SC Green Party, 5 environmental groups file in Duke rate case

The Environmental Defense Fund, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Southern Environmental Law Center and Natural Resources Defense Council have filed as intervenors with the South Carolina Public Service Commission (SCPSC) in Duke Energy Carolinas rate hike request. These five environmental organizations join the South Carolina Green Party (SCGP) and the South Carolina Energy Users Committee as Duke’s proposed rate hike is considered.

Each of these five environmental groups is represented by the same attorney, J. Blanding Holman, IV of the Southern Environmental Law Center, based in Charleston. The South Carolina Green Party is represented by Rolf Baghdady, and the South Carolina Energy Users Committee is represented by Scott Elliott.

Written testimony must be submitted by November 2nd. Public hearings are scheduled for Greenwood, 6:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at the Lakeview Elementary School, 660 Center Street; Greenville, 6:00 P.M. on Monday, November 23, 2009 at the Greenville County Council Chambers, 301 University Ridge, Suite 2400; and in Spartanburg, 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at the Spartanburg County Administration Building, 366 North Church Street, Council Chambers. Green Party members and supporters are encouraged to attend and speak out.

The South Carolina Green Party has not decided what position to take on the application yet. Because these proceedings are going to play a major role in what the Public Service Commission decides, the SCGP plans to evaluate our options very carefully in hopes that we can help the SCPSC come to the best decision for Duke rate payers in the state.

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Ralph Nader Speaks in Clinton, SC

Ralph Nader spoke at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina on October 8, 2009 on environmentalism, civic responsibility and his own work.
Ralph Nader
Stacy Dyer, writing for the Presbyterian College website, reports:

Nader led off his talk by discussing the importance of being involved in civic pursuits. He pointed out that while everyone in the crowded Belk Auditorium has likely been to a shopping mall, McDonald’s, or Wal-Mart, not many have been to a city or town council meeting.

“We don’t get enough civic experience,” Nader said, “and without enough civic experience, democracy doesn’t work.”

Nader shared his story of how be became interested in automobile safety, which began his career as America’s foremost consumer advocate. He said that when he was in college in the ‘50’s, he knew many people who were either killed or seriously injured in automobile accidents. In his third year at Harvard Law School, he wrote a paper on the subject that included recommendations. The paper later eventually became the 1965 book Unsafe At Any Speed, which led to automobile safety laws and regulations.

Nader, who has also made a career addressing environmental issues, said the best way to define pollution is that it’s a form of violence.

“It’s a silent, cumulative form of violence,” he said. “Whether it’s beryllium, lead, arsenic, sulfurs, whatever. It attacks the health of human beings. It damages the genetic inheritance of the human being. And it contaminates property. It makes air, water, and soil less safe in the biosphere.”

Nader said it is interesting to study what forms of violence people are most concerned about.

“Other forms,” he said, “produce far more deaths, injuries, or disease, even though both are preventable.”

For example, the 9/11 terrorist attacks killed 3100 people. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that this year 58,000 Americans will die from work-related disease and trauma, 65,000 from air pollution, 100,000 from incompetence medical negligence in hospitals, and 45,000 because they can’t afford health insurance to get treatment, according to Nader.

“They get little media attention, compared to a terrorist attack,” he said. “But why, if they’re both preventable? Why, if everyone who dies is innocent?”

In the 2000 Presidential election, Nader received just over 20,279 South Carolina votes as the United Citizens Party candidate. He received 5,520 votes in 2004 and 5,053 SC votes in 2008 running as an independent petition party candidate.

Eugene Platt Announces 2010 Candidacy for State House Seat 115

Eugene Platt, voteplatt.com

Eugene Platt, Green Party candidate for SC State House Seat 115.

Tuesday Morning, October 13, 2009

Eugene Platt, the only Green serving in an elected position in South Carolina, announced today his candidacy for State House Seat 115. Currently, Platt serves on the James Island Public Service District Commission. He has held that position since 1993 and most recently was reelected in 2008 as the top votegetter among eight candidates.

Platt pledges, if elected, to be one of the strongest voices in the State Legislature for working families. To that end, he would not even wait until the Legislature convened in 2011 to introduce legislation to end South Carolina’s status as a so-called “Right to Work” state—he would pre-file such a bill. Platt notes that “Right to Work” states have not fared nearly as well economically as those states which honor workers with fewer restrictions on their rights to form and use unions to ensure fair pay, good working conditions, and health care.

Platt, a product of the public schools of this state—from elementary school through the University of South Carolina—would be a strong supporter of those schools. To that end, he is unequivocally opposed to the use vouchers that use public funds for private school education. He also says State college tuition increases should not exceed the general rate of inflation.

Naturally, as a Green, environmental and social justice issues are among Platt’s chief concerns. On numerous occasions he has spoken out against unbridled development. Irresponsible developers do not consider him their friend.

Platt says the criminal justice system must be completely revamped, focusing on the safety of law-abiding citizens. To that end, the State Highway Patrol should be increased by at least 100 new troopers to insure the safety of our highways. At the same time, recognizing that capital punishment compromises our corporate morality and has no place in a civilized society, he would work to end it in South Carolina—and the nation. (The United States is one of the very few democracies that still impose capital punishment, putting it out of step with most of the civilized world.)

State House District includes most of James Island and Folly Beach. Platt, a progressive Green, expects to face both a conservative Republican and a centrist Democrat in the November 2010 election. He says he is encouraged by growing disenchantment about both major parties being expressed by voters not only in House District 115, but all across America. Voters want true altenatives—and they are truly ready to “Live Green, Vote Green.” This is reflected in the fact that the Green Party is the fastest growing political party in the United States!

Eugene Platt
Green Candidate for State House Seat 115
For additional information about the candidate and the Green Party, visit these websites:
http://www.voteplatt.com
http://www.gp.org