Sunday, March 30, 2008


I had the good fortune of meeting with a young student from Presbyterian College on Friday to discuss soil and water conservation in South Carolina. She was interviewing me for her internship at the Joe Adair Center, a wonderful nature and conservation learning center located in the heart of Laurens and run by a great lady named Laura Blind.

The interview involved a discussion about the surface water withdrawal bill currently being debated in the Senate and evolved into more detailed discussions on the environment, global warming, the economy and current events.

I left the meeting energized and very optimistic about the generation of college students currently enrolled. Knowing how, generally, liberal-leaning most college campuses are, Mandy convinced me that there are self-thinking students who are digesting the information given to them, investigating all sides of the issues and coming up with their own conclusions about things. Thanks, Mandy, for giving me hope for our future and good luck! You have a very bright future, I believe!

Campaign Season 2008

I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to the voters of House District 15 who continue to support my efforts in Columbia. As of the close of filing today, Sunday, March 30th - I sam without opposition for the 2008 Primary and General elections. I look forward to serving the District for another two-year term!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why Iraq?

I hear a lot of folks question why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan - well, not as many people question Afghanistan because they can easily make a direct connection between Al Qaeda and Bin Laden with Afghanistan. But the reasons are really the same - we are at war against terrorism in this world - not against a nation state as in previous wars. There is no enemy to oust from a certain territory or nation - no borders to reclaim and reestablish; no spoils of war to return to the rightful owners or heirs.

But why did we go to Iraq, the pundits ask? There were no "direct" ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq or with Saddam Hussein, they say.

Did there have to be?

Saddam Hussein was a terrorist himself and definitely supported terrorist acts. Do we forget that he paid families up to $30,000 per family member that committed a suicide terrorist act in Israel?

One windfall that the media seems to fail to address is in Israel. Think about it......when was the last time you turned on the news and heard of a suicide bombing in an Israeli marketplace or on a bus in Israel? I can't remember the last one and would wager that it has been years. Not counting the recent shooting that happened at a school in Israel nor the brief war/skirmish with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, I can't think of a suicide bombing there in the past few years - THANK GOD!

But also thanks to the US military and our President for taking it to the terrorists in their home countries or the nations which harbor them.

I went back and re-read President Bush's speech following September 11. Here it is in its entirety - I have put in bold the paragraph about nations harboring terrorists: Let us never forget, please......

September 11, 2001 - President George W. Bush - Speech to the Nation

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America -- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Re-Election Press Release

Rep. Jeff Duncan to Seek Re-Election

(CLINTON, S.C.) – Representative Jeff Duncan announced today that he will seek a fourth term representing the people of District 15 in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve the people of District 15 in the State House,” said Rep. Duncan. “I’m honored and humbled that the people of Laurens and Newberry counties have elected me three times and my hope is that I have earned their trust for another term.”

Duncan currently serves in several leadership roles in the South Carolina House, including Chief Majority Party Whip, Chairman of the Environmental I sub-committee and Chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus. Previously, he has served as Vice Chairman of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee and Vice Chairman of the Freshman Caucus.

With the recent retirement announcement of Representative William Witherspoon, Rep. Jeff Duncan is positioned well to be the top contender for the Chairmanship of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee, one of only six major standing committees in the House.

During his tenure at the Capital in Columbia, Duncan has regularly been singled out for his leadership on important issues. He has been selected as “Legislator of the Year” by the South Carolina Recreation & Parks Association and recently by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation. In 2006, Duncan was named “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Business for his work on tort reform and worker’s compensation reform.

This winter, Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell picked Duncan to Chair the important Education Funding Study Committee which began its’ work in December. “Jeff’s commitment to the State and to the people of District 15 is obvious every day in the House of Representatives,” said Speaker Harrell. “We regularly seek his input and his leadership on important issues because we see success from his efforts.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan is a real estate broker and auctioneer with offices located in Clinton. An Upstate native, Jeff is a graduate of Clemson University. He and his wife of 19 years, Melody, have three sons: Graham, John Philip and Parker.

In addition to his service in the House, Jeff Duncan serves as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church in Clinton and as a Board member of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Auctioneers Association and the Advisory Board at Palmetto Bank.

District 15 covers portions of both Laurens and Newberry counties, including the communities of Clinton, Joanna and Whitmire.

Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee

Rep. Jeff Duncan chosen to serve on Federal OCS Policy Committee
Department of the Interior - Minerals Management Service
5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program Subcommittee

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Policy Committee provides advice to the Secretary of the Interior on implementing the OCS Lands Act. It currently has three subcommittees: the 5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program Subcommittee; the OCS Alternative Energy Subcommittee; and the Hard Minerals Subcommittee.

