"We're going to go in. We're going to have a short session. It's going to be focused. It's going to be disciplined. We're going to get in and out.,"
-- House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, WRAL-TV 05/10/2014
“All indications point toward a session that will be short, with a continued focus on economic growth, job creation, and wise investments.”
-- Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation, 05/09/2014
“We will probably be more assertive than in our first year, which I frankly thought was extremely assertive. … “We had a heck of a good first year, but now I think we can take even more initiatives. … I anticipate that we’ll be together 80 to 90 percent of the time. “We’re having very good dialogue and, in almost all cases, good cooperation.”
-- Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014
“Hopefully (Gov. McCrory) has learned that we have to work together to get things done. I don’t know if he’s there yet. Hopefully this session will tell us that.”
-- Senate Rules Committee Chair Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014
Some NC voters face 2nd round of primary elections (AP) — It's a sign of how much is at stake in next week's runoff election and how narrow the expected margin of success is that a Republican congressional election has devolved into one candidate claiming his Facebook page was hacked to make it look like he was fibbing about his education. http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_371138d7-1290-...
At Town Hall, riverkeeper explains coal ash peril (Davidson News) -- Problems with coal ash have grabbed headlines across North Carolina and nationwide since a February spill at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden. But Dan River is only one of many plants with potential storage problems. Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman is also on the list, but experts say it could be 15 years or longer before Duke closes down the ponds of toxic waste there. But that’s too long, Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins said in a presentation to Davidson commissioners Monday, July 7. The reason for the longer potential cleanup timeline is that Marshall Steam Station has been classified as “low risk” in state legislation aimed at requiring Duke to shut down its coal ash ponds around the state. Perkins says the plant shouldn’t be allowed to continue with business as usual, especially when business as usual means toxic chemicals seeping into the groundwater around Lake Norman. http://davidsonnews.net/blog/2014/07/11/at-town-hall-riverkeeper-explain...
New coal ash ad targets Tillis (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A new barrage of TV ads criticizing state lawmakers over environmental issues will begin airing this week, this one singling out House Speaker Thom Tillis. This ad is the opening salvo from the N.C. League of Conservation Voters, and is part of what the organization says is a $1 million drive to hold polluters accountable and win greater protections against future spills like the coal ash pollution of the Dan River this year. Earlier this year, several state environmental advocacy groups and the national Natural Resources Defense Council kicked off a series of TV ads targeting specific Republican state legislators. The NRDC said more than $1 million would be spent. The League of Conservation Voters coal ash campaign, separate from the state and national coalition’s campaign, begins with an ad buy of $845,000 airing from Friday to July 24 in the Triangle, Charlotte, Triad and Asheville, the League says.
What do you do with 100 tons of coal ash? (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- Dump trucks – each loaded with 20 tons of coal ash – make some 200 trips a day from Duke Energy's Lake Julian power plant to the Asheville Regional Airport, where the toxic material is used as fill to create flat, usable land. The disposal method is considered a cost-effective and environmentally sound reuse of the material. About 4 million tons will have been removed from the plant's two ash ponds by the time the project ends next year. But, as state lawmakers struggle with legislation to better manage coal ash in the wake of the Feb. 2 spill into the Dan River, there are concerns about what to do with amounts of the byproduct far larger than what's being reused in Asheville. Duke estimates there are 102 million tons of coal ash in 33 ponds across the state. http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2014/07/09/tons-coal-ash/1...
N.C. attorneys say removed provisions ripe for problems (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The issue of voter fraud – one of the many reasons state legislators cited in their push for North Carolina’s new voting law – was front and center Tuesday during a federal hearing on whether to block many of the provisions of that very law. http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/n-c-attorneys-say-removed-provision...
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