I was disappointed you reprinted The (Charleston) Post and Courier editorial on the Jasper port. Those who have been fighting us for decades now claim to be proceeding "with all deliberate speed." This is high-sounding obstructionism.
The editorial is a collection of truisms, inanities and misstatements:
It is not "just a concept"; it would be operating if Charleston hadn't stopped us. This greenfield site is eight miles from the sea buoy, as opposed to overbuilt sites in centuries-old communities. The Georgia terminal is 22 miles from the buoy. Any second-grader could give you a "study" that establishes that eight miles is shorter, thus cheaper to build and maintain, as well as less environmentally disruptive.
The editorial states that it has to be studied, but studies existed at least as early as 1972. The five-year permitting process is mostly studies. The legislature didn't direct the Joint Project Office to study it; it directed it to build it.
Who says the port is not intended to compete with Savannah and Charleston? This is America; we believe in competition, remember? South Carolina competes with Georgia. Savannah competes with Charleston. Who decreed Jasper couldn't compete with either?
Charleston and Savannah are cooperating; they are cooperating on stalling, obfuscating and obstructing. You say, "Trying to push through the preliminary work would be a big mistake." The 13-year permitting and engineering is the "preliminary work." What they are doing now is just a charade.
To the JPO: Lead, follow or get out of the way.
Darrell Thomas Johnson Jr.
Jasper County Councilman