Letters to the Editor

Better education could bring SC cleaner jobs

The chairman of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control board is concerned that new regulations from the federal Environmental Protection Agency will cause industry not to locate in our state.

Sulfur dioxide seems to be one of the pollutants of concern to him. This gas is produced by the burning of fossil fuels, volcanoes, and pulp and paper plants. If our state is at any disadvantage in reducing sulfur dioxide, it is our own fault; many other states are ahead of us in doing so. The power plants in our state are the worst polluters in terms of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide causes asthma and other respiratory diseases, and the incidence of new cases of asthma is growing in our country.

The story noted that our governor has had some success in bringing jobs to South Carolina. A tire manufacturer plans to locate in Sumter County, and that will provide 1,700 jobs. That is another dirty industry. It seems our state either has low-paying service jobs or dirty industries.

I would like to see our governor and legislators make significant progress to improve the education system in our state through the college levels. That will take years, perhaps decades to do, but it should have been started long before now. With a highly educated population in our state, maybe companies would provide white-collar jobs in the telecommunication, pharmaceutical, insurance and banking industries. Those industries pay good wages, and their products minimize pollution of air and water.

Richard Clapp

Hilton Head Island