Yesterday was Aisha Butler’s Last Day at ORS and We Already Miss Her

Senior Auditor Aisha Butler has left the Office of Regulatory Staff. Aisha was thorough and professional. She didn’t give anything up in her audits. But she was also so pleasant that my clients were never upset with her, even after receiving an initial AIR with over one hundred subsections. Aisha had a rare talent for maintaining a cheerful and positive attitude in an often stressful adversarial process. She will be missed, and we all wish her well in her future endeavors.

Gift Wipes Out Medical Debts of Upstate Residents in Need

Kathryn Williams and Tom Ervin

There is a very nice article in the Post and Courier about PSC Commissioner Tom Ervin and his wife Kathryn Williams‘ donation to RIP Medical Debt a non-profit that helps erase medical debt for people who earn less than twice the federal poverty level. RIP Medical Debt buys bundled medical debts for pennies on the dollar, and forgives the debts of those most in need. Commissioner Ervin and his wife’s donation resulted in $1.5 million in debt being forgiven for 1,000 Upstate residents. Ervin and Williams, who have distinguished careers representing the injured and disabled are well aware of the burden of medical bills on people with low incomes. At the time this post was written, RIP Medical Debt had wiped out over $800,000,000 in medical debts.

PSC is Hiring

This could be your chance to live the life of fame and danger.

SC’s Annual Conservation Gala

The Conservation Voters of South Carolina’s annual Green Tie Luncheon has become the place to see and be seen for conservationists, politicos, and utilities. The event’s celebratory and bipartisan tone brings everyone together to share bon mots, and more and more people want in on the action. This year’s House Conservation Leadership Awards went to Rep. Nathan Ballentine and Rep. Mandy Powers Norell. Senator John Matthews received the Senate Conservation Leadership Award. Gov. Henry McMaster, who was recognized for his veto of a an act allowing more seawalls and his opposition to offshore drilling gave remarks. The Harriet Keyserling Advocacy Award was presented to Peg Howell, organizer of Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic (SODA). Dr. J. William Holliday was presented the Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award for his work to stop mega hog farms from coming to South Carolina in the 1990s. Congratulations to CVSC Director John Tynan on another successful event.

Solar Energy – Orangeburg County’s Newest Cash Crop

Palmetto Plains

The Orangeburg Times and Democrat reports that Cypress Creek’s 106MW Palmetto Plains solar farm in Bowman is up and running. It is the largest solar farm in the state. Orangeburg County officials are thrilled with the prospect of $5 million in taxes over the next 40 years. Cypress Creek is building another 100 MW solar farm, Huntley Solar, in Bownan, Huntley, that will yield similar tax revenues. And more Orangeburg County projects are in the pipeline. According to the T&D, eight other projects have been announced over the past three years.

Will Goose Creek Found a Municipal Electricity Company?

The City of Goose Creek is considering forming a municipal power company, according to a story in The Berkeley Independent. The plan appears to stem from Century Aluminum’s perpetual quest for cheaper power rates. Century purchases about a fourth of its power from Santee Cooper under a contract that expires in 2020, but seems convinced that Goose Creek can sell it cheaper. Santee Cooper reacted to the news by arguing that Goose Creek’s annexation of Century Aluminum, which would be required to sign it as a customer, is illegal.

Goose Creek has long been known for combining industriousness and political skills. All involved may do well to consider the Lord Proprietors’ admonition to Governor Philip Ludwell in 1693, to “Employ no Jacobite … [and] beware of the Goose Creek men”. McCrady, “The History of South Carolina Under the Proprietary Government, 1670-1719, p 237.