NCGA

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The Puppetshow's attack on renewable energy leaves no stone unthrown:

Of course, seismic testing and offshore drilling won't disrupt Navy operations at all, right? I'm surprised these idiots can walk around their office without slipping in the oil that's financing their propaganda machine.

The hogwashing of science by NC State

The NC Pork Council's personal University:

The study, conducted by Stephen Harden of the U.S. Geological Survey, found higher levels of ammonia and nitrates in streams near concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. The study was commissioned by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission in response to a petition filed in 2007 by several environmental groups.

The Pork Council’s consulting firm hired Bill Showers, an N.C. State professor and director of the RiverNet program, which studies nitrogen in the state’s waters. His report, released before the USGS report, is critical of some of Harden’s methods and analysis.

It's not out-of-place for industry and higher education to collaborate; some of the greatest breakthroughs in science have occurred this way. But NC State's relationship with Big Ag in general and the swine industry in particular has evolved into something much less admirable: A loyal source for "opposing opinions" whenever the industry gets in trouble with environmental regulators. And this isn't the first time this year that professor Showers has engaged in public relations for the Pork Council:

Anti-abortion professor invades Sandhills Community College

Which just happens to train hundreds of local nurses:

Life Care Pregnancy Center is hosting Mike Adams, a UNC-Wilmington Professor of Sociology and Criminology, on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 6:30-9 p.m. at Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College. Adams, a multiple winner of the Faculty Member of the Year award at UNC-W, will speak about the rights of the unborn, his transformation from atheism to faith, free speech in the university setting, and the current state of religious liberty in the United States.

At 8 p.m., the event will move to Kennedy Hall on the SCC campus for a “Meet the Author” reception, where Dr. Adams will be signing his books, which will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served.

Yes, this is the same professor who won the freedom of speech lawsuit against UNCW. Actually, it was the attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom who won the lawsuit, an exceptionally heinous group who (among other outrageous actions) ironically fought to keep a Belize law in place that recommended a 10 year prison sentence for homosexual acts. And this jackass professor has the audacity to opine about Liberty. Apparently he really means: Liberty for bigots, prison for the people those bigots complain about.

Duke Energy self-reports "no contamination found" in Lumberton

In a related story, Fluffy the dog says, "I don't know who tore up that couch pillow, but I'll keep an eye out."

Tests near the coal ash site at the closed Weatherspoon Power Plant in Lumberton show no hazardous levels of toxic material, Duke Energy officials said Thursday. Duke just competed groundwater testing near the Lumberton plant, according to Duke spokeswoman Zenica Chatman. The tests showed no impact on nearby wells or the Lumber River, she said.

"We're very encouraged by what we're seeing," she said.

She says, while looking at the stock readout showing Duke Energy's stock stabilizing at around $72 per share. As is often the case when PR makes it into the regular news columns, there's more to be learned in the commentary:

Eddie Goodall wants state to adverti$e for more charter school applicants

Think of how many more incompetent educators might try their hand if they only knew:

We already spend $20 million annually for lottery advertising, and senators want to spend $10 million more. We spend zero for charter schools. Advertising how to start charter schools in North Carolina offers a greater return on our taxpayer money than lottery advertising.

Better idea. Take $1 million of the lottery ad money and tell families and businesses about how to start a charter school. One primary reason we have dwindling charter applications (71 in 2014 and 40 this year) is that residents are unaware that it is indeed they and partnering neighbors or colleagues who apply to start the schools of choice.

No, the primary reason we have dwindling charter applications is that proponents are realizing it's not nearly as easy as people like you have been telling them. Somewhere around 1/3 of new charter schools close their doors within the first year, many of those never able to hold their first class. And poor financial planning is the major cause:

Is privatization behind NC Senate's cuts to mental health?

I wouldn't bet against it:

Insko is also vice chairwoman of the House's appropriations committee for Health and Human Services. Her committee proposed allocating about $712 million for LMEs this year, a slight bump from the $705 million budgeted last year. The Senate, however, wants to cut LME spending to about $519 million, forcing the organizations to drain their reserves.

The co-chairmen of the chamber's appropriations committee for Health and Human Services—Sens. Louis Pate, Ralph Hise and Tommy Tucker—did not respond to the INDY's interview requests for this story. But when lawmakers rolled out funding cuts for community treatment options in 2013, Pate, a Mount Olive Republican, told the INDY that runaway Medicaid expenses were strangling the state budget. (Medicaid ran a $130 million surplus last year.)

Don't confuse them with real numbers, it might shatter their carefully crafted delusions of private for-profit supermen coming to the rescue. And one of the most active managed care organizations as far as lobbying and campaign donations is United For Health (United Health Care):

Duke Energy coal ash propaganda in the op-ed columns

Misleading people is much cheaper than environmental stewardship:

In response to your Aug. 18 editorial ("Why not recycle coal ash instead of burying it?"), we at Duke Energy agree that as much coal ash as possible should be recycled. State policy leaders also strongly support the option and outlined provisions in the N.C. Coal Ash Management Act to encourage recycling.

The structural fill projects at the mines in Lee and Chatham counties, for example, are a form of beneficial reuse for the ash stored in basins. By reclaiming those sites and safely placing coal ash in them with many layers of protective liners, we will help repurpose land that can be reused for future development.

Bolding mine. There is only going to be one "liner" in the classic sense of a man-made polymer, the rest are a couple of layers of various composites of clay. Calling those "liners" is like calling the leaves over your head a roof. And that single polymer liner won't be a continuous (as in unbroken) liner, it will be several pieces that need to be connected and sealed, hopefully properly. But even if that liner doesn't leak, the nasty leachate water from the coal ash isn't going to stay in the impoundment, it's going to be pumped out on a regular basis and disposed of:

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