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Lawmakers pushing S.C. energy idea

Mar 10, 2010 11:34:00 PM - thestate.com
WASHINGTON - Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham joined Democratic Reps. Jim Clyburn and John Spratt on Wednesday in introducing bipartisan legislation to provide $4.9 billion in federal loans for rural power consumers to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

The three members of Congress from South Carolina said the idea for the low-interest green loans was first developed by the heads of electric cooperatives in the state and then promoted by House Majority Whip Clyburn.

"The legislation we're introducing today will take South Carolina's ideas nationwide," Clyburn told reporters at a Capitol Hill briefing.

Clyburn credited Michael Couick, head of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, with originating the approach in the measure. The Columbia Democrat then pitched the bill to Graham.

"Jim brought this to me," said Graham, a Seneca Republican. "I just thought it was a marvelous idea. This is great policy when you can take a relatively small amount of federal dollars, invest it in the economy and empower people to help themselves."

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