Senate coal ash plan: Too little, too late, too risky

If all read is the headlines, you'd think North Carolina was at the forefront in dealing with festering coal as problems. But if you read the actual substance of the Senate bill, you'll see that it's just another version of the old shell game.

High-risk locations would have to be cleaned up on the same timeline as the Dan River and three other high-priority locations. Duke would have to remove the ash from intermediate-risk ponds by August 2024, but the bill would allow Duke to drain the water from low-risk ponds and either remove it or "cap" the location, essentially sealing in the ash, by August 2029.

Even worse, the "plan" calls for Duke Energy's loyalists in the McCrony administration to decide which of the many ponds are intermediate and low risk facilities. You'll be forgiven for not having a lot of confidence in the judgment of that crew.

In related news, Duke Energy agrees to fund the Dan River clean-up. Damned nice of them, don't you think? Still no word on whether that will cost their customers an arm or a leg.


Sh*t screen

I've been thinking this morning that the executives at BlueCross and BlueShield must be thanking their lucky stars that all the media attention has been diverted recently to their friends at Duke Energy. Otherwise, their announcement last month that 375 jobs will be outsourced to Accenture in India might have caused a bit of consternation here in a state with chronic unemployment problems.

I'm sure Thom Tillis is all over this, right? After all, he made millions working for a firm that specialized in doing exactly the same thing.