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  • Dr. Annie Andrews, The State

Nancy Mace is lying about Parris Island again, ignoring the real threat that could close it

Once again, Nancy Mace is lying about Parris Island.

She released a new television ad last week claiming that “Washington is trying to shut Parris Island down.”

It’s not true.

This has become a pattern for Mace. Each election cycle, she tries to scare constituents into voting for her by telling them that Parris Island is going to be shut down and only she can protect it. In 2020, she falsely claimed that transgender troops were the reason Parris Island was going to close, but even Republican leaders like Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Wilson said that wasn’t true.

Mace continues to be dishonest about the facts surrounding Parris Island’s future. And since we can’t trust Mace’s words, we must review the facts ourselves.

It is true that there is a big threat to Parris Island, but it’s not Washington or transgender troops – it’s climate change. We know this because the Marine Corps leadership has been warning us for years. In 2018, Gen. Glenn Walters, then the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that Parris Island was the Marine Corps “most critical vulnerability” due to flooding and rising sea levels. The bipartisan Center for Climate & Security found that flooding frequency is on the rise at Parris Island, and critical infrastructure and military missions will be disrupted by climate change.

Additionally, Parris Island may soon see six times more “black flag” days, which are days when the heat index exceeds 100 degrees. On these days all outdoor exercises are suspended. By most estimates, nearly a third of Parris Island will be underwater by 2050, and the causeway connecting the base to the mainland could be completely underwater in less than 15 years. My opponent and I agree that keeping Parris Island open and flourishing is a priority for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. It is responsible for over $800 million in economic activity each year and home to nearly 6,000 jobs.

So as our congresswoman, what has Nancy Mace actually done to protect it and address this problem?

Nothing. She won’t even acknowledge the actual threat exists.

Throughout her political career, Nancy Mace has consistently refused to accept the existence of climate change. When asked if she believes in climate change in 2020, she responded by saying, “I’m kind of mixed on this. I’m not a scientist. To me, it’s not clear cut.”

She went on to concede that flooding is a “massive issue” but said she did not know what was causing it.

Nancy Mace says Parris Island will be shut down over her dead body, but her Protect Parris Island Act hasn’t moved an inch in a year and a half. How can she protect Parris Island if she can’t even get a bill out of committee? Furthermore, she voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides historic investments to vulnerable communities like Parris Island in the fight against climate change.

Let’s face it: the only imminent threat to Parris Island is climate-science-denying politicians like Nancy Mace.

As your congresswoman, I will fight to protect Parris Island by actually listening to the facts, following the science, and delivering solutions - not using fear tactics and playing politics. While Nancy Mace focuses on who to blame in order to get re-elected, my focus on this issue, and every issue, will always be on solving the problem.

That’s what Parris Island deserves, and after two years of constant lies and fearmongering from Nancy Mace, it’s what the entire Lowcountry desperately needs.

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