puts Haley’s “Savannah River Sellout” front and center.

The group’s ad – called “Selling Out S.C.” – began running on the same day that mainstream media outlets confirmed our exclusive reporting (here and here) regarding Haley’s fundraising efforts in the state of Georgia. Critics say those efforts – and the alleged promise of a plum political favor – led Haley’s appointees on the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) board to reverse the agency’s prior rejection of a permit for Savannah’s port expansion plans.

That decision – which weakens the Port of Charleston’s competitive postion and effectively eliminates any chance that a deep water port will ever be constructed in Jasper County, S.C. – could cost the Palmetto State billions of dollars. That’s why the action taken by Haley’s board has been universally condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike – and why the state agency responsible for safeguarding our state’s interests on the Savannah River is preparing legal action to block it.

The SCTIP ad begins by touting the importance of the Port of Charleston to South Carolina’s economy – which it claims is responsible for 280,000 jobs in the Palmetto State.

“Rather than keep these jobs in South Carolina, Nikki Haley cut a backroom deal with the governor of Georgia – sending these jobs to Savannah,” the ad states.

“Shouldn’t South Carolina’s governor be fighting to keep jobs in our state?” the ad asks.

Here’s the spot …

“Governor Haley’s actions are both bizarre and unexplainable,” said SCTIP spokeswoman Liana Orr. “It’s an attack on South Carolina’s economy and our workers.  Haley needs to come clean about her dealings with Savannah Port officials as well as other Georgia elected officials.  South Carolinians expect their Governor to fight to protect jobs in South Carolina, not send them to Georgia.”

SCTIP was formed during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign by a trio of Republican activists with the goal of holding Haley accountable.

Its leadership has changed, but the group has remained active after the 2010 election. In fact earlier this year SCTIP challenged Haley to come clean regarding allegations that she improperly lobbied on behalf of Wilbur Smith Associates, an engineering firm that paid her more than $40,000 in undisclosed income between 2007-09.

Haley’s involvement with Wilbur Smith is now part of a lawsuit filed by Republican donor and former S.C. Board of Economic Advisors chairman John Rainey.