Posts Tagged ‘jasper port’
For the past five years, the ports authorities for Georgia and South Carolina, on a joint venture basis, have been planning the development of a new port on the Savannah River in Jasper County. Good progress has been made, and a new multi-billion economic engine for the Lowcountry is on track. Yes, it will take time, but it is happening. And not everyone is happy about that.
A couple of months ago, state legislators friendly to the South Carolina State Ports Authority, which owns the Port of Charleston, sponsored two budget provisos that gave control of the Jasper port to the SCSPA, in violation of the joint venture agreement. Gov. Haley correctly vetoed those provisos and the SC Senate wisely sustained her vetoes by a three-to-one margin.
The provisos constituted an illegal attempt by the General Assembly to amend the bi-state contract between the South Carolina State Ports Authority and the Georgia Ports Authority that lays out how the Jasper port will be planned. This bi-state contract has previously been incorporated into permanent law by the South Carolina General Assembly. (more…)
Senator Tom Davis says, “That’s no reason to dump on Jasper,” in his fight for the Jasper Port in last week’s legislative session regarding South Carolina’s budget. Learn the facts about this vote as Senator Davis explains.
Each year individuals and political advocacy groups in South Carolina publish legislative scorecards identifying state lawmakers who are “taxpayer heroes,” but the reality is that, with only a few exceptions, those earned grades are not really the consequence of lawmakers exhibiting any particular political courage. Occasionally, however, they do put themselves at great personal risk (in a conventional political sense) by standing up against the status quo in order to earn a true victory for the taxpayer. And such was the case last week with SC Sen. Kevin Bryant and SC Sen. Shane Martin.
I think today’s decision by the DHEC board to issue a water quality permit in connection with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) was the wrong one for two primary reasons.
First, the DHEC board’s decision undermines the excellent work that has been done the past few years by the Savannah River Maritime Commission, a commission that by law has the plenary power of the State of South Carolina as to all matters involving the use of the Savannah River for maritime commerce. The maritime commission was created so that the State of South Carolina could speak with one unified voice in such matters, yet the concerns it expressed to the DHEC board about SHEP, in general, and the water quality permit, in particular, were ignored. The DHEC board and staff should not have been negotiating a deal with the Georgia Ports Authority and the Corps of Engineers when that power clearly lies with the maritime commission. At the very least, members of the maritime commission should have been at the table; they have been involved in this matter on the state’s behalf for years, as opposed to weeks. (more…)