April 21, 2009

S-C Beginning to see the Light?

In a remarkable change in tone, Santee Cooper is now saying publicly that they don't want to build the Pee Dee plant. Sounds good, but the catch is that they still don't seem understand that there are cheaper, cleaner and faster-to-deploy alternatives out there (that would create more jobs). The shift is covered in a recent story in the Post and Courier (excerpted below; read the whole story here.)
Coal-fired plant not preference
Utility officials say nuclear facility would be best option

By Tony Bartelme
The Post and Courier
Friday, April 17, 2009

Top Santee Cooper officials said Wednesday they are reluctant to build a new coal-fired power plant near Florence but feel they have no choice given the region's future energy needs.

The comments marked a shift in the heated debate over the coal plant. In the past, Santee Cooper leaders have expressed few misgivings about the $1.25 billion project.

But in a wide-ranging discussion with The Post and Courier editorial board and reporters, Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and chief executive officer, said he wasn't "excited about building a coal plant, but I don't have a better option."


Blan Holman, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center, a group suing to block the Pee Dee coal plant, said even if the nuclear plant isn't built for 10 years, Santee Cooper could meet its energy needs with "a robust efficiency program, renewable power and natural gas. Coal is a bridge to nowhere except higher electricity bills."

read more at www.charleston.net

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