Governor Sanford Accepts Climate Report
REPORT DETAILS POLICIES FOR REDUCING GREENHOUSE GASES, OTHER CLIMATE GOALS
Governor Mark Sanford today accepted the report of his Climate, Energy and Commerce Advisory Committee (CECAC), a group tasked with reviewing possible climate change impacts in South Carolina and formulating strategies to address those changes going forward.
Governor Sanford formed the group in 2007 as a proactive step toward addressing climate and energy policy in South Carolina in hopes that the state could begin to act on those issues on its own, before being saddled with costly future mandates from Washington, D.C. The governor has said he believes looking for ways to lead on this with ideas consistent with market principles rather than simple government dictate to be very important, given that if we do nothing Washington will be sure to fill in the blank with new government mandates. He has also said leading on this is important because the cost of inaction will be particularly felt in a variety of ways, ranging from insurance cost to ocean level rise on the coast of South Carolina. Among the report's recommendations are:
- Carbon Footprint: A voluntary reduction in state carbon emissions to five percent below the 1990 level by 2020.
- Energy: Nuclear fuel reprocessing, focusing on bringing renewable generators to the state, and expanded use of net metering.
- Transportation: Expanded bike and pedestrian opportunities, alternative fuel infrastructure, more mass transit and carpooling options.
- Agriculture, Forestry and Waste Management: Forestland conservation and methane reclamation projects.
"We said from day one that it was important that neither extreme of the political spectrum dominate the discussion on climate change, which is why we appointed a committee with such a broad array of backgrounds and perspectives -- and more than anything, I want to thank them for their work," Gov. Sanford said. "Some of these recommendations will make a whole lot of sense for South Carolina and others won't. But we believe this report is an excellent place to begin the conversation and debate - and it is our sincere hope that many of these findings will be implemented in South Carolina."
South Carolina's gross emissions of greenhouse gases grew by 39 percent between 1990 and 2005, twice the national average of 16 percent, while the state's per-capita emissions increased 15 percent over the same time frame. By 2025 greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase 87 percent over 1990 levels.
In addition to climate change, the report also talks about the importance of renewable energy. In 1970, the United States imported 24 percent of its oil, and today is importing nearly 70 percent. The United States consumes about 25 percent of the