Protecting the beautiful environment we have here in the Lowcountry is one the issues I am most passionate about. Our natural resources are under assault by over-development and rising sea levels associated with climate change.
In addition to the richness our environment provides to our quality of life, it is also our major economic engine. It is the reason people visit, live and start businesses here. Conservation and economic development are not mutually-exclusive endeavors. We must come together to protect what we love and to make sure that any development that takes place is mindful and responsive to our unique and dynamic coastal ecosystem.
Here’s what I believe:
- I am 100 percent against drilling or exploring for oil off our coast. It is both reckless and unnecessary.
- Clean energy is essential to our future and our public utilities must adapt to harness it. We also must create a regulatory environment that enables individuals to easily and seamlessly incorporate clean energy sources such as solar into their homes and businesses.
- Climate change is real and it is happening before our eyes. The sea level is rising. Hurricane intensity and frequency is on the rise. Flooding occurs even on sunny days. We must invest in a variety of flood control strategies and we must all play a role in reducing our carbon footprint. In recent years, the City of Charleston has become more serious about efforts to address flooding. I support these efforts and I believe the state must convene representatives from the entire region to create a cohesive plan for addressing sea level rise.
- Land protection is key to preserving the environment and culture of Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. In addition to a fully-funded state Conservation Bank, I believe the state should empower individuals to contribute to its conservation work in a more public way and should allow local governments more choices for how to fund local land conservation efforts. In Mount Pleasant, we were fortunate to have several entities step in to purchase the development rights to Boone Hall. That was the right thing to do and I will foster more of that work for our community from local, state and federal partners.
- Water protection is a big issue in District 112. Not only are we concerned with surface water quality, our local water utilities are also competing with industrial users like Google on access to drinking water sources. I will fight to protect the quality of all of our waterways for the residents of our district. I also will fight so that the concerns of our local water utilities and residents are reflected in the state’s strategy for managing our aquifers and other natural resources.
I thank you for taking the time to read this. Please let me know your thoughts and ideas. I am genuinely open to working with anyone who shares my goals of protecting this special place for my children and future generations.