Jimmy Duncan on Environment
Republican Representative (TN-2)
Voted YES on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.
Congressional Summary:Emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. OBEY (D, WI-7): The cash for clunkers program has proven even more wildly popular than its strongest supporters had predicted. Just last month, Congress passed the program, which provided up to $4,500 if you trade in your old gas guzzler for a new car that gets better mileage. That was done in the hopes of spurring some new car sales and encouraging people to be a little more environmentally friendly. We provided $1 billion in the supplemental to get it going, enough for about 250,000 sales--which was just about exhausted in one week. This bill transfers $2 billion from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which doesn't expect to award funding until late next year.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LEWIS (R, CA-41):
In the majority's haste to slam legislation with no time for consideration or amendments, we are now seeing the effects of such shortsighted martial law tactics.
Senator Feinstein tried to negotiate some changes to improve the program but was told that it was this way or the highway. Not one hearing on the Cash for Clunkers program, not one hearing on how the first billion dollars has been spent, not one hearing on how much money the program will need to get through the fiscal year.
Many of my colleagues will say, This is a great program, and it is necessary for the revitalization of the car industry. I'm not really going to argue with those goals. However, are we sure this program is working like it's supposed to? I don't think so. This program has only been up and running 1 week. If that is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, Whatever will we do if the administration takes control of our health care system?
Reference: Cash for Clunkers bill;
Bill H.R. 3435
; vote number 2009-H682
on Jul 31, 2009
Voted NO on protecting free-roaming horses and burros.
- Ensure that acreage available for wild and free-roaming horses and burros is at least equal to the acreage where they were found in 1971
- update the inventory of such horses and burros annually
- maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on lands where such horses and burros are found
- establish sanctuaries for such horses and burros
- research and implement enhanced fertility control for mares & stallions.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NICK RAHALL (D, WV-3): Earlier this year, the BLM made a truly shocking announcement. This Federal agency announced future plans to destroy, i.e., slaughter, 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros entrusted to their care by the American people. How in the world can a Federal agency be considering massive slaughter of animals the law says they are supposed to be protecting? The bill before us gives the agency as many options as possible to avoid destroying these animals.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DOC HASTINGS (R, WA-4): Across our Nation, Americans are struggling to pay their bills; 9.5% of Americans are out of work. With this backdrop, what is the response of this Democrat Congress to record unemployment and skyrocketing deficits? Their response is to create a $700 million welfare program for wild horses and burros. If the American people want an illustration of just how out of touch this Congress has become on spending, they need to look no further. In the last Congress, the House passed legislation to ban the commercial slaughter of wild horses and burros, that cost taxpayers less than $500,000 a year. Now we're looking at a bill that, again, bans slaughter of these animals but then proceeds to spend $700 million to create a new welfare program for wild horses. Republicans are focused on creating the jobs in this country, but this Democrat Congress seems to be more worried about wild burros and wild horses.
Reference: Restore Our American Mustangs Act;
; vote number 2009-H577
on Jul 17, 2009
Voted NO on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences.
Requires Environmental Education and Training program grantees to:
- ensure that environmental education programs and curricula advance the teaching of interdisciplinary courses that include strong field components;
- bring teachers into contact with working environmental professionals;
- encourage individuals traditionally underrepresented in environmental careers
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN SARBANES (D, MD-3): This bill creates a new National Capacity Environmental Education grant program for which education associations apply competitively for grants that would fund model programs that get children into nature and really have them experiencing the environment.
Rep. BUCK McKEON (R, CA-25): This bill incorporates scientifically-based and technology-driven teaching methods into environmental education. Unfortunately, the new National Capacity Environmental Education Program is duplicative of the existing
environmental education program already being run by the EPA. Still, I do not intend to oppose its passage.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R, MN-6): H.R. 3036 continues our Nation down the ill-fated road of shifting control of school curricula away from the parents and teachers and local school boards who best know what their children need into the hands of Federal Government and its one-size-fits-all approach. To best serve our children's educational needs, local school boards need flexibility to target resources where they are needed most. The needs of individual school districts are not homogenous and are most certainly not best understood by bureaucrats in Washington. This bill represents a step in the wrong direction. Forcing local school districts to direct scarce resources away from core curricula to serve a political agenda will only further suppress the academic performance of America's next generation.
