SC

Big Win For SC Energy …

… AND A PREVIEW OF THE 2018 “REPUBLICAN” GUBERNATORIAL RACE || By FITSNEWS || South Carolina scored a major victory earlier this month when U.S. president Barack Obama‘s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to amend the formula underlying its latest “climate change” emissions rules. Missed that story?  Of course you…

… AND A PREVIEW OF THE 2018 “REPUBLICAN” GUBERNATORIAL RACE

|| By FITSNEWS || South Carolina scored a major victory earlier this month when U.S. president Barack Obama‘s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to amend the formula underlying its latest “climate change” emissions rules.

Missed that story?  Of course you did.  Hardly anyone covered it … because it isn’t even remotely sexy.

Unlike the barrage of media attention following from high-profile lawsuits – such as those routinely filed against the EPA by S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson – negotiations over rule changes get precisely zero ink.  Even if they succeed in accomplishing more than any lawsuit ever could, no one cares.

As much as the voters (and the media) like to talk about “getting things done,” the truth is conflict – even fabricated conflict – drives traffic.

But the “battle” to free the Palmetto State from a particularly onerous offshoot of Obama’s rogue bureaucracy – one currently mired in a huge national scandal – could wind up attracting plenty of eyeballs down the road.

Why?  Because it showcases the dueling approaches of two of the top tier contenders for governor of South Carolina in 2018 – Wilson and former S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) director Catherine Templeton.

Wilson – unable or unwilling to follow through on his anti-corruption initiatives here at home – has drawn a bullseye on the Obama administration in recent weeks.

That’s politically astute … especially as it relates to battles with the EPA.

But while Wilson was photo bombing news cycles, Templeton was working behind the scenes – pushing the EPA to change its rule.

At issue?  The EPA’s efforts to regulate emissions via a section of the 1990 Clean Air Act.  Under the agency’s original rule, each state was required to lower carbon emissions by a certain rate – one determined by a state-specific formula.

South Carolina’s reduction rate was one of the highest in the nation – “virtually unattainable,” in the words of one industry expert.

In the proposed rule equation, EPA regulators – hoping to balance a “national ledger” of electrical power generation – refused to acknowledge South Carolina’s investment in building additional nuclear power.  But they also refused to credit the state with emission reductions that will take place when new nuclear facilities come on line.

In other words, the Palmetto State wasn’t receiving any credit from Washington, D.C. for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear power facilities that will dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the state – thus doing more than the state’s fair share to balance the EPA’s national ledger.

“We were being penalized for reducing emissions,” Templeton said. “South Carolina’s energy policies were cutting carbon and they were trying to penalize us for it.”

So Templeton got on the phone with the EPA – beginning a dialogue with one of the agency’s senior administrators.  Over a period of several weeks, she made her case against the inequity of the rule and the impossibility of the state complying with it – while at the same time touting South Carolina’s shift away from coal as being beneficial to the EPA’s “national ledger.”

Initially, the agency refused to budge.

“She held the line so hard and refused to give on anything,” Templeton recalled.  “I thought we were sunk.”

But Templeton kept at it.  At one point, she flew to Sante Fe, New Mexico and met with the administrator in a hotel gym – pressing the state’s case in no uncertain terms.

“We chewed on her pretty good,” she said.  “I pointed out to her that their rule didn’t make sense environmentally or economically.  And I proposed a solution that she could accept.”

Templeton also played hardball, pointing out the state could easily play the agency’s “form over substance” game by halting its nuclear power generation plans.

Ultimately, the EPA saw the light and changed its rule – awarding credit to South Carolina (and other states) for their projected emissions reductions.

“Common sense prevailed,” Templeton said, noting the rule change will help suppress energy costs for Palmetto consumers.

To be clear: We explicitly reject the EPA’s authority under this rule, just as we reject its attempted “dominion over every puddle” under the auspices of the Clean Water Act.  Also, while Wilson’s lawsuit in this case was unlikely to prevail, we support him in his efforts to join with other attorneys general and push back against the Obama administration when it attempts such incursions on the free market.

