Senator Lindsey Graham has been backing a bill for energy clean-up and independence and now he has backed out in frustration with Democrats’ putting the bill on the back burner. That leaves some South Carolina stakeholders wondering the fate of new energy opportunities.
Ed Marshall is a partner in Hyperion in Greenville, which develops alternative energy business in the Southeast. He says the energy bill that Graham has been pushing means business for the state.
There are people who are just like me who have seen the opportunity and we’re hungry to make this happen for our state and bring jobs to our state. The private sector is definitely up to speed in a place it wasn’t even 18 months ago.
Senator Graham says it will take bipartisan support to make clean energy legislation happen. Marshall, who has spent time in Washington as a lobbyist, says Graham may have a strategy.
I’m a businessman, I’m a Republican, but there’s a need for overriding legislation and that’s what I see the energy bill being. I think that we’re at a hiccup point. Perhaps we won’t have a bill drop this year that Lindsey can be a part of. But I hope he will maybe reconsider. But politics being politics, he’s got a lot on his plate and I’m sure he’s got a strategy to put into action or into motion, so stay tuned.
John Long, a large-scale farmer in Newberry says he has been supportive of Graham’s leadership on the energy issue, for what it may mean for agribusiness. He farms about 2500 acres of soybeans, wheat, cotton, beef cattle and turkeys and is looking for new directions for the future of agriculture through Graham’s bill.
I got involved in this several years ago when it seemed that out country was going to move forward with some type of climate legislation and I was concerned that agriculture did not appear to participating in the process. I was involved to try get agriculture more involved in that process and I think agriculture is fairly engaged now.
I was hoping that it was going to be in a bipartisan atmosphere that we would have some legislation that would be favorable and provide opportunities to agriculture. I’m concerned about what the EPA might come out with as opposed to congressional solutions to it. congressional solutions I think will be better for us in the long run than what the EPA may come up with.
On March 18, more than 50 South Carolina military veterans signed an open letter to Sen. Graham thanking him “for helping to secure America’s energy future.”
In a statement, Mike Couick, president of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc., “The South Carolina co-ops have worked closely with Sen. Graham on energy reform. His leadership has been about protecting South Carolina ratepayers and creating jobs in our state. We applaud his efforts.”
Senator Graham has pulled out of the energy bill fight over frustration that the immigration bill will take over the agenda in a Congress that has been dealing with one issue at a time.