I am writing concerning the recent headlines about the bars in Orangeburg staying open until 5 a.m.

It seems to me that the owners of these places are not staying open to keep the people safe. They are making a lot more money by being open until 5 o’clock.

Then people are put out to fend for themselves. If they fight or get in a wreck, or kill someone else, that is their problem. The bar owners have made their money for another night.

If the hours are not changed to a more decent hour to close such as 2 a.m., the owners should be forced to see that the patrons are taken home by having cars there to carry them. I know that would cost the bar owners more but they would a clearer conscience in knowing they had done what they could to keep people safe.

--Mary Dunning, Santee

Graham leader on clean energy

South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham deserves to be commended for being one of only five Republican senators to address the impact of climate change by encouraging common sense support for clean energy technology.

By supporting Amendment 3864 to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Graham called for the United States to be a world leader in supporting research and development of clean energy technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The amendment also explicitly recognizes that climate change is happening, but it also states that human activity is contributes to rising temperatures.

It is imperative that our leaders in Washington actively participate in efforts to promote market-based approaches that welcome and advance more innovative and cleaner energy technologies. These cleaner energy technologies are vital to America’s economic growth, energy independence and national security needs. That’s a victory for South Carolina.

Graham should be applauded for setting aside partisanship to achieve tangible results for free market energy reforms that create jobs. Senate Republicans should follow his lead in supporting new technologies that improve the quality of South Carolina’s air, water and climate.

-Libby Smith, Charleston

Smith is a member of the Conservation Voters of South Carolina Education Fund Board

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