But is that pressure ultimately what got this rule changed?  Or was it Templeton putting the heat on agency officials one-on-one – refusing to take “no” for an answer?

Hmmm …

Again, no one is likely to care about this EPA rule (even though its revision will likely keep a few more dollars in their pockets each month).  But the process by which this victory was won is revealing – especially as it relates to the methods employed by two of the state’s top gubernatorial contenders.

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31 comments

CNSYD August 27, 2015 at 8:05 pm

If the sun comes up tomorrow it will be because of Templeton, right Wil?

Reply
Icarus' Wings August 28, 2015 at 8:56 am

I’m not current on Republican mythology but that does sound right.

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Dry Rivers To Come August 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm

I wish CT had stuck around a while longer at DHEC to beat on her own clueless environmental bureaucrats in positions of decision.

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? August 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm

If they were so clueless why did she not get rid of them?

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Dry Rivers To Come August 28, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Never got down to their level in the time allotted is my guess.

I doubt she was fooled by them, but maybe so.

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dwb619 August 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm

But, but ,but,
You have all those UNION electricians and pipefitters working at V.C. Sumner.
NIMRATA forbade it, SHE said not to “taint” the state.
I think she got the worst “taint’ in South Carolina.
YOU BETCHA!
I can see a used clothing store from my house!

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CorruptionInColumbia August 27, 2015 at 9:41 pm

I thought you were about to say you could smell Nimrata’s taint from your house.

:-D

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dwb619 August 27, 2015 at 10:26 pm

DAMN!
I was just about to have some of my brides “to die for” home made pound cake( still warm from the oven) and a magnum of chocolate milk!!!!!!!
Some how , I just lost the urge.

Reply
Used Clothing August 28, 2015 at 8:57 am

She knows the value of a dollar.

Please, someone, buy our crappy clothes!

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Mike at the Beach August 28, 2015 at 12:45 am

He meant covered it for the People of Wal-Mart…folks who can read have been tracking this for a while. Templeton can try to take all of the credit if she likes, but the energy outfits in this state have been working overtime to unscrew the large dose of derp from this federal nonsense ever since it came rolling downhill…

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If you want some help? August 27, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Even when I may be remotely interested in what you’re promoting, the writing style is so arcane and convoluted, I’m lost. Or I’m too tired to work to get whatever the point may be, by the time something resembling a point is presented. .

And: The posts are so full of attacks toward every Republican in the state, that’s mostly what you succeed in communicating.

Clue: We Know you HATE the GOP. And we know you feign dislike for Obama, albeit softly, because he is such a BAD example of leadership, and he’s done so much damage, you’d look like a fool denying it.

At any rate: when you’re trying to express a new thought, do it EARLY in the paragraph Readers are not so smitten with you that they’ll wade through the self-adulation, just to see another trite treatise on your alleged disdain for “The Machine” (that you so strikingly resemble.)

Bottom line: people use the site as a forum, not to read your content. If you want to change that, either hire someone with insight and true creativity, or take some writing courses. If you ever want to be as relevant as you and Sanford fancy yourselves, you’ll take my advice.

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Bible Thumper August 27, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Good point, but you could’ve made it in three paragraphs. ;-)

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Preceisly August 27, 2015 at 10:08 pm

But when it’s so pleasant to read, I did not want it to end. And that IS THE POINT.

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CNSYD August 28, 2015 at 10:23 am

“self-adulation” Folks? Really?? What a surprise!

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CorruptionInColumbia August 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Wonderful! Instead of carbon “pollution” that will eventually fade into the background and become part of the ecology, we invest in nuclear waste, that will be deadly for hundreds of thousands of years. Excellent trade!

