I don't much care for Governor Perdue's tendency toward grandstanding, not so much because she shouldn't be using her bully pulpit in general, but because of the things she chooses to get excited about. For example, if you give her a chance to smackdown some felons serving life-sentences, she'll pull on her shit-kickers and start stompin' in a heartbeat. Doesn't matter what the law says, she's got her own reelection agenda and god help you if you stand in her way.
On the other hand, when a group of citizens asked the Governor to take a stand to preserve wetlands and ensure a healthy, safe environment by stopping a known source of mercury poisoning, the silence was deafening. Without so much as the illusion of thoughtfulness, Perdue has stood behind what is almost certainly an illegal permitting of the Titan Cement plant in New Hanover County.
Rejecting a request from several groups representing residents in the affected areas, Governor Perdue’s Department of Administration this week ruled that the full environmental impact of the proposed Titan America cement plant on surrounding areas--including New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties—does not need to be examined before North Carolina begins issuing permits for the plant.
Make no mistake, if Governor Perdue wanted to do the right thing on this issue, she could stomp her pretty little feet and the Department of Administration would yield the to her wishes without question. Insiders in administration were divided on the permitting from the outset, but the chance to give away taxpayer dollars to fund a toxic factory with 161 jobs proved too alluring to the corporatists who run the show. Regular people, those unfortunate enough to live down wind of the poison plant, don't much matter to our "green" governor. Maybe she's just looking forward to having some sick babies to visit in the hospital, who knows, but her choices on this issue don't pass the smell test.
In the wake of Perdue's inaction, a coalition of environmental groups has teamed up with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) for what promises to be a big brawl of never-ending litigation. Governor Perdue will be spending your tax dollars to defend her indefensible position, and regular people all across the state will be contributing their hard-earned dollars to non-profits trying to force the state to act responsibly. As with most issues involving corporate greed, lawyers will likely be the only ones who prosper.
SELC went to bat for the people in northeast North Carolina to help them stop the US Navy's assault on family farms and migratory birds. Along the way, they received much statewide support for their efforts. That needs to happen again. If you can support SELC, please to so.
And in the meantime, please write to Governor Perdue and ask her to reverse the decision made by her Department of Administration before more taxpayer dollars get flushed into a the Cape Fear River.