scharrison's blog

Fracking to receive closer scrutiny by the EPA

And it's about fracking time:

The streams of people came to the public meeting here armed with stories of yellowed and foul-smelling well water, deformed livestock, poisoned fish and itchy skin.

The culprit, these people argued, was hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting natural gas that involves blasting underground rock with a cocktail of water, sand and chemicals.

NC's DWQ should take steps immediately to postpone issuing permits for our "gas rush", until more is known about the impacts of this technique.

Free market meltdown

Just when you thought it was safe to peddle Nutty Buddies:

One ice cream truck driver is accused of beating up another ice cream truck driver Thursday in Corolla.

Witnesses said Christopher Schurr, 31, of Poplar Branch, got out of his truck and slugged the other driver, Artem Vladimirovich, 20, of Kill Devil Hills. Schurr was charged with simple assault. Vladimirovich was treated and released.

Schurr said in the police report that Vladimirovich cut him off while the two trucks were making rounds in the Corolla neighborhood.

Fred Eshelman's drug money

It buys propaganda:

RightChange.com communicates with a zingy edge and a sense of humor, without being afraid to pose difficult questions to those in power. RightChange.com believes that Americans can address our national challenges by working together across party lines and not simply accepting political “sound bites” that are contradictory to the facts and insulting to our intelligence.

I've got your "zingy edge" right here, pal.

Senate Dems give up on climate change

Pseudo-scientific bullshit wins the day:

Bowing to political reality, Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said the Senate would not take up legislation intended to reduce carbon emissions blamed as a cause of climate change

“We know where we are,” Mr. Reid told reporters after reviewing the state of energy legislation with Senate Democrats and administration officials. “We know that we don’t have the votes.”

Yeah, why make the Republicans actually filibuster, when you can let them off the hook to go fundraising?

Lawyers debate LGBT discrimination

At issue is the wording of the preamble to the Rules of Professional Conduct:

North Carolina's attorneys are arguing again over whether to encourage colleagues to keep personal prejudice out of their work by endorsing language designed to protect gays, and most recently, transgender people.

Lawyers opposing the change said they already treat clients with respect but believe it would be the first step toward forcing them to take cases about issues they disagree with on moral grounds.

I've got an even better debate: is the phrase "morally conscious lawyer" ripe for classification as an oxymoron?

Megaport project dead in the water, for now

But the fight may be just being postponed:

N.C. State Ports Authority officials said Wednesday they were putting the proposed megaport near Southport on hold, but the development of an international port in the state – perhaps in Brunswick County – remains a possibility.

During the five years since the project’s inception, the authority has spent roughly $10.2 million on it, including planning, engineering technical reports, debt service on the property, and legal and financial fees, ports officials have said.

An old adage about a cart and a horse comes to mind...

Republicans target (NC) House seats

With help from the Puppetshow's pollsters:

State Republicans are highlighting seven Democratic House seats they believe could go their way in the fall based on polling results published by two conservative-leaning polling outfits.

The polls were conducted over the last few months for the conservative Civitas Institute and by the Carolina Strategy Group, a Raleigh firm whose principals lean Republican.

The first thing I thought of when I read this was: It's a trick. Then I thought: They want me to think it's a trick...I should probably go easy on the John Le Carre novels. ;)

Senator Hagan steps up on veterans' mental health

I received this earlier today via e-mail from a Governor's Focus member:

U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) yesterday cosponsored a bipartisan bill to help service members access mental health care services...

“Our service men and women put their lives on the line for our country, and they now face an unnecessary, administrative hurdle to accessing mental health care,” Hagan said. “As a U.S. Senator from North Carolina and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am focused on ensuring our veterans, active duty military and their families can access the services they need. Mental health care for our returning troops is so critical, and I will work with my colleagues to ensure this important bill is signed into law.”

Perdue's mystery veto

The Governor hints at a possible veto (thanks, Laura), but she's being coy:

There’s one that I’m really considering. It’s a usurpation, I believe, of the governor’s power as governor. And so it’s not so much about the quality – the content of the bill. It’s about the fact that one of my jobs is to make sure that the governor’s powers, whether it’s me or somebody else in the future, stay intact.

Governor, even more important than preserving your power is your responsibility to keep our air and water clean and safe. As such, the bill that should be at the top of your veto list is this SEPA loophole abomination. If you sign it, I don't want to hear another damn word about transparency from your office. The gist of this bill is: The less we know, the better. If the Legislature wants it that bad, make them come back and vote for it again.

Republicans move to limit voter access

By attempting to shut down early voting sites:

Suzanne Rucker, chairwoman of the Cumberland County Republican Party, told the Board of Elections on Tuesday that early voting costs too much money to justify all of those locations, especially when turnout is normally poor during the one stop period.

Ralph Reagan, who was chairman of the local GOP in 2008, was a big critic of early voting. He called it a burden on election officials and an opportunity for ill-informed citizens to vote. He hated Sunday voting, too, which he said benefited Democrats over Republicans in Cumberland County.

Or, could it be because those "ill-informed citizens" put Barack Obama so far ahead during the early voting of 2008?

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