South Carolina Citizen Journal

June 30, 2011

The Conservation Bank

Filed under: Economy, Environment, Ethics, Haley, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 8:05 am

There is no doubt that the Land Bank should be fully funded. It should be considered a central key to South Carolina’s future, both environmentally and economically.

As our state’s population continues to expand over the next decades, it is absolutely critical that as much open space be preserved as possible. Not only should the Conservation Bank be given its full $12 million in funding, the fund amount should be tripled from its current level.

The longer we wait to preserve these lands, the less of them there will be to preserve, and it will also become much more expensive to do so the future. Now is the time to be moving forcefully ahead with our state’s Conservation Bank.

Iowa Legislature Looks to Ban Investigative Reporting on Farms

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Environment, Ethics — NotforHire @ 7:52 am

No matter how you feel about organizations such as PETA and Mercy for Animals, it would be a grave mistake to make investigative reporting by any person or organization illegal.

http://www.examiner.com/animal-policy-in-national/bill-banning-undercover-animal-abuse-videos-clears-committee-iowa-senate?fb_comment=31498396

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 17, 2009

Urban Homesteading

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Environment, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 9:52 am

Some thirteen months ago, my wife and I were lucky enough to purchase a house on a lot of about a third of an acre. It came with a mature pecan tree in the front yard, from which last summer we didn’t get any pecans, but we cleared off the many vines growing up into it and we’re hopeful that this year we will get some production out of it.

Other than the pecan tree, we have planted an apple tree(a hot weather variety), a blueberry bush, grapevines, and a 4′ by 20′ vegetable garden.

My wife is calling this our homestead year, and let me tell you we are thankful to be able to head out to the grocer, because otherwise we would be starving right now.

No but really, we are having moderate success so far, and we are looking forward to having a lot of tomatos, onions, squash and cantalopes this summer, and maybe pecans.

I am treating my urban lot as a homestead because it is the conservative thing to do. It saves my family money and saves a small percentage on produce that would otherwise be imported from out of state. Oh, I suppose I could be spending that time out water skiing, but water skiing is hardly an activity of someone calling themselves a conservative, now is it?

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.

May 1, 2009

Megadumps

It is good to see our elected officials taking steps so that South Carolina does not become the trash dumping ground for the whole eastern seaboard.

DHEC has passed new regulations making it more difficult for these megadumps to be built here. I would like us to go further and make it absolutely impossible for them to be built here. Let’s think to the future shall we, or at the least we should have some basic self respect.

South Carolina is no dumping ground. At best these places would be a short term revenue generator for these counties, and in the long run would ruin whole areas with toxic pollution in the ground and in the ground water, making it more difficult for these areas to generate wealth for themselves in the future.

DHEC says it can’t unapprove the megadump in Marlboro County. Sure it can. Or how about the legislature pass a law that simply says we do not accept any trash from outside our borders? They could still build it and Marlboro County could be the dumping ground for our own state’s trash, but that would be it. By the way, the company wanting to build this particular dump is not even a South Carolina based company.

I’ll say it one more time: South Carolina is no trash dumping ground. Period.

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.

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