Civitas files lawsuit to derail environmental management

And Fran DeLuca's timing couldn't be more inappropriate:

The head of a conservative-leaning group says money paid annually by pork producers from a 2000 settlement with North Carolina must go to public schools rather than grants designed to improve the environment.

Francis DeLuca of the Civitas Institute sued Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper in Wake County court Tuesday. DeLuca wants a judge to force Cooper — also running for governor this fall — to stop the payments of up to $2 million and to recoup those funds back to 2014. The complaint cites a 2005 state Supreme Court decision in its arguments.

The settlement with Smithfield came in the wake of Hurricane Floyd, and the horrific environmental disaster that resulted from the flooding of hog farms and lagoons. Sound familiar? I don't know if Art Pope and Colonel Francis are doing this to set up an 11th hour television ad saying, "Why doesn't Roy Cooper want our precious children to have money for their schools?" or something equally noxious, or if they're doing this as part of their crusade against environmental protection in general. But whatever their reasons, the settlement itself is very straightforward, and re-purposing those dollars could violate and nullify the agreement:

Duke Energy Quarterly (DEQ) report: Only a teency amount of coal ash leaked

Nothin' to see here, folks. Move along:

Duke Energy says on-site inspections at the H.F. Lee plant confirm that only a minimal amount of coal ash came out of an inactive ash pond inundated by the post-Hurricane Matthew flooding near Goldsboro. A five-person crew from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality spent more than five hours at the site Saturday. DEQ said in a prepared statement that the coal ash released from the flooded basin was “less than would fit in a pickup truck.”

I see their standards of measurement have deteriorated about as much as their quality standards. And in an effort to demonstrate they're not just in the bag for Duke Energy, DEQ brings out the white paint for industrial hog lagoons, too:

McCrory's attack on Caitlyn Jenner backfires

Greg Flynn takes the Deputy Assistant Governor to task:

Jenner now holds a birth certificate marked “female,” thus legally bound in North Carolina to use public facilities designated for women, not men as McCrory would have it. Arbitrary and capricious enforcement of law is at the heart of much social unrest. McCrory’s transphobia escapes the confines of his own law.

Fear-mongering should have no place in 21st century North Carolina even as McCrory and his “role model” Donald Trump see it as a path to electoral victory. HB2 should be repealed. McCrory should be replaced.

That whole "birth certificate" thing was a document too far anyway, with shades of totalitarianism accompanying it. So it's only fitting it should turn around and bite them in the ass.

Josh Stein vs Buck Newton: The choice couldn't be more clear

Dedicated public servant vs pay-to-play bigot:

Stein says he is up against millions of dollars in special-interest support for his opponent, Republican state Sen. Buck Newton, 48, of Wilson, who Stein says has the support of payday lenders (Stein helped drive them out of the state) and gambling interests hoping to get a foothold in the state. Newton regrettably has been supportive of conservative and highly questionable and divisive social issues, evidenced by his sponsorship of Senate Bill 2, which exempted magistrates from doing their duty in performing all marriages if they chose not to. Newton is a hard-right conservative who’s focused mainly on attacking Stein and Cooper.

This campaign season has been riddled with vicious attack ads, but the one that stands out the most (to me) is this one: p.s. I know you're getting tired of seeing crap like this, but you gotta know your enemy.

Voices rising to extend voter registration deadline in light of Matthew damage

From the flooded trenches in Fayetteville:

Hunt says he's disappointed in the board for "choosing not to provide adequate relief to eligible voters" unable to register when Hurricane Matthew shut down local boards of elections and other registration sites. Registration deadline is today, but the board has told local officials to accept mailed-in registrations that arrive late. The board also notes that same-day registration is available at all early-voting sites, which will be open from Oct. 20 through Nov. 5.

At this point, it's not clear that all early-voting sites will be able to open by next Thursday. It's fortuitous that the courts struck down state voting reform legislation and that same-day registration is still an option. But it may not be enough in some of this state's hardest-hit communities.

No doubt the State Board is concerned local boards will have difficulty processing voter registrations while also preparing for early voting to begin. But that difficulty pales in comparison to the difficulties faced by those whose homes are (still) under water in much of Eastern North Carolina.

JLF uses Hurricane Matthew to attack NC's REPS

Because natural disasters are a great opportunity for propaganda:

And then there are the inhabitants of the so-called “free market think tanks” funded by those fun-loving fossil fuel barons, the Koch Brothers, and their not so silent junior partner from North Carolina, Art Pope. Take a gander at a column released yesterday by the Director of Regulatory Studies at the John Locke Foundation. In it, the author argues – we are not making this up – that the mass, storm-related electricity outages of recent days lead to one overriding conclusion: North Carolina must reduce its commitment to renewable energy and the law (the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” or “REPS”) that requires public utilities to derive a proportion of their electric load from renewables.

Everybody needs to understand why Koch and Pope's Puppets are so dedicated to overturning REPS in NC (and other states): Because it's working. The REPS was designed to create a demand for renewable energy, thus driving up production of Solar panels and wind turbine parts, which (in turn) would bring the costs down to a competitive range.
What you won't hear from people like JLF's Jon Sanders is how much those costs have already dropped:


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