Press Release | June 2, 2014

South Carolina Well Positioned to Reduce Carbon Pollution

CHARLESTON, S.C.—South Carolina has already reduced its carbon emissions dramatically and is well positioned to meet new limits on carbon pollution from the power sector announced today, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center.  The state already has significant non-carbon energy sources on line, and low-carbon energy production will accelerate in upcoming years as solar and efficiency assets are deployed to reduce the burning of carbon-intensive coal.

“The Palmetto State is pivoting to cleaner, more secure energy sources that sharpen our competitive edge, make us more secure, and reduce impacts to resources like our beautiful beaches and productive farms,” said Blan Holman, senior attorney in SELC’s Charleston office.

Already, South Carolina has reduced its carbon pollution by almost a third since 2005 according to government data.  Those reductions came because the state burned less coal even while its economy and population expanded.  SELC predicts reductions will continue going forward as South Carolina joins states like Florida in generating more clean energy from sources like wind and solar.  The S.C. General Assembly recently passed a landmark bill to boost solar power production, and the state’s utilities have embarked on energy efficiency initiatives with the potential to greatly reduce coal consumption and carbon production statewide. 

“Job creators like Boeing, BMW and Google seek the clean energy we are building in South Carolina,” said Holman.  “Some doomsayers resist improvements that protect human health, but time and time again, they are proved wrong as prosperity grows along with clean energy innovation.”

South Carolinians are already experiencing sea level rise and have more to lose from inaction than many other states.  South Carolina’s coastal cities of Charleston, Beaufort and Myrtle Beach all will benefit from action to prevent climate change because they are at risk from sea level rise.


The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of nearly 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use.

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