South Carolina Citizen Journal

October 1, 2009

Energy Taxes

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina, Taxes, Transportation — NotforHire @ 8:29 am

Forget “Cap and Trade” and “Climate Change Legislation”. What we are really talking about are taxes on fossil fuel energy consumption. And taxes on fossil fuel consumption are exactly what we need  in order for our state to prosper in the coming decades.

South Carolina currently imports $14 billion in oil and $10 billion in coal a year. That, my friends, is a chunk of change. It is a huge drag on our economy and a problem that will only get worse. The time has long past for action on this issue.

What our primary focus should be is how to get those numbers down. The sooner we start thinking about energy independence as a  state, and actually implementing a plan, the better off we will be. The state that produces all of its own energy is going to be the state that is strongest and most competitive in the global marketplace.

Higher taxes on imported fossil fuels are necessary to fund our transition to in-state produced sources of energy. To all of you short term thinkers out there,  get out of the way.

September 26, 2009

Wind Turbine Test Facility

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Federal, South Carolina, U.S. Congress — NotforHire @ 7:47 am

South Carolina is “in a race” for a 45 million dollar test facility for super size wind turbines to be funded by the federal government. Other states on the track are Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Oh, to win this race. It is imperative that South Carolina become energy independent as soon as possible, and such a facility could act as a catapult in that direction.  But I wonder which state will win the race. Do we really think it will be the state from which a congressman(and I do use that term loosely), at a joint session of our nation’s congress, shouted out “you lie” at the chief executive?

Though it would be a really great thing for our state, I am not holding my breath.

August 31, 2009

Gubernatorial Candidates

I have looked at the websites for all of the candidates for our next governor and so far I see no one who wants to lead this state.

What will it take for someone to put their mouth where their money is and tell us what they will do to lead our state? We are nine years into the 21st century, but we pretend like it is 1952.

Someone please step up.

May 9, 2009

SC Energy

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 11:00 am

I read with interest that South Carolina will soon be exporting 350,00 tons of switchgrass to Europe to fuel power plants there, as they move away from coal.

With the recent downturn in energy usage across our state, and with lower projected energy use into the future coupled with technological breakthroughs in alternative fuels, it is time to abandon SC&G’s plan for a new nuclear plant and Santee-Cooper’s plan for a new coal plant. An energy independent South Carolina is a strong South Carolina and concentrating our efforts in the following areas is what will make this happen.

1. Switchgrass fueled electrical plants. Switchgrass is native to our state and is found here in abundance. The farming of switchgrass in our state is already moving forward, and we need to take advantage of this right now.

2. The development of a wind farm in the far upstate, where we have world class energy producing wind. Also offshore wind should be put to the front burner and invested in heavily.

3. We should be doing everything we can to develop our own solar industries here in the Palmetto State. It is expensive, but recent breakthroughs in the technology should make solar power a major factor in South Carolina’s push towards energy independence.

4. Conservation.  One initiative that would have a major impact is the regular publication of our energy usage as a whole- How much gasoline  we use in a quarter, as well as electricity, water and natural gas, if published and promoted, would give us solid numbers to rally around and make us more aware, and more willing to work harder to use less energy.

Again, we should be concentrating on energy sources  and strategies that will make us energy independent as soon as possible. It is absolutely critical that we do so without delay.

December 17, 2008

South Carolina Wind

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, legislature, Sanford, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 6:16 am

Looking at a wind map of the United States, you can see that our state, in the far northwestern corner, just happens to have a small swath of world class wind that is there for the harvesting.

It would be a small part of our state’s energy mix, but we should move to create as large a wind farm as possible there, without delay.

December 16, 2008

Hypermiling

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Energy, Environment, Transportation — NotforHire @ 8:32 am

Hypermiling is the simple concept of driving as efficiently as possible.

With South Carolina importing 100% of its gasoline, it is an idea that should be actively promoted. Perhaps a public service campaign by our department of transportation would be a good idea. The less fuel we import, the more wealth we retain in our state.

For more information please visit hypermiling.com.

