A national effort to combat a federal energy bill made its stop in Greenville Monday. About 200 people gathered at the Carolina First Center for the “Rally for Jobs and Affordable Energy” sponsored by the group Energy Citizens.
Among the South Carolina guest speakers was David Winkles, the president of the South Carolina Farm Bureau.
Winkles says, “One thing we want to make sure of it that any energy bill or carbon tax bill passed by the House and Senate is one that is business-friendly, as agriculture is small business.”
The Greenville event was one in a series of rallies organized in 19 states during the Congressional recess.
Many of the efforts sponsors do not want to see the “Clean Energy Act” pass the US Senate as it imposes extra taxes and environmental regulation on certain industries who produce emissions. The measure has passed the US House and will be up for consideration in the Senate after the recess.
National speaker Harry Alford, the President of the National Black Chamber of Commerce says a sustained resurgence of the economy must include affordable energy.
Alford says, “A lot of people have been a little lax in giving us attention. But what we’re talking about is energy to sustain our plants, our industries, our jobs, our strength as a nation. Also to provide energy to families and to businesses at an affordable rate so that they can stay in business, stay employed and grow.”
South Carolina-based environmental interests have been speaking out against these rallies, called them “staged” by one of the rally sponsors, the American Petroleum Institute. Rally PR organizers, based in Washington, acknowledged that API is one of the members of the Energy Citizens group, but say that other state interests were also taking part in the event.