Reference: No Child Left Inside Act;
; vote number 2008-H614
on Sep 18, 2008
Voted NO on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013.
- Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2013 for Amtrak capital and operating grants; Amtrak repayment of long-term debt and capital leases; and the rail cooperative research program.
- Authorizes grants for the Next Generation Corridor Train Equipment Pool Committee.
Proponents argument for voting YEA: Rep. OBERSTAR: America is on the threshold of a "renaissance'' for intercity passenger rail that approaches the enthusiasm of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Last year, Amtrak set a ridership record for the fifth year in a row, exceeding 25.8 million passengers. Its ticket revenues rose 11 percent to more than $1.5 billion, the third straight year of revenue growth. This record of achievement is even more impressive considering that for the past eight years Amtrak has contended with an Administration committed to its bankruptcy.
Indeed, these achievements are occurring when there is a greater need than ever for alternatives to our congested highways and skies. To alleviate this congestion and strengthen our energy security, we need to invest in intercity passenger rail.
Other countries already make an annual commitment to intercity passenger rail. In 2003 alone, France invested $10.6 billion in its rail system; Germany invested $12.4 billion; and the United Kingdom invested $7.8 billion. China plans to spend a total of $162 billion from 2006 through 2010 to expand its railway system. This bill authorizes $14 billion over 5 years:
Reference: Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act;
; vote number 2008-400
on Jun 11, 2008
- $6.7 billion for capital grants
- $3.0 billion for operating grants
- $2.5 billion for 80% matching grants to States to pay for the capital costs of facilities
- $1.75 billion to finance 11 authorized high-speed rail corridors
Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M.
Voting YES on this amendment would restore $214 million in funding for AMTRAK, bringing the total annual expenditure for AMTRAK to $1.114 billion. The chairman of the Railroad Subcommittee explained the increase as follows:
Opponents of the amendment say that it would increase funding for Amtrak by gutting and eliminating critical programs, including safety programs, resulting in reductions in force at several agencies.
Reference: Department of Transportation appropriations;
Bill HR 5576 Amendment 1008
; vote number 2006-263
on Jun 13, 2006
- Unlike aviation, highways and transit, there is no dedicated funding for investing in our Nation's passenger rail service. This amendment restores $214 million to the Amtrak account, taking it to $1.114 billion, which is still about $300 million less than we had during the course of last year's discussion.
- Last year the President sent up a budget of zero for Amtrak. We had an amendment process that we went through this time. This time we are up to $900 million in the bill [without this amendment].
- But if you look at that $900 million, there is only $500 million for capital expenditures, out of which has to come a debt service of $280 million, which only leaves $220 million for the capital needs of this country for Amtrak, for passenger rail.
- There is nothing for
operation, and I know that the response to that is going to be that there are some incentive grants in the bill.
Voted NO on barring website promoting Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.
An amendment to prohibit funding the "Yucca Mountain Youth Zone" website. Voting YES indicates opposition to using Yucca Mountain as the national nuclear waste repository. The amendment's sponsor says:
I would like to introduce the American people to the newest member of the Bush administration's energy policy team. His name is Yucca Mountain Johnny. He is the star of the Energy Department's Yucca Mountain Youth Zone Web site devoted to brainwashing school children into believing that burying the Nation's nuclear garbage 90 miles from Los Vegas is safe.
- The Web site features games and activities to make high level nuclear waste fun. High level nuclear waste is not fun. It is dangerous, and the Department of Energy should not be using taxpayer money for a propaganda tool.
