SC

Santee Cooper’s “Economic Development”

In a barely noticed Associated Press wire from earlier this week, South Carolina’s government-run power company announced its decision to loan a local economic development authority money to build a “shell building.” According to the report, Santee Cooper is shelling out $1.5 million and agreeing to provide power, water and sewer…

In a barely noticed Associated Press wire from earlier this week, South Carolina’s government-run power company announced its decision to loan a local economic development authority money to build a “shell building.”

According to the report, Santee Cooper is shelling out $1.5 million and agreeing to provide power, water and sewer services to the empty building in Laurens County – all in the “hopes” of luring “new business” to the site. It’s part of a program which has already doled out $5.6 million on other “business development” projects.

Why would Santee Cooper do something like that? Because according to the agency’s “CEO” Lonnie Carter (who makes $416,899 a year, not counting benefits), Santee Cooper has a “responsibility to promote business opportunities in the state.”

Wait … what?

Lonnie Carter
Lonnie Carter

There is so much wrong with this story we don’t even know where to start …

First of all, as we have pointed out ad nauseam for several years (most recently: here), government shouldn’t be competing with the private sector in the energy industry. Santee Cooper should immediately be privatized and all of its assets sold to the highest bidder.

Beyond that, since when was it the job of a utility company to “promote business opportunities in the state?” Assuming you believe “economic development” is a core function of government – and we don’t – aren’t we already shelling out tens of millions of dollars each year on a Commerce Department? And isn’t that Commerce Department shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars a year on dubiously successful taxpayer-funded incentives?

Also, who makes the final decision on each of these multi-million dollar loans? What criteria are used in determining who receives them (and who doesn’t)? What is the interest rate? What is the maturity date? And why in the hell would a loan go toward an empty building with only the “hope” of one day landing a corporate tenant?

Can you imagine any lending institution awarding a loan of this size on a whim? Of course not … which is probably why these local bureaucrats in Laurens County had to go begging Santee Cooper for the money.

Not surprisingly, though, the Associated Press asked precisely NONE of these questions in its reporting.

What we have here is a state agency which shouldn’t even exist in the first place duplicating “economic development” work which shouldn’t even be done in the first place – something which happens way too often in the Palmetto State.

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18 comments

jimlewisowb February 27, 2013 at 9:28 am

Management of Santee Cooper

It is “Be Polite to Everyone Day” in Kazakhstan

Therefore I would like to take this time to wish you and yours the best as you go through today with full realization that there is at least one person in the world who is convinced that your heart is full of maggots and upon your imminent death may your mortal carcass be deep fried and your ashes strewn throughout the 200+ acre Crap Farm located near the Serene Hamlet of Pelion, South Carolina, Home of the World renowned Peanut Festival.

Bless Your Heart

Reply
south mauldin February 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

As I drove by Fat Buddies in Chapin yesterday around 3:30, I regretted that I was an hour late to a meeting, or I would have stopped in and bought you the drink of your choice, owb.

Reply
jimlewisowb February 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

You would have been welcomed

However the Greater Metropolitan Rural and Urban Gated and UnGated Communities of the Midlands Chapter of OWBs has moved on to Beef ‘O Brady’s out on Highway 6 in the Publix Shopping Center

Our regular time is 4:30 pm, Fridays only

We did try Cletus’ Grill once over on Highway 176 but it was a no go after our eldest member voiced a complaint that the wooden benches hurt his ass.

Reply
jimlewisowb February 27, 2013 at 9:28 am

Management of Santee Cooper

It is “Be Polite to Everyone Day” in Kazakhstan

Therefore I would like to take this time to wish you and yours the best as you go through today with full realization that there is at least one person in the world who is convinced that your heart is full of maggots and upon your imminent death may your mortal carcass be deep fried and your ashes strewn throughout the 200+ acre Crap Farm located near the Serene Hamlet of Pelion, South Carolina, Home of the World renowned Peanut Festival.

Bless Your Heart

Reply
south mauldin February 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

As I drove by Fat Buddies in Chapin yesterday around 3:30, I regretted that I was an hour late to a meeting, or I would have stopped in and bought you the drink of your choice, owb.

Reply
jimlewisowb February 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

You would have been welcomed

However the Greater Metropolitan Rural and Urban Gated and UnGated Communities of the Midlands Chapter of OWBs has moved on to Beef ‘O Brady’s out on Highway 6 in the Publix Shopping Center

Our regular time is 4:30 pm, Fridays only

We did try Cletus’ Grill once over on Highway 176 but it was a no go after our eldest member voiced a complaint that the wooden benches hurt his ass.

Reply
nitrat February 27, 2013 at 10:05 am

See, this is what you miss by not subscribing to the Post and Courier. Santee Electric has been doing this all over the Low Country and Pee Dee for years. You might also want to get weekly papers from all over the state. They have the info about all the incentives that you never hear about.

Let’s nationalize all utilities and make them public.

