NC GOP

Refurbished textile mill will become another NC wood pellet plant

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Spelling the demise of thousands more acres of trees:

This factory used to house Alamac American Knits, an erstwhile leading manufacturer of woven fabrics. But it closed in 2017, in part due to market pressures, but also because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Matthew, which the previous year dumped 10 inches of rain on the town, flooding the Lumber River until it burst its banks.

Now the 150-acre site is the home of Active Energy Renewable Power. A subsidiary of Active Energy Group, it is a publicly traded British company with a spotty project history. Aided by a half-million dollars in state taxpayer money, it is the latest entrant into the state’s wood pellet business.

It's long past time for us to stop referring to wood pellet burning as "renewable energy." It's not. Some of the wood they use comes from old-growth hardwoods, very often located in or near our critical wetlands, and many of those trees are over 100 years old. It's not as asinine as John Skvarla's (thanks, McCrory) claim that crude oil is renewable, but it ranks up there. This also has COVID 19 implications as well, since scientists have determined that fine particulate air pollution increases risk for fatalities in people who live in dirty air environments. Their own permit application is damning enough:

NC will likely wash its hands of Thom Tillis in November

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WaPo rates NC the "swingiest" of swing states:

Former state senator and Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Cal Cunningham is the Democrats’ nominee (despite Republican interference to boost another candidate). In the first three months of this year, he doubled Tillis’s fundraising hauls. Tillis has tried at points to display some independence from Trump, pushing a bill to prevent the firing of Robert S. Mueller III and opposing Trump’s method of paying for the border wall. But he embraced the wall and during impeachment, he was all-in for the president.

We don't call him Two-Faced Tillis for nothing. He has never been exceptionally popular among Republicans, but that OpEd he wrote had them sharpening the long knives. Let's see what Thommy said back then:

Tom Fetzer needs to be removed from UNC BOG

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His personal ambition has clouded what little judgment he ever had:

Fetzer, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, inserted himself into yet another leadership decision about the school last week, during a university governance committee meeting. This time it was the question of Van Isley’s appointment to the ECU Board of Trustees. Fetzer sought to delay a vote, arguing the board should vet Isley more thoroughly than the average trustee candidate.

In interviews with Policy Watch this week, three members of the UNC Board of Governors and two members of the ECU Board of Trustees said they no longer believe Fetzer can be objective about leadership decisions at ECU, and he should recuse himself from issues related to the school.

Fetzer is like the proverbial bad penny: he just keeps turning up. He was an empty suit as Raleigh Mayor (forgot about that, did you?), a shit-stirrer as NC GOP Chairman, and a back-room deal-maker as a lobbyist. Of course he believes he has "earned" the position as Chancellor for East Carolina, and that belief will drive him to continue to meddle in the school's affairs until he gets it. He already thinks he's the Decider of the Board of Governors:

Anti-abortion nut-job David Benham sues Charlotte over arrest

Women's rights are Trumped these days:

The Alliance Defending Freedom said Saturday it filed the lawsuit in federal court in Charlotte on behalf of protester David Benham and two antiabortion groups.

Benham is one of several protesters who were arrested April 4 outside A Preferred Women's Health Center in Charlotte after authorities say the protest exceeded the 10-person limit imposed under a joint proclamation by the city and Mecklenburg County.

David is one of the unholy offspring of Flip Benham, who tried to get abortion doctors killed by vigilantes ten years ago:

PFAS from old carpets in landfills is contaminating groundwater

And the numbers are startling:

Johnsie Lang, formerly with the EPA’s Office of Research and Development in Research Triangle Park, is one of four scientists who worked on the study. Now a consultant at an environmental engineering firm, Lang had previously studied these toxic compounds in carpet. “Carpet is known to be disposed in C&D landfills, so I assumed it was possible that PFAS leaching could be occurring,” she said.

Her hunch was right. The average PFAS level in the Florida C&D landfill leachate was 15,530 parts per trillion. To show the magnitude of that concentration, North Carolina has suggested a groundwater limit of just 70 ppt for two main types of the compound. Other states have even stronger groundwater standards.

You should probably sit down, 'cause I'm about to freak you out a little bit. When something like this comes up, we most often view it through the lens of our own family & friends: "We have mostly hardwood floors with an occasional rug placed here or there." North Carolina has over a half-million apartments right now, and will likely increase that number by 40%-50% by 2030. It is standard procedure (except in the most distressed areas) to pull up the old carpet and install new every few years, and in fact many (most?) new tenants expect it, along with a fresh coat of paint. Say 100,000 NC apartments get new carpet every year, totaling some 7.5 million square feet of discarded carpet. Yeah, it's a problem.

Richard Burr sold townhome to lobbyist for $900,000

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And said lobbyist had business before Burr's Committee:

Burr sold the small townhouse, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, for what, by some estimates, was an above market price — $900,000 — to a team led by lobbyist John Green. That is tens of thousands of dollars above some estimates of the property’s value by tax assessors, a real estate website and a local real estate agent. The sale was done off-market, without the home being listed for sale publicly.

Green is a longtime donor to Burr’s political campaigns and has co-hosted at least one fundraiser for him. In 2017, the year of the sale, Green lobbied on behalf of a stream of clients with business before Burr’s committees.

If there was ever a poster-child for term limits, Burr is it. He's been in Washington for a quarter of a century. Went from a former lawn-mower salesman to a multi-millionaire, all while supposedly being a public servant. How does one do that, you might ask? By doing favors for lobbyists:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The bells are tolling for Richard Burr:

I'm still skeptical that he will receive any meaningful punishment, unless his own party decides to throw him under the bus. We'll see.

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