South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

2019 Legislative Session Kicks Off
Posted: January 9, 2019

Monday marked the start of the 123rd session of the South Carolina General Assembly, and the first year of a two-year session in Columbia. Today, the leaders of the South Carolina Conservation Coalition hosted a briefing at the Statehouse, where members of the conservation community, business leaders, and local officials highlighted the 2019 legislative priorities of the Coalition, including:

  • Injecting Competition into the Energy Marketplace
  • Upholding Citizens’ Rights to Clean Air and Water
  • Preventing Offshore Drilling and Seismic Testing
  • Protecting Home Rule (Defend Local Plastics Solutions)
  • Unhooking the Overflows and Protecting our Waterways

The South Carolina Conservation Coalition was formed in 2014 in order to help organize and empower conservation organizations on state legislative issues. Last November, SCELP’s legal team joined over 50 advocates at the Coalition’s annual leadership summit, where we strategized about 2019 priorities:

  • The major storm events of the previous three years have highlighted the importance of coastal zone management and we must remember that beaches are meant to move. We must plan for long-term, sustainable solutions that allow for natural processes and keep people and structures out of harm’s way.

  • Flooding has become a major issue for the people of our state. The FEMA hundred-year flood maps are, quite simply, inaccurate and inadequate to inform smart development and growth in our state. We must adapt our communities, and provide better options for those impacted by flooding.

  • As our opposition to offshore oil and gas stands strong, we eagerly encourage cheaper, more reliable and more sustainable energy solutions, where sound economics and environmental protection are one and the same. Solar and renewable energy must be unleashed, while dirty and costly alternatives must be muzzled.

SCELP brings unique perspectives and expertise to the legislative and policy tables, which are urgently needed and vitally important in the current political climate. This is sometimes overlooked, but we are truly helping make a difference for South Carolina’s land, water and wildlife, inside and outside the court system.

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