Duncan: Sheheen should embrace all-the-above energy plan

Sep 27, 2013 Issues: Energy
Duncan: Sheheen should embrace all-the-above energy plan


Columbia, SC — As a member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, I was disappointed to see state Sen. Vincent Sheheen echoing President Obama by placing highly speculative “green” energy proposals ahead of proven all-of-the-above energy strategies that include oil, natural gas, nuclear, biomass, hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal and clean coal (“Let’s lead on clean energy,” July 10).

Like most Americans, I support “green” sources of energy, but as part of an all-of-the-above approach. Green energy alone is far from reliable when it comes to delivering consistent 24/7 baseload power, providing cost-effective power generation and helping America achieve energy independence.

Democrats claim that as many as 74,000 green-energy jobs are available if only South Carolina had the will to pursue them. In reality, Solyndra received $525 million from the Obama administration but still went bankrupt. Abound Solar received $374 million but went belly-up in 2012. Ener1 closed its doors exactly one year after being touted by Vice President Joe Biden as a successful green government investment and received nearly $377 million from taxpayers. Fisker Automotive received more than $500 million in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy shortly before closing its U.S. plant and sending all of those promised “green jobs” to Finland.

I would encourage Sen. Sheheen to use his position as the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor to denounce President Obama’s war on South Carolina’s energy economy. Thirty-one percent of our state’s energy comes from coal, yet the president’s advisors have declared they want to “start a war on coal.” Fifty-one percent of South Carolina’s energy comes from nuclear power, yet the Obama administration has played politics with the Yucca Mountain storage site. An estimated 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off our coast has the potential to create thousands of jobs, and bring tens of millions of dollars to our state. But the Obama administration continues to stonewall new offshore development on the Atlantic seaboard.

The greatest impediment to bringing real, proven energy jobs to South Carolina isn’t a lack of imagination or effort from our state leadership as the senator suggested. The greatest hindrance to bringing energy jobs to our state is President Obama and his administration’s policies that prevent us from harvesting our natural resources and developing a commonsense energy plan for the country.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan