In this blog, we examine the policies and positions of Jaime Harrison, the Democratic nominee for South Carolina's Senator. Also in this series we profile Lindsey Graham, the incumbent Senator and Republican nominee for the seat.Chris Carnevale | September 4, 2020
This post is part of a series of blogs examining where 2020 Southeastern candidates for state and federal offices stand on key energy and climate issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. Links to reports, candidate websites and outside sources are provided as citizen education tools.
In this blog, we examine the policies and positions of Jaime Harrison, the Democratic nominee for South Carolina’s Senator. Also in this series we profile Lindsey Graham, the incumbent Senator and Republican nominee for the seat.
Jaime Harrison grew up in Orangeburg, SC, attended Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, majored in political science at Yale University, and earned a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. He has worked as a teacher at his hometown high school, as Chief Operating Officer for charity organization College Summit (now called PeerForward), as director of floor operations for Congressman Jim Clyburn, as executive director for the South Carolina Democratic Party, and as a lobbyist for the Podesta Group and on behalf of United Way Worldwide and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. He has served as the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party and as associate chairman and counselor of the Democratic National Committee. His campaign website is jaimeharrison.com. As Harrison has never served in elected office, there are no voting records to examine, so the following profile of his positions on these issues is drawn largely from his campaign website and news coverage.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Harrison supports cutting climate pollution by “transitioning to cleaner energy sources, which would spur massive job growth.” On his campaign website, he calls for the United States to become a leader in renewable energy and for increased research into energy-efficient technologies and alternative energy sources.
Harrison’s website calls climate change an “existential threat” to South Carolina’s coastal communities and recognizes that it is beginning to affect other parts of the state as well. Harrison said about climate change that “South Carolina is on the front lines of this man-made crisis” and that “[t]he situation demands that we act swiftly and decisively” in an interview in the Post & Courier. Harrison has proposed the creation of an Environmental Justice Fund to invest in sustainable infrastructure in the communities that are hurt the most by climate change impacts. Jaime Harrison does not support the Green New Deal, calling it expensive, not feasible, and highly partisan.
Harrison’s positions regarding electric transportation are not clear from published material, however he has called for “immediate investments in public transportation.”
Energy Equity and Energy Burden
We were unable to confirm the candidate’s position on this energy-related issue in published media, public records, or the campaign website other than, as noted above, his proposal to create an Environmental Justice Fund to invest in sustainable infrastructure in communities that are most impacts by climate change.
High-Risk Energy (Coal, Nuclear, Oil, Gas)
Harrison supports a ban on offshore drilling.
Harrison’s positions on coal, nuclear, and fossil gas are not clear from published materials.
If you are interested in learning more about where your state’s candidates for federal and state office stand on energy, click here to access the entire 2020 blog series. We encourage readers to register to vote well before registration deadlines, which are in early October but vary by state, and vote in the general election on or before November 3, 2020. For voting information in South Carolina, including updates about the impact of COVID-19 on voting, click here. Stay tuned for more posts in this series to come!