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South Carolina House Kills Solar Energy Bill

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The South Carolina House of Representatives has taken a surprise step and killed a solar energy bill that passed a key vote last week.

The bill removing a cap on the amount of solar energy in the state failed to pass Tuesday after opponents had it ruled a property tax increase.

The proposal received a majority vote last week with both Democratic and Republican support, but tax increases require two-thirds approval to pass. Tuesday's 61-44 House vote fell nine votes short.

Bill sponsor Rep. James Smith said the proposal was an answer to problems on relying on older energy sources, which led to two failed nuclear plants and billions in debt. Smith, a Democrat from Columbia running for governor, told opponents they were killing 3,000 jobs and the solar power industry in South Carolina.