- I would probably not be as upset with Joe Camel, excuse me, Yucca Mountain Johnny, if there was a more balanced approach on this Web site. It doesn't talk about the potential of accidents or being an inviting target for
terrorists. It doesn't talk about the fact that Yucca Mountain is in a volcanic and seismic zone area. It doesn't say anything about the existence of safer and cheaper alternatives.
- Among Yucca Mountain Johnny's witty sayings, he says, "The worst mistake is never making one." Well, Yucca Mountain is a mistake. This Web site is a mistake. Yucca Mountain Johnny is a mistake, and to promote the proposed nuclear waste repository to our children under the guise of education is a big mistake.
The amendment's opponents respond:
Reference: Energy and water development appropriations bill;
Bill HR 5427 Amendment 919
; vote number 2006-200
on May 24, 2006
- To my knowledge, nobody has questioned the accuracy or truth of what is on the Web site. My guess is that most of the children that access this website use it for term papers and papers in their classrooms that they have to do on nuclear power.
- Whether you oppose or support the repository, we should at least want the facts out to our children and adults who wish to use that same Web site about just what exactly it is.
Voted YES on deauthorizing "critical habitat" for endangered species.
To amend and reauthorize the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide greater results conserving and recovering listed species, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act;
Bill HR 3824
; vote number 2005-506
on Sep 29, 2005
- Repealing the authority to designate an area as “critical habitat” for an endangered species
- Requiring the Secretary of the Interior to create “recovery plans” within two years of classifying species as endangered or threatened
- Allowing recovery agreements with private citizens whose land may be part of a species recovery plan
- Issuing grants to support private property owners who voluntarily help to increase the number of endangered or threatened species on their private land
- Providing compensation in an amount no less than fair market value to private landowners who have had regulation imposed upon their land
- Calling upon the Secretary to submit an annual cost analysis of the previous years spending to Congress, including the amount of Federal and State funds used for each species
Voted YES on speeding up approval of forest thinning projects.
Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would reduce and expedite (speed up) environmental and judicial reviews of forest thinning projects. The bill would authorize $760 million a year from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2008. The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service would have the authorization to remove vegetation that could cause or assist the spread of wildfires, disease or insect infestation. All forest thinning project would come after public meetings had been held. Forest thinning would be restricted to land that is within a 1.5 miles of at-risk communities , high-risk land that serves as a home for threatened and endangered species, high-risk land in the area of municipal water sources and and high-risk land that is specifically susceptible to disease or insect infestation.
Reference: Healthy Forests Restoration Act;
Bill HR 1904
; vote number 2003-656
on Nov 21, 2003
Reduce liability for hazardous waste cleanup.
Duncan co-sponsored an amendment to CERCLA:
Title: To provide relief for small businesses from liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). Summary:
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR1831 on May 15, 2001
- Amends CERCLA to provide that persons shall be liable for response [cleanup] costs as non-owners or operators only if the total of material containing a hazardous substance was greater than 110 gallons of liquid material or 200 pounds of solid material.
- Applies this exemption only to activities taking place before April 1, 2001.
- Exempts a person from liability for response costs for municipal solid waste (MSW) as a non-owner or operator if the person is an owner, operator, or lessee of residential property from which all of the person's MSW was generated, or a certain small business or small charitable tax-exempt organization that generated all its MSW.
- Makes nongovernmental entities that commence a contribution action liable to the defendant for all reasonable costs of defending the action if the defendant is not liable based on the above-described exemptions.
- Adds to the list of parties eligible for de minimis [inconsequential] final settlements certain persons and businesses that demonstrate an inability or limited ability to pay response costs.
Rated 10% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes.
