Letters to the Editor

Low-cost energy can make SC competitive

An inspection of the tags on the goods for sale at the local Walmart store will show many of the items are made outside the United States.

There is one glaring exception, glassware. All of the individual glass items -- stemware, plates, glass ovenware -- have stickers on the bottom, saying "Made in USA." All of the boxes with canning and jelly jars except one have a U.S. flag and a sticker "Made in USA." Low cost must be the reason Walmart offers for sale glassware made in the U.S. A study of the glass-making costs will offer us ways to reduce costs of other items so they can also be made here, especially in South Carolina.

Energy, natural gas or electricity, is the major cost of making glass. Natural gas is the major energy source due to its low cost. However, electric energy has been gaining due to its cleanliness and efficiency. We in the U.S. have the lowest cost of energy in the world. The cost of sand, soda ash and labor are low. Therefore, our glass is the lowest cost.

South Carolina now is building two new nuclear reactors that will assure us of low-cost electric energy, starting in 2016. Glassmaking is just one example of our low cost advantage. Another example in South Carolina is the recent move by Michelin to open a large tire manufacturing plant here. Low-cost electric energy will assure South Carolina of its prosperity for the future. Possibly, Laurens Glass Works, which closed in 1996, could reopen with low-cost electric energy.

Alexander D. Kline