Republican attack on the environment

Coal Ash Wednesday: A costly victory over Duke Energy

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There are 2.9 Billion reasons this settlement falls short:

It finally seems to be reaching an end of sorts — though the actual cleanup is not expected to be completed until 2029. But with a recently reached settlement, we at least know now who is going to pay for the cleanup. We are. On Monday, Stein and Duke Energy announced a settlement under which customers are expected to bear about 75% of the projected $4 billion clean-up costs through 2030.

"This settlement settles this dispute for the next 10 years that is fair to customers,” Stein said. “It is a win for every single Duke Energy customer." But it also seems like a win for Duke Energy, which will not have to sacrifice much in the way of profits or payments to shareholders.

I knew there had to be some sort of compromise, although it is tempting to stamp one's foot and demand that Duke pay for all of it. It is their mess, and if you took your family to a restaurant, but the manager said you had to go back in the kitchen and scrub the pots and pans at the end of the meal, you would laugh at him. It's no different. They sold us that power, and made enough of a profit to give shareholders a hefty dividend every quarter. A 50/50 cost share would have been hard to swallow, but making us pay 3/4 of the cost? That's a choker.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump EPA rule delays closures until 2038

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Coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler has a special place in hell waiting for him:

A coalition of nine environmental groups is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a rule that extends the life of giant pits of toxic coal sludge, risking contamination of nearby water sources.

The July rule allows for the more than 400 coal ash pits across the nation, where coal residue is mixed with liquid and stored in open-air, often unlined ponds, to stay open as late as 2038.

We can't be shed of this monster soon enough. While it remains to be seen how much Duke Energy will try to take advantage of this, I have a hunch it will depend on if they're allowed to fleece ratepayers for cleaning up their own mess or not. A few words from Earthjustice:

Climate Change Chronicles: Warmest November in recorded history

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If we keep breaking these records we're going to break the planet:

Scientists with the Copernicus Climate Change Service said that global temperatures in November were 0.1 degree Celsius (about 0.2 degree Fahrenheit) above the previous record-holders, in 2016 and 2019. November 2020 was 0.8 degree Celsius (or 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average from 1981 to 2010.

Warm conditions persisted over large swaths of the planet, with temperatures the highest above average across Northern Europe and Siberia, as well as the Arctic Ocean. Much of the United States was warmer than average as well.

Considering that Northern Europe, Siberia, and Northern Canada have massive quantities of methane stored in the permafrost, saying this is "not good news" is a huge understatement. As if that were not enough, we're only a few weeks away from the auctioning of oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):

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