CNBC’s “Best States for Business” for 2021 is out. North Carolina, strong numbers. South Carolina, see me after school, you didn’t turn in your homework.

The reason to even mentioned the annual CNBC ranking is a new criterion in the evaluation – “We rate each state’s utility infrastructure … reliability of the power grid.” It also included water and other services.

  • Overall North Carolina’s ranking is #2, South Carolina is #39.
  • For infrastructure, North Carolina is #21, South Carolina #36. (Note, regarding the Southeast: Florida was #5, Georgia #6, Virginia #24)
  • For business friendliness, North Carolina is #9, South Carolina #27.

State competition is tough. Many activities go into the impression of a state. Energy Consumers has clearly noted what simply cannot help South Carolina: The Santee Cooper debacle. Years of indecision. A clear process for a sale of Santee Cooper and backsliding when it came to doing business. Criticism about the Santee Cooper board and for all purposes, zero done. The legislative vote based on Senatorial seats instead of power customers. The inexplicable acceptance of debt on behalf of customers.

All of these scream about a lack of understanding basic business.

It is a different day, though.

CNBC noted those states that made the biggest gains in the rankings, too, so the survey looks for improved performance. The clock is ticking, South Carolina. What’s the plan to get out of the bottom half of the rankings?

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I note that two power utility players in South Carolina look like this in the CNBC rankings:

  • The home state of Duke Energy ranked #2 overall, and #21 in infrastructure.
  • The home state of Dominion Energy ranked #1 overall and #24 in infrastructure.
  • Conclusion: While these utilities have their up’s and down’s with state officials, they have the ongoing experience of working with others.