In yet another stunning example of how North Carolina Republicans put industry ahead of the well-being of their own constituents, they are opposing efforts to declare hazardous substances as hazardous:
With the Environmental Protection Agency expected to release its proposed regulations for power plant coal ash any day now, there is an intense behind-the-scenes lobbying effort by industry interests hoping to keep the waste from being declared hazardous and thus subject to the strictest federal oversight.
Late last month, 27 Senators from both major political parties sent a letter [pdf] to the President opposing re-classification of coal ash as hazardous waste. That followed a bipartisan letter [pdf] sent to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson last June by 25 Senators and another letter [pdf] sent to Jackson that same month by 74 members of the House of Representatives raising the same concerns: that a hazardous designation would put an end to the recycling of coal ash, interfere with its so-called "beneficial uses" like structural and mine fill, and lead to "unnecessarily high costs" for utilities and consumers.
In the context of this discussion, the definition of the term "recycling" is as follows: "The systematic redistribution of toxins into neighborhoods and homes previously unaffected by them." (see also-Greenwashing)
If you have the time, check out this 60 Minutes episode on coal ash. The dangerously sleazy industry people in this video are exactly the same types that Richard Burr, Howard Coble, Walter Jones, Patrick McHenry and Sue Myrick are stepping up to defend. And the voters need to know.
Hat tip to Sue Sturgis over at Facing South. Thank you.