Op-Ed on the devastation of the wood pellet industry

In which I take Steve Troxler to task:

Just looking at the hog industry alone, the sheer number of animals and the waste they produce here in North Carolina has created a water quality crisis that has crossed over into other industries that support tens of thousands of our fellow North Carolinians. Many fish in eastern North Carolina are no longer edible, and massive fish kills are becoming more frequent. Which leads us to what Steve Troxler is not: an environmentalist. So when he starts bandying around terms like "renewable" and "sustainable," it gets my antennas waving a little bit.

Using woody biomass in place of coal to fire the steam generators in power plants is relatively new. I had a debate with an N.C. State grad student several years ago about this very thing, and he assured me (because he had been assured) there was more than enough scruffy byproduct from land development to scratch this particular itch. I tried to explain to him the sheer volume needed would soon have us chopping down healthy trees to keep the supply flowing. I wish I had been wrong, but I wasn't.

Please hop the link and go read the whole thing at the Fayetteville Observer. The more traffic articles like this get, the more likely they will publish other opinions of a similar nature in the future.

High Arsenic levels reveal dangers of de-watering

Of course, Duke Energy spokesbot sez "No big deal":

Scott said the water tested was contaminated with arsenic at a level four times higher than the surface water safety standard. Nearby neighbors were disturbed by the findings. "We are very concerned, and this is another reason why Duke Energy needs to full clean up all that coal ash,” said Deborah Graham.

Duke Energy said the findings are very misleading. "Elevated arsenic levels are located immediately near the permitted release area. If you sample a short distance away in the river arsenic levels are well within the appropriate standard and would pose no risk to people on the river,” said Duke Energy Spokesperson Erin Culbert.

Did you sample that water a short distance away, or is that just speculation? The "if" leads me to believe you didn't, or you would have said something like, "Samples taken a short distance away..." While everybody reading this is probably aware Arsenic is some bad stuff, the health problems associated with long-term exposure are numerous:

Thursday News: Koch/Burr love affair sprouts

KochBrothers.jpg

KOCHS TARGET N.C. TO BOOST VOTER OUTREACH IN SENATE FIGHTS (USA TODAY) -- The Koch brothers’ political network is ramping up its ground game in key states to help save the Republican Party’s majority in the Senate, as the GOP faces new threats in states such as North Carolina in the final push to Election Day. The Koch ad buys run through until Oct. 5, but officials have no plans to continue advertising after that date, Davis told reporters Wednesday.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/09/14/koch-groups-boost-voter-outreach-8...

Dan Forest is certifiably insane, and obviously unfit for office

And yet we've allowed him to preside over the NC Senate:

“It’s hard for me to imagine that my wife would have to walk into a bathroom anywhere in North Carolina and have a man follow her into that bathroom,” Forest said. “They said that in the city of Charlotte, you have to take the (gender) signs off your bathrooms,” he said. “They’re actually a test lab for a radical sexual revolution experiment.”

The Charlotte ordinance did not require the removal of gender-specific bathrooms, nor did its provisions involve signage.

A radical...what? Seriously, someone needs to sit him down and do a full psychological evaluation. Conspiracy theories are bad enough, but this dude has crossed over into full-on delusional behavior...

Brad Miller blasts House Science Committee for Exxon kow-towing

What was that about "states' rights"?

In July, the Committee issued subpoenas to the Attorneys General of New York and Massachusetts concerning state investigations under state law in state court, to a private law firm that has represented state and local governments and private parties in environmental litigation, and to several environmental organizations.

The Committee’s investigation and the state government and private investigations are not concurrent investigations of the same questions; the Committee is investigating the investigations. The initial stated purpose for the Committee’s subpoenas was to determine if the state proceedings unconstitutionally abridged ExxonMobil’s freedom of speech to deny climate change, and to protect ExxonMobil’s rights in the proceedings.

Bolding mine. Congress really has turned into a circus under Republican leadership. Or maybe a better metaphor is "flea market." You see something you want, quote me a price. But this one is really over the top:

Coal Ash Wednesday: US Senate on the verge of removing coal ash protections

coalashhand2.png

Undermining the EPA's long-awaited rules:

The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote as early as next week on a bill, The Water Resources Development Act of 2016, that may include a coal ash amendment that would significantly undercut the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal coal ash rule.

Prior to EPA’s rule, coal ash disposal was subject to a patchwork of state regulations that left communities vulnerable to hundreds of cases of damage or catastrophic spills. EPA’s rule establishes clear requirements for monitoring, cleanup, closure, and public notification that keep the public safe and informed, but these bright-line requirements of the rule are now in jeopardy, as this bill could allow polluters to have EPA’s clear standards swapped for site-specific standards that “differ” from EPA’s standards.

The fossil fuel industry learned a long time ago it was easier to manipulate state governments than the EPA, examples of which we've seen numerous times here in NC. And as usual, Republicans in Congress are using much-needed funding (Flint water crisis) as a hostage to serve their industry masters' desires. Here's more detail on this reckless amendment:

Wednesday News: Deplorable is too nice a word

69-YEAR-OLD WOMAN PUNCHED AT TRUMP RALLY (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- Shirley Teter participated in protests during some of the most controversial and conflict-ridden times in our nation's history. But she said she was shocked at her experience at Monday's Donald Trump rally that ended with the 69-year-old being punched by a South Carolina man, police say.
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2016/09/13/69-year-old-woman-punched-asheville-trump-r...

Tuesday News: Violent Trumpery in Asheville

TRUMP SAYS CLINTON IS RUNNING ‘HATE-FILLED CAMPAIGN’ AT N.C. RALLY WHERE VIOLENCE FLARES UP (Washington Post) - -The GOP nominee sought to keep the focus squarely on Hillary Clinton's comment that half of his supporters are a "basket of deplorables." He was interrupted repeatedly by protesters and, at one point, a man pushed and grabbed male protesters during a verbal exchange.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/09/12/trump-says-clinton-running-hate-fill...

Pages

Subscribe to BlueNC RSS