Gov. Haley will not appear at a Senate hearing Tuesday to explain her role in DHEC’s reversal of a decision to grant a permit to dredge the Savannah River.
The State Senate Medical Affairs committee hearing is 10:30 this morning .The committee is chaired by Republican Majority Leader Harvey Peeler of Cherokee.
“We have called most of the members of the committee and told them we are glad to sit down with them one-on-one. Any other legislators that have questions, we;re happy to talk to them about. And then its making sure you heard it from us directly. I mean we will cooperate in every way we know how, but in terms of a governor going and testifying in front of a committee, it’s never happened, it’s not a precedent we want to set,” says Haley.
The governor instead called a press conference Monday to answer questions and reiterate her support of all of the state’s ports.
AUDIO: Hear press conference questions on Savannah River dredging decision
Coastal legislators from both parties are angry with DHEC’s granting Georgia permission to dredge the river’s opening and have accused her of making donors happy. Haley denies that her fundraising efforts in Georgia played any part in the decision.
Haley says the Georgia governor came to her and asked for a hearing with DHEC. She helped that to happen by meeting with the DHEC board chair, telling him to keep their environmental benchmarks and at the end of that day Georgia met them.
Haley says the Corps of Engineers was prepared to dredge regardless, but that Georgia offered to work with South Carolina.
She defends her statement that Georgia was having its way with South Carolina–but she puts the blame on her own state: “We just sat there, we didn’t do anything. We didn’t do dual rail, we didn;t do distribution centers, we didn’t do anything that a port should do. Savannah stepped up and did everything they were supposed to do. We are now going to make up for lost time.”
Haley says Charleston will be deeper than the Savannah Ports and that Jasper will not be endangered by nearby Savannah.