Parsing the propaganda: Lisa Sorg rips DEQ promotional video

Van der Vaart is in deep trouble:

DvdV: “Hello, I’m Donald van der Vaart, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. I’m here to talk to you about the action North Carolina has taken to protect the environment, public health, and the communities that have been affected by the long-ignored problem of coal ash.”

NCPW: As DEQ secretary, van der Vaart has the power to allow Duke Energy to miss its deadline to remedy impoundments and coal ash residue. The utility can blow its deadline if for some reason, it can’t use the “best available technology found to be economically reasonable” and it would produce a “serious hardship” without an equal or greater public benefit. Translation: If it’s too expensive.

Among her many other talents, Lisa has an uncanny ability to pull up the rug to see what trash has been swept under it. Hat-tip to NC Policy Watch for bringing her on board:

Thursday News: Freak show at the fairgrounds

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TRUMP COMING TO WINSTON-SALEM ON MONDAY; FAIRGROUNDS LIKELY SITE (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will be campaigning in Winston-Salem on Monday, the Winston-Salem Police Department confirmed to WGHP/FOX8’s Michael Hennessey on Wednesday afternoon. The Trump campaign contacted the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds on Wednesday about a potential event on Monday, City Manager Lee Garrity said on Wednesday evening.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/trump-coming-to-winston-salem-on-monday-fairgrounds-likely-site...

Coal Ash Wednesday: When science is declared "secret"

Duke Energy's damage control methods are out of control:

Duke Energy is asking a federal judge to make the sworn statements of a state environmental toxicologist off-limits to the public amid an ongoing lawsuit between environmentalists and the energy company over coal ash.

In a motion filed in a North Carolina U.S. District Court Tuesday, Duke Energy argued the deposition of Dr. Kenneth Rudo is "largely hearsay" and that releasing publicly would affect the firm's right to a fair and impartial trial. Company lawyers point to the heavy media attention surrounding coal ash cleanup and contamination, which has drawn the concern of nearby well owners who have received mixed safety advice from the state about their water.

First of all, the public's right to know about contaminated water resources trumps Duke Energy's desire to keep their mistakes hidden. And second, media coverage had absolutely nothing to do with "mixed safety advice" given to affected residents. The amount of influence Duke Energy wields over state government is what caused that mixed advice, another negative consequence of that damage control I mentioned above. And now you can add suborning justice to Duke's "portfolio."

Wednesday News: Pseudoscience edition

CIVITAS INSTITUTE RENEWABLES ‘EXPERT’ TAKES CASH FROM FRACKING INDUSTRY (Progressive Pulse) -- University of Wyoming professor Timothy Considine, the “energy expert” commissioned by the conservative Civitas Institute to assail North Carolina’s renewables strategy, has at least one glaring problem: He regularly receives money from fracking advocates and the natural gas industry to write reports that advance their agenda.
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2016/07/19/civitas-institute-hires-pro-fracking-professor-to-write-an...

Tuesday News: "I'm just here for the cash."

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McCrory’s weekend: Speaks to social conservatives, joins national governors (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory was at GOP ground zero in Cleveland this weekend but not for the Republican National Convention, which began Monday. He attended a fundraiser hosted by friends on Friday night, his campaign spokesman said Monday.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article90...

McCrory’s 35 seconds at the GOP National Convention (Raleigh News & Observer) -- While Gov. Pat McCrory isn’t attending this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, he made a brief appearance on video Monday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article90...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Apparently charlatanism is a communicable disease:

In all fairness, there's no way in hell she could have written the speech, or possess the skills to Google excerpts to make sure it wasn't plagiarized...

In addition to pollution, Duke Energy now leaking propaganda

Disseminating Koch Brothers' subsidized misinformation:

Coal ash isn’t toxic, in fact it’s harmless, according a new report that Duke Energy has been disseminating this week. But a Carolina Public Press investigation has found serious doubts about the credibility of the report that relies heavily on the statements of one scientist who may have been misquoted or taken out of context.

Claiming that toxicity isn’t a valid a concern hasn’t been an angle the company pursued previously. Carolina Public Press contacted the scientist on whom the article relied for its claims. His response raised questions about the integrity of the reporting in the article from the organization Watchdog.org and why Duke Energy would promote an article with such dubious claims.

Okay, so: "Toxicity" determinations are directly tied to how a chemical or element interacts with a biological organism. You can determine the radioactivity of an element in the absence of such, but toxicity can only be formally mapped by actual damage, a much more difficult process. And since many of these potential toxins do not bioaccumulate, and are eventually expelled from the human body before they can be detected, the "smoking gun" is no longer there to find. This is what (I believe) the researcher in question was trying to convey. But what's more alarming than Duke Energy citing a Watchdog.org article in efforts to whitewash their dirty laundry, are the efforts by state government to bully media outlets into silencing the NRDC:

NC's Klansmen trying to galvanize a race war

And once again Fayetteville neighborhoods are their prime target:

A Massey Hill resident, who asked not to be identified, said she saw a man wearing what appeared to be a white cape placing the plastic bags in the yards of Massey Hill residents during the evening. The bags contain fliers that use racial slurs alongside silhouetted caricatures of a person described to be black. The fliers encouraged people to throw the small, reddish-white rocks contained in the bags at African Americans.

Joyce said police have received multiple reports regarding the fliers in Massey Hill. Police are currently processing the plastic bags and investigating the incident. The fliers all urged residents to contact the Loyal White Knights of the KKK hotline.

I may have mentioned this before, but during my years stationed at Ft. Bragg, I was approached (more than once) by fellow soldiers who were involved in the Klan. I suppose since I was a white Southerner I was considered a good recruiting prospect. I shut them down in no uncertain terms, and the attempts stopped. But the "thread of awareness" remained in my mind, and I began to notice things that had previously gone unnoticed. I can only hope the Klan is no longer as successful in penetrating active duty military, but their continuing activity in Fayetteville leads me to believe that's a false hope.

Monday News: #3 in Solar energy

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NC RANKS 3RD IN NATION FOR SOLAR POWER (Jacksonville Daily News) -- Soon after the Department of Navy partnered with local military officials to begin implementing renewable energy projects, North Carolina was ranked third in the nation for solar power capacity by the Solar Energy Industries Association. The Camp Lejeune Solar Facility, operated by Duke Energy Progress, has contributed to this new ranking by becoming one of four large solar projects in North Carolina.
http://www.jdnews.com/news/20160718/nc-ranks-3rd-in-nation-for-solar-power

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