Duke Energy coal ash propaganda in the op-ed columns

Misleading people is much cheaper than environmental stewardship:

In response to your Aug. 18 editorial ("Why not recycle coal ash instead of burying it?"), we at Duke Energy agree that as much coal ash as possible should be recycled. State policy leaders also strongly support the option and outlined provisions in the N.C. Coal Ash Management Act to encourage recycling.

The structural fill projects at the mines in Lee and Chatham counties, for example, are a form of beneficial reuse for the ash stored in basins. By reclaiming those sites and safely placing coal ash in them with many layers of protective liners, we will help repurpose land that can be reused for future development.

Bolding mine. There is only going to be one "liner" in the classic sense of a man-made polymer, the rest are a couple of layers of various composites of clay. Calling those "liners" is like calling the leaves over your head a roof. And that single polymer liner won't be a continuous (as in unbroken) liner, it will be several pieces that need to be connected and sealed, hopefully properly. But even if that liner doesn't leak, the nasty leachate water from the coal ash isn't going to stay in the impoundment, it's going to be pumped out on a regular basis and disposed of:

Monday News: Roku to the rescue edition


GOP's big-money plan to save the Senate (Politico) -- To keep the Senate majority, Republicans plan to leverage what’s expected to be a huge money advantage, led by a hodge-podge of big-spending outside groups, to bloody Democratic challengers taking on a string of vulnerable GOP incumbents in pivotal swing states. This year, early spending has often come from obscure GOP-aligned groups. One Nation PAC, a group tied to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, has dropped six-figures into states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania to prop up Sens. Richard Burr and Pat Toomey, respectively.

Message traffic related to Tom Ross dismissal

"You have four hundred twenty seven messages waiting for your attention":

UNC alumna and parent, Maureen Anne Costello Dwyer, to board members, Jan. 26: “On our family’s behalf, I am writing to express our extreme concern and confusion regarding the UNC Board of Governor’s recent actions regarding UNC President Tom Ross. As supporters of UNC and taxpayers in NC, we feel we, and everyone else in this state, deserves to know more specifically the reasons for the Board’s decision. Given the extremely limited and evasive information provided by Mr. Fennebresque in the news conference, it is incredibly difficult not to conclude that it is due primarily to politics and party affiliations.”

UNC supporter Patrick Walters to Fennebresque, Feb. 20: “I’m concerned (as are many others) about the abrupt dismissal of Tom Ross. From all indications he was doing a great job. Can you please explain in plain, simple, and honest terms why he was dismissed? If it’s because of differences in political ideology, then please just tell us.”

While Fennebresque freely admits there were more messages opposing the firing of Tom Ross, it's evident that many well-heeled Conservatives view it as an opportunity to reshape the ideology of the UNC System:

Sunday News: Immoral minority edition


Pro Life Groups Protest at Planned Parenthood Clinics (TWCN-TV) -- The controversial issue of abortion was at the center of a number of protests held at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the Carolinas on Saturday. Those events all part of a nationwide effort by pro life groups to end all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Anti-abortion activists rally at Planned Parenthood in Raleigh (WRAL-TV) -- Anti-abortion activists are protesting outside Planned Parenthood clinics across the Carolinas.

Main Street Dem opposes municipal broadband

Rep. Michael Wray co-authors a propaganda-laced op-ed:

The Federal Communications Commission, in Washington, D.C., recently voted to overturn a North Carolina law that set limits on municipal broadband networks. We’ll leave the question about whether the FCC’s action was constitutional to the legal scholars.

But even if the FCC action is legal, that doesn’t make it right. That’s why we support U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis’ legislation to stop the FCC from overturning North Carolina’s law.

As you can see, not only is this op-ed riddled with industry talking points, this "Democrat" is actively promoting Thom Tillis' Senatorial activities. On top of that, he uses the hardships General Assembly Republicans have foisted on municipalities as a lever to discourage muni broadband:

Saturday News: One scandal too many edition

McCrory's mysterious role in NC sweepstakes scandal (Facing South) -- There has been speculation about the degree to which Republican Gov. Pat McCrory was involved in the sweepstakes industry's pay-to-play politics since he received thousands of dollars of laundered sweepstakes money in the form of campaign contributions, worked for a law firm that played a central role in the scandal, and made dubious statements to the media. Though McCrory has not been charged with any wrongdoing, his actions raise questions about his relationship to the sweepstakes industry and its push to legalize its business in North Carolina. Earlier this month, elections watchdog Democracy North Carolina sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman asking for "an independent, comprehensive investigation" of potential criminal violations by the sweepstakes industry, lobbyists and candidates for state office including McCrory, The group filed the original 2013 complaint that triggered the election board's investigation.

Private water, public suffering

With a little help from NC's bent Supreme Court, Aqua America continues to screw its clients:

North Carolina's highest court has upheld a decision by regulators allowing the state's largest private water utility to raise customer rates through an abbreviated process the General Assembly recently created for water and sewer improvements.

The state Supreme Court ruling's Friday affirmed last year's decision by the Utilities Commission involving Aqua North Carolina and rejected appeals of Attorney General Roy Cooper to make the utility complete the full rate-case process.

Any elected official in NC that supports the privatization of drinking water should be required to answer directly to the people paying these bills. I'll let Lisa Sorg explain it, in an article written before the Indy screwed up royally and let her go:

Burr's cluelessness on national security

Lot's of complaints, but only vague solutions:

Burr said he wasn't suggesting that thousands of U.S. armed forces be sent to fight the terror groups, but rather that trust must be rebuilt among U.S. allies in the region surrounding places such as Syria and Iraq, where the Islamic State is strong.

"Let's prosecute the war against terrorism, and let's leverage not just the Kurds but everybody in the Middle East that has the potential for boots on the ground and change the landscape," he said.


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