Rep. Jeff Duncan has just been appointed to serve on the 5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program Subcommittee of the OCS Policy Committee. This Subcommittee's primary purpose is to assist and provide recommendations to the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Department of the Interior, through the full OCS Policy Committee, on the 5-Year leasing process that the OCS Lands Act, as amended, requires the Department of the Interior to undertake in developing a 5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

This assessment by the Subcommittee will help guide the Secretary of the Interior and the MMS in determining if the current 5-Year process is the best method for assuring that the OCS meets the energy needs of the United States within the framework of a national energy policy and in the development of the next 5-year process.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve our nation in this capacity as we seek to meet our energy demands for the future,” Representative Duncan said.
“I believe that there are ways in which we can reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy while remaining good stewards of the environment.”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Burning Our Food

The Global Warming "debate" continues with little air-time or space given to the opposing view: the view that disputes Al Gore's INCONVENIENT TRUTH. As I study the issue - I hope to post my thoughts as I develop them. This little post concerns the push for alternative fuels - specifically corn-based ethanol.

If you haven't noticed yet, you will soon - the price of foodstuffs is going up. The reason is the increasing demand for corn to be used in the production of ethanol. Folks - it doesn't make sense for several reasons: 1. corn is not a good source of fuel, as it takes more energy to produce corn-ethanol than is gained in the output. That is not disputed; 2. even if we took all the available farm acreage in the US and started growing corn and soybeans, we still could not produce enough ethanol to meet our energy needs.

This is driving the price of corn out the roof (prices have gone from $1.86 bushel in late 2005 to $5 bushel on Chicago futures market in February 2008) and the price of things that eat / use corn along with it. (Wheat prices, too, have soared from $3.40 bushel in late 2005 to $18 at Chicago in February 2008). Just think about it - dairy farmers feed corn / silage to the cows. The price of corn makes this cost-prohibitive. Beef cattle farmers also feed some corn and this, coupled with the price of fuel & the low sale prices of recent years, has resulted in many cattle farmers dumping their cattle on the market. Right now, beef prices - ie. hamburger/steak, etc. are very low due to this flood of US beef on the market. But what do you think will be the case when supply doesn't meet demand for US beef - that's right - higher beef prices, too!

Next - think about our taking certain farmland out of normal production and putting it into corn/soy crops. That means, in order for us here in America to meet the food demands, we will be importing more and more food. It is a scary thought for the US to be reliant on other countries to provide our food. You think our thirst for foreign oil is causing tough economic times - just wait until there is an OPEC-like cartel dictating the price of say - wheat? The Feds have mandated that 36 Billion gallons of renewable fuel be used by year 2022. On what land, I ask?

I want to quote some stuff from a presentation by Dennis T. Avery of the Hudson Institute here and I want to make sure he gets credit. His presentation was titled "Food, Fuel or Wild Species: The Eco-Dangers of Growing More Biofuels."

The world is farming all of its prime land already. Agriculture is humanity's biggest intrusion on nature. To increase production for biofuels (or the replacement land to grow food crops) would take millions of acres and displace a lot of wild species, both flora and fauna. Think about the millions of acres of forests cleared and wetlands drained for agriculture.

World food/feed demand is expected to double in the next 40 years. Humans are expected to increase from 6.3 Billion to 8 - 10 Billion by 2050. A push for more high-protein diets are ardently sought but take three times the farming resources to grow.

Biofuels Violate Farm Rule #1: Save the Poorer Land for Nature
  • Corn ethanol nets 50 gals of gas equivalent per acre. If corn yields double (it would take better fertilizers for this and that is a use of energy to create) it still takes too much land.
  • Sugar cane yields 3.6 times more energy per acre but this is on tropical land with big biodiversity questions
  • Palm oil plantations attract thousand of great apes (orangutans) which are captured/killed so that the European Union can have biodiesel. It also threatens elephants and Sumatran tigers.
So, are we going to go backwards on protection of certain areas set aside for "green space" in our quest for alternative fuels?

Higher Crop Yields (more crop per acre): it will take more and better fertilizer to increase crop yields. Huge amounts of natural gas energy is necessary to create fertilizer and then you have the whole run-off issues, etc.

I am still studying switch-grass / pine harvest residue and other sources proposed for ethanol production. I could go on about that and I am sure someone will comment that there are or will be other sources for ethanol than food crops. The jury is still out on that.

