scharrison's blog

Duke Energy's Jim Rogers: Let us pollute more, and we'll play

Greenwashing fades, true colors show through:

The power companies want relief from the air pollution rules as a price of entry into negotiations if they are going to accept a mandatory carbon limit that won’t apply to other industries. The environmentalists are saying no.

Sources familiar with the dinner said Rogers led the call for regulatory relief on a number of existing Clean Air Act programs dealing with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury, including a new EPA rule proposed last week that deals with interstate pollution.

If this is where talks are headed, then talks need to stop.

Kim Strach to be reassigned

The glaringly obvious conflict of interest finally caught up to her:

Andrew Whalen, executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, issued a statement late Tuesday, saying that party officials raising concerns about Kim Strach's potential conflict in the campaign flight investigation. She should have stepped aside and let someone else handle the probe, Whalen said.

"In our view, Ms. Strach should have recognized her conflict and recused herself, and the inquiry should have been handled by someone who was not compromised by a conflict of interest," he said in the statement. "At minimum, she had an obligation to include our raising of her conflict in the timeline or the report, but she did not."

Titan Cement joins the Puppetshow

From the (corporate) Carolinas Cement Blog (yes, thay have their own blog):

If Stop Titan propagandists could make some reasonably coherent criticisms of Titan America and its plans for a cement plant in Castle Hayne, they might have some credibility, but they haven’t and they don’t. Another example showed up this week in a letter to the Wilmington Star-News.

Dr. Opper wrote that the “sole purpose of SEPA is to protect our health and environment from polluting industries.” Not true. In this case, it’s a legal tool used by environmental activists solely to stall the plant project.

That is the John Locke Foundation's very own Bob Smith of Squall Lines. And he wasn't quoted by Carolinas Cement, he posted it there himself.

Not-Gay Fetzer successfully procreates

It wasn't that hard, was it? :)

State Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer has become a proud father.

Thomas Harrison Fetzer III, to be called Harrison, was born July 2. Fetzer reports that his son, who was born in a Wilmington hospital, was 7 pounds, 9 ounces at birth.

“He is absolutely delightful,” said Fetzer.

Tell you what, Tom. If you want to prove your manhood, you need to get yer ass up at oh-dark-thirty in the morning and take care of this delightful little person, and let Kate catch up on her rest. I'm not talking for a few days either, pal.

Burr's money piles up

His campaign war chest is bursting at the seams:

Republican Sen. Richard Burr has $6.3 million on hand for his re-election effort, according to a new campaign report.

He has raised $9.5 million during this re-election cycle, including $1.9 million for the quarter that ended June 30, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

That probably will put him far ahead of his Democratic challenger, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall

Probably? Sheesh.

NC's champion tax-dodger might be a Republican

But there's no "might" about the money he owes:

The former Mebane town councilman owes the state of North Carolina $2.2 million in unpaid taxes. He tops a list of tax delinquents who owe the state $841 million - a 67 percent jump from a year ago.

Two weeks after the Observer reported his $2.2 million tax debt in 2009, Hupman resigned from the Mebane town council. Other media followed with reports that he also owed millions to the federal government.

After spending the last two hours trying to nail down his political affiliation, I now proclaim that non-partisan elections are a direct threat to my sanity.

Landfill-to-park: great idea, or toxic legacy?

Raleigh tries to turn lemons into lemonade:

With the jungle gyms and slides keeping them busy, the kids playing Saturday at Wake County's newest park didn't take much notice of the giant, grassy hill nearby.

But the park's namesake hill, and the 5 million tons of trash it took to build it, are exactly what sets it apart.

These conversions have been all the rage for the last 2-3 decades, and communities have embraced them all across the country. But are they really as safe as we'd like to believe?

Bipartisan attack against SEPA under way ... updated

What in the hell is going on in Raleigh?

The House voted 78-29 today to approve the second reading of a bill that could help development projects receiving public incentives to bypass portions of a required state environmental review.

The bill is a direct response to a May ruling by a Wake Superior Court that Titan America, an international company offered state and local incentives to build a cement plant in New Hanover County, had to supply a full environmental review. Titan and the state argued that the review was not required.

One step forward, two steps back. The Democratic Party leadership in the GA and the party itself will be held accountable for this, I promise.

IBM perfect example of incentives folly

I'm sure many readers have seen this "Great news on the jobs front" story:

IBM Lender Business Process Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM, will hire 600 employees and invest $3.7 million to open a service center in Research Triangle Park, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced Thursday.

The state Economic Investment Committee on Thursday approved a Job Development Investment Grant that could be worth as much as $7.79 million over 10 years to IBM LBPS if the company meets job goals.

But that's only a part of the story, isn't it? And the other parts of the story are not so pleasant.

Once again, drought is upon us

And the Summer is just getting warmed up:

As hot weather and lack of rainfall continues across North Carolina, 18 western and northeastern counties -- including a sliver of Wake County -- are now in "moderate drought" status, the U.S. Drought Monitor announced today.

Besides the 18 counties experiencing drought, the Monitor reports that 51 counties are "abnormally dry" and thus ripe for drought without further rainfall.

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