Duncan scores 10% by the LCV on environmental issues
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is the political voice of the national environmental movement and the only organization devoted full-time to shaping a pro-environment Congress and White House. We run tough and effective campaigns to defeat anti-environment candidates, and support those leaders who stand up for a clean, healthy future for America. Through our National Environmental Scorecard and Presidential Report Card we hold Congress and the Administration accountable for their actions on the environment. Through regional offices, we build coalitions, promote grassroots power, and train the next generation of environmental leaders.
The 2003 National Environmental Scorecard provides objective, factual information about the environmental voting records of all Members of the first session of the 108th Congress. This Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which Members of Congress should be graded. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including environmental health and safety protections, resource conservation, and spending for environmental programs. Scores are calculated by dividing the number of pro-environment votes by the total number of votes scored. The votes included in this Scorecard presented Members of Congress with a real choice on protecting the environment and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. Except in rare circumstances, the Scorecard excludes consensus action on the environment and issues on which no recorded votes occurred.
Source: LCV website 03n-LCV on Dec 31, 2003
Celebrate the recovery of the bald eagle.
Duncan co-sponsored celebrating the recovery of the bald eagle
A resolution designating June 20, 2008, as "American Eagle Day", and celebrating the recovery and restoration of the bald eagle, the national symbol of the United States.
Source: x (S.RES.583) 08-SR583 on Jun 4, 2008
- Whereas, on June 20, 1782, the bald eagle was officially designated as the national emblem of the US by the founding fathers at the Second Continental Congress;
- Whereas the bald eagle is the central image of the Great Seal of the United States; and is displayed in the official seal of many branches and departments of the Federal Government;
- Whereas the bald eagle is an inspiring symbol of the spirit of freedom; and the democracy of the United States;
- Whereas the habitat of bald eagles exists only in North America;
- Whereas, by 1963, the population of bald eagles that nested in the lower 48 States had declined to approximately 417 nesting pairs;
- Whereas, due to the dramatic decline in the population of bald eagles in the lower 48 States, the
Secretary of the Interior listed the bald eagle as an endangered species;
- Whereas caring and concerned citizens of the United States banded together to save bald eagles;
- Whereas, by 2006, the population of bald eagles that nested in the lower 48 States had increased to approximately 7,000 nesting pairs;
- Whereas, on June 28, 2007, the Secretary of the Interior removed the bald eagle from the list of threatened species;
- Whereas, on January 15, 2008, the Secretary of the Treasury issued 3 limited edition bald eagle commemorative coins;
- Resolved, That the Senate designates June 20, 2008, as 'American Eagle Day'; and
- encourages the citizens of the United States to observe American Eagle Day with appropriate ceremonies and other activities.
- Legislative Outcome: Related bills: H.RES.341, H.RES.1247, S.RES.146; passed Senate, by Unanimous Consent, 6/5/2008.
Make tax deduction permanent for conservation easements.
Duncan signed H.R.1831 & S.812
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the tax deduction for charitable contributions by individuals and corporations of real property interests for conservation purposes. Known in the Senate as the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2009.
Source: Conservation Easement Incentive Act 09-HR1831 on Mar 31, 2009
Stop considering manure as pollutant or hazardous.
Duncan co-sponsored Superfund Common Sense Act
Congressional Summary:Amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to exclude manure from the definition of "hazardous substance" and "pollutant or contaminant" for purposes of such Act. Defines "manure" to mean:
Amends the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 to exempt from notification requirements releases associated with manure.
- digestive emissions, feces, urine, urea and other excrement from livestock;
- any associated bedding, compost, raw materials or other materials commingled with such excrement from livestock;
- any process water associated with such items; and
- any byproducts, constituents, or substances contained in, or originating from, such items or any emissions relating to such items.