Reply
nitrat February 27, 2013 at 10:05 am

See, this is what you miss by not subscribing to the Post and Courier. Santee Electric has been doing this all over the Low Country and Pee Dee for years. You might also want to get weekly papers from all over the state. They have the info about all the incentives that you never hear about.

Let’s nationalize all utilities and make them public.

Reply
CNSYD February 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

“government shouldn’t be competing with the private sector in the energy industry” So how did this get started anyway? Because there was NO competition. Rural electrification came about because private industry saw no profit in it and therefore stayed away. Now that it is profitable, Sic Willie wants the private sector to take them over. Reminds me of sending the Indians to “worthless” land in places like Oklahoma. Then when oil gets discovered it is a “hold on a minute”.

Reply
Cormurdgeon February 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Typical paleface crap.

Reply
CNSYD February 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

“government shouldn’t be competing with the private sector in the energy industry” So how did this get started anyway? Because there was NO competition. Rural electrification came about because private industry saw no profit in it and therefore stayed away. Now that it is profitable, Sic Willie wants the private sector to take them over. Reminds me of sending the Indians to “worthless” land in places like Oklahoma. Then when oil gets discovered it is a “hold on a minute”.

Reply
Cormurdgeon February 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Typical paleface crap.

Reply
Laughing South of Broad February 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

Lonnie, Lonnie

He’s our man

If he can’t waste your money,

Then nobody can.

Give this chubby little man a clown suit.

Reply
Laughing South of Broad February 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

Lonnie, Lonnie

He’s our man

If he can’t waste your money,

Then nobody can.

Give this chubby little man a clown suit.

Reply
katlaurenscounty February 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

I have been investigating Laurens County corruption for a while. http://www.laurenscountycitizenswatch.com. Corruption so routine and deep, most local sheeples express how ‘rude’ I am for causing this ruckus, I filed my complaint with SLED, the AG, not because I expect results, but to irrefutably establish, one way or the other, if my individual unalienable authority, as creator of the positional and sovereign authority of these servants, is protected and embodied in the laws I pay servants to create, enact, administrate to rule myself. If not, it’s not my law and I will take direct action to reject rule by someone else.

LCDC chairman Coleman is also the county chairman. Coleman’s son is on LCDC, crashed company car, pop gave him a new one on public dollars. County Attorney and County Administrator also on LCDC. They set it up without vote of approval, to fund their own interests. Members are stockholders. Hmmm, wonder who benefits when property ‘owned’ by LCDC gets sole???? County Administrator under investigation by SLED for his role in funding local company Hickory Tavern Youth Rec company. HTYRA under investigation by Sec of State and SLED for private use of money Administrator got from South Carolina Parks Rec, again, without official approval, and, for which Administrator used by personal discretion.

Can’t make varsity team if you don’t have enough skills to play on JV. Past history is best predictor of future performance.It is stupidly irrational for any citizen to expect SLED, AG, etc. to have any competence, no matter what pretty press releases say about Wilson’s PIU, Ethics Commission, etc. Wilson’s office a farce, part of SC Judiciary mission to protect servants from citizens.

Every citizen who doesn’t want to be ruled by someone else, must exercise INDIVIDUAL authority. Stop being afraid.

Reply
katlaurenscounty February 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

I have been investigating Laurens County corruption for a while. http://www.laurenscountycitizenswatch.com. Corruption so routine and deep, most local sheeples express how ‘rude’ I am for causing this ruckus, I filed my complaint with SLED, the AG, not because I expect results, but to irrefutably establish, one way or the other, if my individual unalienable authority, as creator of the positional and sovereign authority of these servants, is protected and embodied in the laws I pay servants to create, enact, administrate to rule myself. If not, it’s not my law and I will take direct action to reject rule by someone else.

LCDC chairman Coleman is also the county chairman. Coleman’s son is on LCDC, crashed company car, pop gave him a new one on public dollars. County Attorney and County Administrator also on LCDC. They set it up without vote of approval, to fund their own interests. Members are stockholders. Hmmm, wonder who benefits when property ‘owned’ by LCDC gets sole???? County Administrator under investigation by SLED for his role in funding local company Hickory Tavern Youth Rec company. HTYRA under investigation by Sec of State and SLED for private use of money Administrator got from South Carolina Parks Rec, again, without official approval, and, for which Administrator used by personal discretion.

Can’t make varsity team if you don’t have enough skills to play on JV. Past history is best predictor of future performance.It is stupidly irrational for any citizen to expect SLED, AG, etc. to have any competence, no matter what pretty press releases say about Wilson’s PIU, Ethics Commission, etc. Wilson’s office a farce, part of SC Judiciary mission to protect servants from citizens.

Every citizen who doesn’t want to be ruled by someone else, must exercise INDIVIDUAL authority. Stop being afraid.

Reply
Lil' Abner February 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Another reason SC state government is listed at the bottom-of-the-barrell ethically at http://www.stateintegrity.org. We get an F. We DESERVE and F.

Reply
Lil' Abner February 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Another reason SC state government is listed at the bottom-of-the-barrell ethically at http://www.stateintegrity.org. We get an F. We DESERVE and F.

Reply

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