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Cube Warrior August 27, 2015 at 10:58 pm

I’m not going to lie….when I read the title of this article I thought it was going to be about how the Office of Regulatory Staff actually grew a backbone and said “no” to SCE&G for once. I guess I was way off!

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CorruptionInColumbia August 28, 2015 at 1:56 am

Why would they say “no” to the boss who pays them a bigger salary under the table than we pay them over the table? Surely you don’t believe ethics come into play in such matters.

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Cube Warrior August 28, 2015 at 12:46 pm

I have always wondered how the state’s ethics laws can allow an agency to be funded by the companies they regulate, while the agency also hires family members of the general assembly whose campaigns are funded by SCE&G. If anyone questions how rate hikes happen, just call up ORS and ask them how many times they’ve actually stood up to SCE&G. We all blame the PSC for allowing SCE&G to do whatever it wants, but it’s ORS that’s supposed to stand up for the rate payers, not the PSC.

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Mike at the Beach August 28, 2015 at 12:46 am

Templeton can try to take all of the credit by leaking info to FITS if she likes, but the energy outfits in this state have been working overtime to unscrew the large dose of derp from this federal nonsense ever since it came rolling downhill…

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stakeholder August 28, 2015 at 10:15 am

This. Myra Reece is the leader at DHEC who deserves the credit here. She and her team have been meeting monthly with stakeholders for more than 2 years on this. Templeton participated in precisely ZERO of those discussions. The one time I heard Templeton speak about the rule (well after the proposal was released) she had no idea what was going on. P.S. Alan Wilson wasn’t in any of the meetings, either.

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CNSYD August 28, 2015 at 10:20 am

Stop messing up Folks’ narrative with facts!!

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Mike at the Beach August 28, 2015 at 11:42 am

Makes sense to me. Font forget the energy lobbyists…they tend to get things done too.

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Mediocrity August 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Reece is a rarity in the management there. Smart, dedicated, competent, honest. Others may have one or two of these but not nearly enough have all of them.

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nitrat August 28, 2015 at 8:32 am

Very early campaign ad for Templeton…
Are we really supposed to believe that a trial lawyer – Templeton – knows anything about carbon emissions and can discuss any DHEC regulated knowledgeably with scientists?
Sewage, maybe…
I guess, like Trikki, FITS thinks trial lawyers are the smartest people in the world.

Reply
Climate Deniers August 28, 2015 at 8:55 am

The only thing a climate denier has to “know” is what they are told to say by industries who would be inconvenienced by environmental regulations. Any old lawyer can do that.

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Philip Branton August 28, 2015 at 10:52 am

Dear Anita Zucker, Ya know, your presser in the Post and Courier today about three-D printing can really be used to crop dust Templeton on her EPA efforts. You do know that all that COAL is a lot more valuable for printing airplane parts and gun parts and washing machine parts right at HOME instead of a manufacturing facility….do you not? We wonder if Wil Folks will report on which companies YOU have funds invested in so he can let his LOYAL readers know to take advantage of the stocks to pad their retirement PENSIONS..?…!!

Anita, take a moment if you would, which site is easier to read? The Post and Courier or FITSNEWS..? Maybe you can take a walk down to Longborough Dock and call Mr. Folks with your feedback? (…or use your phone to comment in this very article for him to read as well as ALL his loyal readers at the SAME TIME. ..)

Anita………what type of energy production source can be printed and assembled from a printer in your garage today that no one is being informed of?

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Victorious Secret August 28, 2015 at 12:53 pm

“But is that pressure ultimately what got this rule changed? Or was it Templeton putting the heat on agency officials one-on-one – refusing to take “no” for an answer?”

Cute Will. How about read up a little on the rulemaking procedures found in the Administrative Procedures Act. You cannot unilaterally change an agency’s rule by flying and meeting with the head of a department in a hotel gym.

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The Colonel August 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm Reply
oldTVeng August 30, 2015 at 9:31 pm

How many port-o-johns does it take to build a containment building?

Reply

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