Clean Energy Solutions

In June, 2021, the City of Columbia received a gift from the Sierra Club South Carolina Chapter via a one-time grant through the Ready for 100 campaign. It was an analysis of the path forward for the community of Columbia to achieve 100% renewable energy by its promised timeline of 2036. The "Ready for 100 Framework: A Guide to Columbia's Clean Energy Future" was authored by Anthony Artuso, Ph.D. of BrightView Energy at the request of the City of Columbia's all-volunteer Climate Protection Action Campaign (CPAC). The report was delivered to the City of Columbia's E&I Committee, composed of three city councilors, in July, 2021. It will take the entire communty's engagement to make this vision a reality. Click here to read the brief framework to determine how and where you fit in.

For more information or to discuss the ideas herein, reach out to Penny Delaney Cothran, Ready for 100 organizer and member of CPAC, at

We Must Voice Our Concerns on the Wateree Coal Plant Water Pollution Permit

All virtual or in-person participants can register for the Aug. 17 public hearing here.

No more mercury: The Wateree coal plant should not be allowed to discharge any additional toxic mercury into our water. South Carolina regulators have already issued fish advisories for the Wateree River because of dangerously high levels of carcinogenic mercury. 

The Wateree coal plant needs stronger permit restrictions on its wastewater discharges into our river and drinking water. The Wateree River has become too dirty or polluted to fish or swim in. Groundwater loaded with toxins from the Wateree coal plant infiltrates local wells in the Eastover and lower Richland area.

Wateree is a dirty, broken coal plant that needs to be retired as soon as possible.

  • One of Wateree’s aging units exploded last year and will not be fully repaired until the summer of 2022.

  • Wateree is the oldest coal plant in the state.

  • Wateree raises electricity bills for everyone. It is one of the most expensive power plants in the state because it is old, outdated, and requires significant repairs and grades.

  • It has been poisoning our community for too long. The toxic pollution needs to stop immediately.

The Wateree coal plant releases hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic wastewater daily into the community’s waterways. These daily toxic discharges contain heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic that can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, kidney and liver damage, and lowered IQ in children. 

The proposed new permit for Wateree allows even more mercury to be released into waters that are already impaired by high levels of mercury. Mercury is a known carcinogen that threatens the health of our entire community. Mercury levels in our water are already dangerously high. 

No more mercury! We need a stronger permit that protects our community. Currently, mercury pollution in our water is more than 1,000 times higher than federal regulations.

We’ve already been exposed to unnecessarily high levels of mercury. For the past nine years, the Wateree coal plant has been discharging toxic wastewater with an expired permit that had no mercury limits, allowing even more mercury pollution of our water.

Toxic wastewater from the Wateree coal plant flows into the Wateree River and into Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, the most popular fishing and recreation areas in the state. All South Carolinians are affected by the pollution from this coal plant. Predominantly Black and low-income communities like Eastover, S.C. have been hit hardest. 


Push For Clean Energy 

Reforms from VC Summer nuclear fiasco are pushing SC toward clean energy