How important is the natural environment to South Carolina's tourism and retirement success? I would argue a lot.
Recently, three places within South Carolina's newly drawn 1st Congressional District were given high ranks by Conde Nast Traveler. Specifically, Kiawah Island and Hilton Head Island ranked third and eighth, respectively, as island destinations in the U.S., while Charleston ranked as the No. 1 city.
Unfortunately, this newspaper chose to endorse Tim Scott, in part, for his commitment to "growing our economy by reducing regulatory burdens ... " In particular, this reflects Scott's votes to hamstring the Environmental Protection Agency powers to regulate emissions from power plants. These votes were not about controversial global warming, but about old-fashioned toxins, such as mercury.
Just ask Boeing whether the environment isn't important to non-tourist businesses. Boeing invested in solar photovoltaics to power its new Charleston facility. Our environment should be a high priority for our legislators.
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Our congressional district, more than any other in South Carolina, should elect a representative with a solid commitment to the natural environment.