The good folks of Lee County are up in arms about Duke Energy & Pollution's plan to dump coal ash in Sanford and Moncure.
If the comments made during a meeting inside the Lee County Board of Commissioners Room Monday night are any indication, Lee County residents do not want coal ash in their backyards.
“Who invited this idea,” one resident asked. “Why weren’t we notified sooner? And what is the purpose of bringing coal ash to our area?”
“If the coal ash dumping is so desirable, then why aren't the CEOs from Duke Power and their neighbors fighting to have it in their backyards,” another resident said.
Duke Energy presented a plan that involves taking about 3 million tons of coal ash from the Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly and L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant in Wilmington and dumping them in open-pit clay mines in Sanford and Moncure as "engineered structural fill." The mines, which have been used by brick manufacturers, have layers of impervious clay that add environmental protections to the synthetic liner Duke plans to install, officials said.
Who can blame them? Lee County is already ground zero for poisoning from fracking, and now Duke wants to "clean up" its coal ash in Mount Holly and Wilmington by dumping it in Lee County.
So you can bet that the good folks of Lee County want to dump the Republican pollution mongers and corporate tools who are behind this, right? Well, think again. Lee County is one of many largely rural GOP strongholds in North Carolina. Tillis won Lee County by 6 points -- yes, six points.
Until people in Lee County and elsewhere in this state stop cheering on and voting for the nut jobs who shout, "Small government! Stop the wasteful spending! Repeal Obamacare!", they'll continue to experience the negative consequences of that cheering and those votes -- poverty, lack of healthcare coverage, paltry unemployment benefits, job losses, decreasing wages, greater income inequality and yes, toxins in their backyards.
Talk about voting against your own self-interest. Let's hope that the good folks of Lee County and other counties finally make the connection between their votes and their pain.