Coastal residents up in arms about offshore drilling


And the un-democratic approach of local lawmakers:

Some 300 people showed up at the town hall that Monday evening, filling the meeting room and spilling into the parking lot. Angry locals waited as long as two hours to confront Mayor Dean Lambeth, who recently had signed a letter to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, endorsing a move to begin seismic testing for oil and gas deposits off the North Carolina coast. The letter had been written by America's Energy Forum, an arm of the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas industry lobby group. Lambeth had signed it, lending his endorsement as the mayor of Kure Beach, without any public debate.

It's a good bet a lot of those angry locals rely on tourism for their livelihoods, even if they're not environmentalists in the classic sense. And the last thing you want to do as a small-town Mayor is piss off small business owners. They can flip a local election in the amount of time it takes to say, "Start packing your stuff, we may have to leave town." And it doesn't take much to spread that outrage statewide:

Brown's "historical blindness" on sales tax redistribution

Reducing the story to Tweet-size makes lying much easier:

Brown has blasted that 2007 decision repeatedly in recent weeks. “It killed 83 counties across the state,” he said. “What this bill does is correct that wrong. It helps those rural counties that got kicked in the teeth in 2007.”

He’s also been critical of the legislature’s leaders at that time, who happened to be Democrats. “The leadership that year led efforts that robbed and redistributed money from poor rural counties to rich urban counties,” he said.

Makes a good sound byte, but that's not what happened. I'll let one of Brown's fellow Republicans 'splain it:

DENR tries to block coal ash cleanup agreement

"It wasn't our idea, so we won't support it":

North Carolina's environmental officials moved Wednesday to stop an agreement that would commit Duke Energy to scooping out and moving coal ash from three more unlined and leaking pits.

Duke and a coalition of environmental groups last month agreed that, if a judge approved, the energy giant would commit itself to excavating the coal ash from three additional power plants: Cape Fear in Moncure, H.F Lee in Goldsboro and Weatherspoon near Lumberton.

And what's even crazier, one of the stated reasons DENR is trying to legally intervene is to avoid future legal interventions. Isn't that like smacking somebody so other people will feel sorry for that person and less likely to smack them? Here's more from the SELC:

Oregon millionaire behind NC's public school takeover scheme

Everything is for sale, if you fill out the check properly:

John Bryan has underwritten the creation of ten charter schools across North Carolina, and now thanks to his political efforts he’s also behind a secret plan modeled after similar controversial initiatives in Tennessee, New Orleans and elsewhere to allow charter operators to fire an entire school’s staff and start from scratch in an attempt to catapult a public school into the top 25 percent of the state.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, since 2010 John Bryan has given well over $100,000 to candidates who have a record of pushing school privatization efforts, including House Speaker Tim Moore, Rep. Jason Saine, former Guilford Rep. Marcus Brandon, Rep. Paul Stam, and Sen. Ralph Hise.

It brings the term "sellout" to a whole new level, doesn't it? Remember this: The state (for the most part) doesn't fund the construction of public schools, the counties do. In effect, this legislation has all the earmarks of Conservatives' supposed great nemesis "Eminent Domain," but in reverse. They're handing over something local taxpayers built and giving it to an out-of-state political crony. And they're handing over our children, too, which is even more outrageous, if that's possible. These bills shouldn't even be parked in committee, much less brought to the floor for a vote. They should be ceremoniously burned.

GOP oxy Morons: Two week "continuing resolution"

Like a toddler crying because he doesn't want to go to bed:

With a deadline looming on Friday, state legislators still don’t have a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. On Tuesday, they rolled out another extension to keep government running through Aug. 31.

The temporary budget bill, known as a “continuing resolution,” continues last fiscal year’s budget allocations for another two weeks while the House and Senate try to reach a deal. Before the fiscal year ended June 30, legislators approved a 45-day continuing resolution that runs out Friday.

With the right shoes, I could walk to Devonshire in a fortnight, and still have time to peddle my wares. But the GOP will probably f**k this one up, too.

The economic realities of offshore drilling the Atlantic OCS


Applying reason to a rhetoric-filled debate:

Taylor, in her presentation, explored the economic and other benefits that have been touted as reasons to pursue offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast. Enhancing the nation’s energy independence, lowering energy prices and creating jobs are the big three reasons often cited, but what’s the reality?

“We cannot be independent of a globally traded commodity,” Taylor said, referring specifically to petroleum products, for which prices are set on international markets.

An indisputable reality we've been trying to convey to the "drill, baby, drill" crowd until we're blue in the face. But they're either dishonest or don't have the capacity to understand, which is why we have to keep saying it:


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