December 5, 2008

SCANA Nuclear Plant Proposal

Filed under: Energy, Environment, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 1:50 pm

What we should ask ourselves about the SCANA’s proposal to build two nuclear power plants is, would we be willing to store the nuclear waste within our own state’s border?

If no, then we should concentrate on clean coal, renewable sources and conservation.

December 3, 2008

Gasoline Tax

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina, Taxes, Transportation — NotforHire @ 9:27 am

South Carolina’s tax on gasoline currently stands at 35.2 cpg. In comparison, our neighboring states of Georgia and North Carolina have gas tax rates of 44.4 and 48.6 cpg, respectively, according to southcarolinagastaxes.com. Figures include 18.4 cpg federal tax.

With gas prices plummeting and South Carolina tax revenues in freefall, it would be a good time to raise South Carolina’s gas tax by 10 cpg, to be more in line with our neighboring states.

With gas prices so low, an additional floating tax of 10 cpg should be enacted, to be removed when gas prices again reach 2.50 dpg, because you know they will be going back up.

Raising the gas tax would provide the state with much needed revenue, hopefully to be earmarked for transportation infrastructure improvements. It would also help encourage conservation of something that we import 100% of. The less gasoline we import, the more wealth remains in our state.

To those that say it would hurt businesses that depend on gasoline, I would like to point out that just a few months ago fuel prices in our state were pushing four dollars a gallon, and if both of these proposals were enacted now, the price of gasoline in South Carolina would still be around two dollars a gallon.

The time is right for this, with no hesitation or delay.

December 2, 2008

Are You a S.C. Patriot?

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina, Transportation — NotforHire @ 9:47 am

What constitutes a Patriot? One who loves his country and supports its interests. I put forth the following that true patriots can embark upon to make our state better.

1. Be as energy efficient as possible. South Carolina imports close to 100% of its energy, and we can go a long way to increasing our wealth base merely by reducing the amount of energy we consume.

2. Produce more than you consume. Avoid debt except for a mortgage and an automobile.

3. Volunteer your time or give to local charity, or both.

4. Compost, whether you have a garden or not, thus reducing the waste stream and enriching the soil on your property naturally.

5. Plant a vegetable garden.

6. Plant a fruit or nut tree on your property. Or both.

7. Buy locally when possible. Support local artisans and craftspeople when shopping for gifts.

8. Commit 80% of charitable donations to within the state.

9. Invest in, and buy from, companies that have their corporate offices in the state.

10. Bank at a South Carolina based bank.

11. Recycle everything.

Where are you on this list right now? I myself have 6 of 11, which is okay, but I will try to do better. Anything I’ve left off?

November 22, 2008

Economy

Filed under: Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Water policy — NotforHire @ 5:30 pm

My kitchen is not my dream kitchen, but it certainly is nothing to complain about, most of the modern conveniences being included. My favorite thing in the place is not the food processor, which is used sparingly, or the blender, or even the coffee maker, which I do rely on quite heavily.

My favorite thing in the place is a wooden spoon from my grandmother’s kitchen. It doesn’t just hang on the wall either, I use it almost every time I cook. I love it first because it reminds me of my grandmother, of the times we had in her kitchen, baking or cooking for the family, the holidays, and all the good times.

I love it foremost though for the economy that it represents.

To explain what I mean we must go first to the definition of economy. The way the word is most used now, as defined in Webster’s online dictionary is actually the forth definition of the word, “The structure or conditions of economic life in a country”. The first two definitions of the word are what need to be brought back into common usage:

1. The management of household or private affairs and especially expenses.
2. a: thrifty and efficient use of material resources : frugality in expenditures  ; also : an instance or a means of economizing : saving b: efficient and concise use of nonmaterial resources.

Economy is something we experience in every action that we take in life, whether we are being economical or uneconomical. My grandmother’s wooden spoon that I use, so worn and beloved, is an example of good economy. We used to teach personal economy to our citizens, in our churches and in our schools, but we have gotten away from that. Way away.

It is time, as I think we can all see, for real economy to be dusted off and brought back into use. It won’t be an easy road, but it is a necessary road, and our future depends upon it.

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