Governor Mark Sanford today made the following statement regarding Santee-Cooper's decision to halt plans for a new coal-fired power plant in Florence County:
Building another coal-fired plant was always going to be a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Accordingly, I'd give credit to Santee-Cooper's leadership for recognizing that the environmental and financial costs associated with a new coal-fired plant were simply too high to make sense in this economy and at this time. I'd specifically thank O.L. Thompson for his measured approach throughout the entire process, and look forward to his leadership as our state continues the process of identifying future sources of energy - nuclear and otherwise. At the end of the day, as a matter of stewardship on a whole host of fronts, I think Santee-Cooper made the right call.
On February 11 of this year, Governor Sanford publicly laid out four broad concerns about Santee-Cooper's proposed coal-fired plant. First, that construction and operating costs would likely rise given decisions made by the Obama Administration. Second, that the proposed plant would have had a significant negative impact on air quality and increase mercury pollution. Third, that growth projections and slowing new home construction would in part diminish the need for such a plant. And finally, that coal prices are, like other commodities, unpredictable and could have shifted things financially in the decision-making process.