Conservation and Clean Energy Strengthen South Carolina Businesses, Communities

June 12, 2024

Conservation and clean energy are becoming increasingly important to protecting the natural beauty of our state while supporting a stronger, more resilient American economy. To that end, South Carolina is fortunate to have strong conservative leaders in Congress like Senator Lindsey Graham, who has consistently demonstrated his ability to reach across the aisle and help pass commonsense clean energy legislation that will help our state secure a cleaner, more vibrant economic and environmental future.

As someone who recently made the switch from a traditional, gas-powered car to an electric vehicle (EV), I am particularly grateful to Senator Graham for his work to help support and advance this critical clean energy technology. Not only do EVs help support carbon reduction efforts, but they are playing an increasingly important role in our state and national economy.

From production to manufacturing, the EV industry in South Carolina and across the country is creating 21st century jobs for hardworking Americans, strengthening U.S. businesses and clean energy industries, and driving economic investments in our communities. Senator Graham’s support for pro-growth energy policies—including critical investments made through the bipartisan infrastructure law to expand our nation’s network of EV charging stations—have been instrumental in helping make EVs more reliable, affordable, and accessible.

Senator Graham’s leadership on clean energy and conservation has also provided a strong example for South Carolina businesses interested in reducing their impact on the environment while protecting and preserving the abundant natural resources with which we have been blessed. In addition to being a School Board Trustee in Lexington School District Two, I’m also the co-founder of PickleGarden on the River, Columbia’s soon-to-be premier Pickleball facility and one-and-only riverfront establishment and micro-restaurant food lot.

Environmental sustainability has been one of the main driving forces behind PickleGarden on the River since its inception. Building stronger connections with nature is part of our mission, and we believe everyone should be able to access the beauty of the Midlands, starting with our region’s crown jewel river—the Lower Saluda. That is why we are working with experts to develop our site to reduce impact on the surrounding ecosystem and minimize our footprint to the greatest extent possible.

These efforts will help ensure the natural splendor of the Lower Saluda remains untouched for generations to come as we seek to create an inviting, welcoming space for South Carolinians to gather, play, explore, and experience nature in a controlled environment. As development on PickleGarden on the River continues to move forward, we are working with the community to ensure sustainability, conservation, and environmental protection remain at the heart of this project.

As South Carolina residents, businesses, and industries continue to embrace conservation, sustainability, and clean energy, Senator Graham’s role in supporting and advancing policies that help us achieve these goals should not go unnoticed. From investments in EVs and related clean energy technologies to critical conservation efforts, the Senator has played a critical role in Washington in helping to pass bipartisan solutions that carefully balance the need to protect our environment with the need to grow our economy. This is the kind of leadership South Carolinians expect from our leaders in Congress.

Abbott “Tre” Bray is a School Board Trustee in Lexington School District Two and the co-founder of PickleGarden on the River.