The disingenuous faux-Libertarian attack on renewables

Ripping up the astroturf:

The attack dogs in this war are funded by Koch Industries and include Americans for Prosperity, American Energy Alliance and the American Legislative Exchange Council. They frame their attacks as a defense of the free market and fiscal conservatism. Yet even a cursory examination of their positions reveals they’re not defending the free market but attempting to protect the fossil fuel industry from competition.

Not sure if this Conservative's opinion signals a movement growing or is simply an anomaly, but the fossil fuel industry's actions are blatantly obvious. Harnessing clean, renewable energy resources like Solar has been a wildly popular idea for decades, and now that we're finally seeing a massive surge in installations, any pushback on that is liable to carry a heavy political price. One can hope, anyway.

Senate wants to expand use of SolarBees

If it works, break it, and if it doesn't work, institutionalize it:

In 2013, the General Assembly passed a pilot program to put SolarBees on Jordan Lake to churn up harmful algae. The results of that program should be available later this year.

The Senate version of the budget would expand the in-lake strategy to other impaired bodies of water, such as Falls Lake.

Why (you might ask) would the normally penny-pinching Senate want to expand the use and associated funding of a technology that has yet to prove itself? The answer is pretty simple. It was merely a distraction to begin with, so whether it works or not is tangential at best. The true goal was to continue to delay implementation of the Jordan Lake Rules, while also doing away with riparian buffers and other sound stormwater runoff abatement practices. Evidence of the uselessness of SolarBees was readily available before they got their little floaters wet in Jordan Lake:

McCrory's dodging makes him a "back-door" Governor


Avoiding all those pesky questions about the risks of offshore drilling:

Approximately 70 opponents of offshore drilling gathered in Manteo on Aug. 28 for what was billed as a “peaceful demonstration” aimed at Governor Pat McCrory, a strong supporter of offshore energy exploration who was holding a fundraiser in the Dare Arts Council building.

McCrory entered and exited the Arts Council headquarters through a rear entrance, without acknowledging the presence of the protestors. Kill Devil Hills Mayor Sheila Davies, who attended the fundraiser and later joined the anti-drilling protest, said she thought the governor was aware of the demonstration.

He was definitely aware. Hopefully the protesters stuck around long enough to get a look at the donors who attended. They're just as responsible (if not more) than McCrory is, by writing checks to keep him in office.

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:


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