James Felder bio

Jim Felder asks you to join him

Santee Cooper is not diverse or inclusive. I Support a sale to NextEra.


March 23, 2021

We, the undersigned, send this open letter to the South Carolina General Assembly because we are disappointed with the management of Santee Cooper in its present form.  In the words of Senator Hugh Leatherman of Florence and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, “I see no choice but to divest the state of what is increasingly not an asset but an albatross”.

Santee Cooper is known for over a decade’s worth of missteps, debt and failed projects that have cost ratepayers billions of dollars. Their blunders and mistakes are numerous, and we have waited years for solutions and resolutions that never happened.

Because of the debacle of the failed VC Summer Nuclear Plant in Fairfield County and the enormous mismanagement practices, Santee Cooper is nearly $7 billion in debt.

There is the failed Pee Dee Coal Plant near Florence that ratepayers are having to pay for because Santee Cooper abandoned the project in 2009 after spending $362 million on equipment, thousands of acres of land and materials on the site and upkeep costs millions every year. 

Finally, there is the matter of diversity and inclusion. Santee Cooper’s claim of 21% minority representation on its executive staff is not a true representation of our state’s population. Procurement opportunities are questionable for minority businesses.

We understand that NextEra Energy, the largest green, renewable energy company in the USA with a proven track record of diversity, inclusion and community investment has offered a bid to purchase. Therefore, we urge the General Assembly to sell Santee Cooper.

Bishop F. C. James, Retired

AME Church, SC

20 NAACP Branches

(see list)

Dr. Donald Greene, President

Baptist Educational & Missionary Convention of SC

20 NAACP Branches

Anderson Branch NAACP

Dominic Gibbs, President

Bamberg County NAACP

Dr. Gerald Wright, President

Batesburg/Leesville NAACP

O. Levy, President

Camden/Kershaw NAACP

Kenneth Carter, President

Chesterfield Branch NAACP

James Barber, President

Clarendon County Branch NAACP

Willie Briggs, President

Colleton County Branch NAACP

Edward Williams, President

Florence Branch NAACP

Jerry Keith, Jr, President

Darlington Branch

Anthony Hall, President

Columbia Branch NAACP

Oveta Glover, President

Western York Branch

Steve Love, Board Member

Georgetown Branch NAACP

Marvin Neal, President

Greenville Branch NAACP

Rev. J. Flemming, President

Laurens County NAACP

Rev. David Kennedy, President

Manning Branch NAACP

Bobby Fleming, President

North Charleston Branch

Phillip Scott, President

Orangeburg Branch NAACP

Barbara Johnson-Williams, President

Pageland Branch NAACP

Ural Bennett, President

Spartanburg Branch NAACP

Michael Brown, President

West Spartanburg NAACP

Rev. Eddie Parks, President

Tell Your Senator: Sell Santee Cooper to NextEra!

Santee Cooper lacks the culture to become the diverse, inclusive and clean energy utility the community needs.

NextEra Energy is the largest generator of wind and solar energy in the U.S., and has been recognized for its diversity.  If Senators approve a sale, NextEra will wipe out Santee Cooper’s $6 billion debt, so customers won’t have to pay it.

Gullah Geechee Leadership Institute

I’ve devoted my life to effecting positive change and am committed to continuing the journey.  Santee Cooper is no longer an asset for our communities.  We need an energy company like NextEra that will provide economic lift to the African American community and all South Carolina, provide lower rates and greener energy.  I urge you to join me in supporting the sale of Santee Cooper to NextEra.

Jim Felder

Lead Advocate

Gullah Geechee Leadership Institute

Why Sell Santee Cooper to NextEra?

Because South Carolinians deserve low rates, greener energy and diversity…

Wind & Solar


NextEra is the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy.



NextEra’s utility Florida Power & Light boasts rates 30% lower than the national average, lower than Santee Cooper’s rates.

$6+ billion


Santee Cooper’s $6+ billion debt will be erased by NextEra.  Customers won’t be forced to pay for Santee Cooper’s mismanagement.

Economic Support


NextEra has been recognized multiple times as one of America’s best employers for diversity.  In 2019 the company awarded $640 million in contracts to minority and disadvantaged female and veteran owned businesses.


Tell Your Senator: Sell Santee Cooper to NextEra!