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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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AP no longer 'news stories'

I get really tired of anonymous Associated Press stories (many are stories) that invariably regurgitate opinions as if they are established fact. Normally it is but a severe irritant encouraging me to not read my favorite South Carolina news source.

The recent story "Dem-led House, drawing a line, kicks Greene off committees" ought to have constrained itself to the topic: the teenage antics of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Predictably that was an impossible task.

On the eve of what could be a serious trial -- a finding of some sort of fact -- the hidden author could not miss a shot at Donald Trump.

Roughly 45% of the country believes there was election tomfoolery -- fraud -- 45% not. Enough apparently credible accusations were raised without a public presentation on those scales of justice that "the truth" is an open question (to myself and millions more Americans).

The Associated Press mouthpiece's article reads:

"He faces Senate trial next week for his House impeachment for inciting insurrection after a mob he fueled with his false narrative of a stolen election attacked the Capitol."

This "say something often enough and it will be true scam" is as if facts have been examined in a court of law and there is no dispute.

Sadly I have come to expect such distortions and misconceptions from Associated Press "news stories."

Tim Houghtaling, San Mateo, Florida

Numbers mean something

Next Era Energy is the #1 renewable energy company in the world. I didn’t know that myself until I recently began to do my own research on the potential sale of Santee Cooper and I’m guessing that many of my fellow South Carolinians didn’t know that either.

But we all should.

Having a strong renewable portfolio is a clear indicator of the diverse financial strength of this leading national energy company. It also demonstrates their real commitment to our environment and the future of the world that we all live in. NextEra Energy is also not new to South Carolina. They built the solar farm that powers nearly half of the Volvo plant near Jedburg. Their ongoing investment in the Lowcountry really means something to me and highlights their growing commitment to South Carolina.

The facts about the current state of Santee Cooper are unfortunately pretty bleak. Santee Cooper has incurred billions of dollars in debt, most of which stems from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear plants that were never completed. Santee Cooper customers will now be forced to pay this debt for the next 20 years and will have nothing (zero) to show for it. With the debt looming large, the threat of higher rates for all of us seems very real.

These customers, many of whom who live in rural, lower socioeconomic communities that already pay higher rates for power, will see thousands of their hard-earned dollars literally disappear.

NextEra Energy’s bid to purchase Santee Cooper will eliminate the debt in one transaction. They will not charge customers for this old debt, not one penny.

But there’s more.

As a state-owned utility, Santee Cooper does not currently pay state and local taxes, and a close look at the state’s balance sheet reveals that it actually costs South Carolina millions of dollars annually to run Santee Cooper. The sale of Santee Cooper would potentially bring in $20 billion to the state. The new private utility would then have to pay annual taxes somewhere in the neighborhood of $140 million dollars yearly. This new revenue could in turn be used to help fund local K-12 education, which we so desperately need.

Additionally, NextEra has committed to expanding Broadband infrastructure in the rural communities of this state, where hundreds of thousands of children and adults are often unable to even access the internet for basic research, education, and entertainment.

South Carolinians are nostalgic by nature. We tend to hold onto our past long after it deserves to be placed in its proper place in history. I recognize for some that there is a fear that selling Santee Cooper will somehow erase the last 87 years of the utility’s existence, but that is simply not the case. The 170 members of the South Carolina General Assembly (46 senators and 124 House members) need to make one decision. The House passed a bill to sell Santee Cooper. Now it is the state Senate’s turn to act. Selling Santee Cooper now is an investment for our future, which can provide long-term benefits for all of us.

The numbers simply don’t lie.

Kurt Walker, Charleston

What do you love?

We’ve all heard of the song “My Favorite Things." People, friends and activities that we especially enjoy include the following for most people. A walk in a community park, the fragrance of azaleas and magnolias intertwined in a garden, and the warmth of a sleepy cat purring in your lap. The restful tone of waves at low tide or the zealous cheering at an athletic event are enthusiastically received by many people. I daresay that we don’t always remember the one who gave us everything to enjoy.

“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.” He fills our lives with so many good things. As we celebrate the love represented by St. Valentine, let us remember to celebrate the giver of all good things.

Paulette S. Evans -- a Vance native, author and former teacher now residing in Sumter

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