Opponent's Comments (Jim Ruen on AgProfessional.com, Oct. 3, 2011):
Since when can a fertilizer dealer operate without concern for environmental regulation and impact? Let's face it, we aren't talking about Ma and Pa Kettle with their six milk cows and three sows here spreading a load of manure on the back 40. We are talking about CAFO units with thousands of animals and tens of thousands or more tons/gallons of manure. While a few maybe spreading on their own land, most are selling it to area farmers. At a time when fertilizer dealers and companies have to be conspicuously careful with how they handle product, why shouldn't mega-livestock operators be equally regulated as they sell their "waste" product for its nutrient and soil building value. Since when do commercial N, P and K producers or handlers get a free ride from the EPA...or Congress?
Source: H2997/S1729 11-H2997 on Sep 21, 2011
Member of House Natural Resources Committee.
Duncan is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee
The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, or Natural Resources Committee, has jurisdiction over issues of:
Source: U.S. House of Representatives website, www.house.gov 11-HC-NRC on Feb 3, 2011
- Fisheries and wildlife, including research, restoration, refuges, and conservation.
- Forfeiture of land grants and alien ownership, including alien ownership of mineral lands.
- United States Geological Survey.
- International fishing agreements.
- Interstate compacts relating to apportionment of waters for irrigation purposes.
- Irrigation and reclamation, including water supply for reclamation projects and easements of public lands for irrigation projects; and acquisition of private lands when necessary to complete irrigation projects.
- Native Americans generally, including the care and allotment of Native American lands and general and special measures relating to claims that are paid out of Native American funds.
- Insular possessions of the United States generally (except those affecting the revenue and appropriations).
Military parks and battlefields, national cemeteries administered by the Secretary of the Interior, parks within the District of Columbia, and the erection of monuments to the memory of individuals.
- Mineral land laws and claims and entries thereunder.
- Mineral resources of public lands, including the Outer Continental Shelf.
- Mining interests generally.
- Mining schools and experimental stations.
- Marine affairs, including coastal zone management (except for measures relating to oil and other pollution of navigable waters).
- Petroleum conservation on public lands and conservation of the radium supply in the United States.
- Preservation of prehistoric ruins and objects of interest on the public domain.
- Public lands generally, including entry, easements, and grazing thereon.
- Relations of the United States with Native Americans and Native American tribes.
- Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline (except ratemaking).
Rated 25% by HSLF, indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record.
Duncan scores 25% by the Humane Society on animal rights issues
112th Mid-Term Humane Scorecard: The Humane Society Legislative Fund has posted the final version of the 2011 Humane Scorecard, where you can track the performance of your federal lawmakers on key animal protection issues during last year. We rated legislators based on their voting behavior on measures such as agribusiness subsidies, lethal predator control, and the Endangered Species Act; their cosponsorship of priority bills on puppy mills, horse slaughter, animal fighting, and chimps in research; their support for funding the enforcement of animal welfare laws; and their leadership on animal protection.
All of the priority bills whose cosponsorships we're counting enjoy strong bipartisan support; in the House, each of the four now has more than 150 cosponsors.
The Humane Scorecard is not a perfect measuring tool, but creating some reasonable yardstick and allowing citizens to hold lawmakers accountable is central to our work. When the Humane Scorecard comes out each year, it helps clarify how the animal protection movement is doing geographically, by party affiliation, and in other categories. It helps us chart our course for animals by seeing where we have been effective, and where we need to improve.
Source: HSLF website 12-HumaneH on Jan 13, 2012
Regulating 15 more contaminants under Clean Water Act.
Duncan co-sponsored regulating 15 more contaminants under Clean Water Act
Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to publish a proposed list of at least 15 contaminants that may occur in public water systems and that are not currently subject to EPA regulation. Provides for proposed lists of at least 12 additional contaminants every four years. (Current law requires EPA to regulate 25 contaminants every three years.) Bases the determination to regulate a contaminant on findings that:
Source: Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments (H.R.3392) 93-H3392 on Oct 27, 1993
- the contaminant is known to occur in public water systems;
- the contaminant occurs in concentrations which may have adverse health effects; and
- regulation of the contaminant presents an opportunity to reduce health risks.
Page last updated: Feb 03, 2017