New Coalition Advocates for Job Creation; Pushes for DHEC Approval of Pee Dee Clean Coal Facility

February 11, 2009

Former Governor Edwards among those at the launch of South Carolina Action for Jobs
COLUMBIA, SC – February 11, 2009 – South Carolina Action for Jobs, a non-partisan citizens group, has formed to speak out on behalf of bringing more quality jobs to South Carolina. The catalyst for the group’s launch is the proposed clean coal facility—the Pee Dee Energy Campus—that Santee Cooper wants to build in Florence County.
The proposed facility is projected to create 9,300 jobs. The facility will also allow South Carolina to continue to provide its businesses and residents with reliable, low-cost power supplies, making the state much more attractive to companies looking to relocate or expand.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is scheduled to decide Thursday whether to reconsider the permits for the facility that have already been approved.
At a press conference today at the South Carolina State Museum, officials spoke out in support of South Carolina Action for Jobs and its stance in favor of the Pee Dee Energy Campus.
Former South Carolina Governor Jim Edwards, who also served as U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Reagan, spoke at the event.
“As Governor, I learned how important it is to create good jobs, and now, with our state’s unemployment rate the third-highest in the nation, that’s more important than ever,” Edwards said.
“Jobs are especially important in these current economic times. I am deeply concerned that more than 15 percent of South Carolinians live below the poverty level,” Edwards continued. “Too many of our citizens—especially in the state’s rural areas—are struggling to put food on their tables, medicine in their mouths, and shoes on their feet. Good jobs can make all the difference for these desperate families and help set them on the road to a brighter future.”
Levone Graves, a former Marion County magistrate and municipal judge in Mullins, spoke of the importance of reliable and low-cost power to South Carolina’s economic development efforts.
“Low power costs will play a major role in helping South Carolina attract and retain the companies that create jobs for our people,” said Graves. “Failure to take action would place undue burden on businesses and consumers. And with the question of reliable power in jeopardy, potential businesses may turn the other way, denying our state the economic boost it so desperately needs right now.”
State Representative Terry Alexander, whose district includes parts of Florence and Marion counties, responded to environmental concerns raised by opponents of the facility.
“South Carolina Action for Jobs is also committed to protecting the quality of life in our state. Protecting the quality of life means protecting the health of our people and ensuring that any project we support is environmentally sound,” said Alexander. “Approximately one-third of the more than $2 billion cost of the Pee Dee Energy Campus will go toward the latest and best environmental control technology. It will be one of the cleanest such facilities in the country.”

About South Carolina Action for Jobs
South Carolina Action for Jobs is a 501(c)(4) non-partisan citizens group that brings together South Carolinians from all walks of life to speak out on behalf of quality jobs and the economy that creates those jobs. With Palmetto State job creation and retention as its primary focus, the organization’s members enter the public debate to ensure South Carolina creates public policy that fuels job creation and economic growth. SC Action for Jobs is committed to looking at a broader view of what is best for South Carolina’s citizens and not what is best for special interest groups. SC Action for Jobs is also dedicated to defending the quality of life of all South Carolinians.