In summary: fewer US crops for food; fewer cattle raised here in US; crops that are grown here are subject to the WTO (see Brazil vs. US cotton in World Court); rising fossil fuel prices affect food production costs for farmers; transportation costs due to increased fuel prices affect the price of food; slower economy; rising prices; more land cleared to meet fuel & food demands worldwide; loss of natural habitat increases the risk of losing species - and more land will be necessary unless we use more fertilizers to increase crop yield; the whole water issue that is bubbling to the surface (pun intended) and competition for water between farming and metropolitan/human needs - it goes on and on and on and on. An old Chinese proverb says: "He who burns his food goes hungry."

I think we should be afraid - very afraid - of the direction this is heading.

Energy Frustrations

I picked a crappy time to buy a diesel vehicle. I bought one because I was wearing out gasoline motors driving as many miles a year as I do. Just the other day I went to fill up and paid $3.97/gallon! Yeah - it was a bio-diesel 80/20 blend, but still -

they didn't give me any of this petroleum by-product to go with it!

Why is diesel fuel so much higher than gasoline? It is a by-product of gasoline production anyway, right?

I am writing this as I watch a documentary on the DOC channel entitled "Oil is Blood," about the US' effort to get oil for the WWII war effort. The question I have at this time is: Could the US do something like fight a world war again? Would Americans rally around any war effort the way they did before.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

SC Club For Growth Endorsement

The South Carolina Club for Growth recently sent out it's endorsements for the 2008 election cycle. This is my second endorsement from this conservative group and is very much appreciated!
I proudly stand with the other members whom have been endorsed!

February 21, 2008
Contact: Matt Moore

SC Club for Growth State Action PAC Endorses Seventeen Legislators for June Primaries

Columbia, SC – Today, the South Carolina Club for Growth State Action PAC endorsed seventeen current South Carolina legislators that are seeking election in the upcoming June 10th primary.

Each of these legislators has shown a continued commitment to limited government and responsible spending, while leading efforts to change South Carolina's antiquated system of government. All earned a combined grade of "B" or better in the Club's legislative scorecards and cumulatively represent approximately the top 10% of grades for the entire General Assembly.

South Carolina Club for Growth Executive Director Matt Moore released the following statement on the endorsements:

"On behalf of our membership across the state, I'm proud to announce these endorsements. We believe leadership matters. South Carolina's future generations will benefit from these legislators leading the charge to reform our state government.

Through the support of hundreds of members around the state, we are hopeful that many more change-oriented legislators will join these reformers at the Statehouse next January. We will be carefully monitoring their re-election efforts. Should credible challengers run against any of them, we will urge our members to contribute generously to these endorsed incumbents."

SC State Senate:

Legislator – District #, Area, Party
Kevin Bryant – 3rd District, Anderson, Republican
Danny Verdin – 9th District, Laurens, Republican
Mick Mulvaney – 16th District, Lancaster, Republican
Greg Ryberg – 24th District, Aiken, Republican
Larry Grooms – 37th District, Berkeley, Republican
Chip Campsen – 43rd District, Charleston, Republican

SC State House of Representatives:

Legislator – District #, Area, Party
Don Bowen – 8th District, Anderson, Republican
Michael Thompson – 9th District, Anderson, Republican
Jeff Duncan – 15th District, Laurens , Republican
Dwight Loftis – 19th District, Greenville, Republican
Eric Bedingfield – 28th District, Greenville, Republican
Herb Kirsh – 47th District, York, Democrat
Thad Viers – 68th District, Horry, Republican
Nathan Ballentine – 71st District, Lexington, Republican
Nikki Haley – 87th District, Lexington, Republican
Jim Merrill – 99th District, Berkeley, Republican
Chip Limehouse – 110th District, Charleston, Republican

Climate Change


Well, I am off to attend a climate change conference in New York City. I really don't know what to expect, but as that I am interested in the topic of climate change (global warming, etc.) I am excited about hearing what others from around the globe have to say.

I recently read a book which I recommend to anyone who is interested in the subject. It is titled "Unstoppable Global Warming: every 1500 years" and provides some very sound evidence that warming and cooling of the globe is naturally occurring on a 1500 year +/- cycle, tied to the sun's activities.

I am currently reading Tom Mulliken's book on global warming. Tom lives in Camden, SC and is a friend of Rep. Mike Pitts. Tom has traveled the globe studying the issue and I am enjoying the book so far......I just started.

I look forward to posting about the conference and picking up some additional information that I can share with my House colleagues.