Tuesday News: Sleazy as usual

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NC GOP WANTS TO MOVE GERRYMANDERING SUIT TO FEDERAL COURT: Republican legislative leaders are trying to move from state court to federal court a lawsuit challenging the North Carolina congressional map drawn in 2016. The GOP lawmakers filed a notice Monday in the partisan redistricting litigation that voters filed last month in Wake County court. The lawmakers' attorneys said the venue change is necessary because complying with the plaintiffs' demands for a new map would conflict state redistricting rules with the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act. A federal court granting the move could scuttle the plaintiffs' case, since the U.S. Supreme Court recently declared federal courts lack authority to rule on partisan gerrymandering claims.
https://www.wral.com/nc-republicans-seek-moving-congress-case-to-federal-court/18698137/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Delays and lawsuits are Duke Energy's bread and butter:

And once again, if they had used liners on the bottom of their ash pits to begin with, we wouldn't be having this debate.

Officials refuse to name company that discharged 1,4 Dioxane

Greensboro has some questions that need answering:

State regulators and Greensboro officials refuse to identify an industry they say accidentally released a large amount of a likely carcinogen into the Cape Fear River basin, temporarily fouling drinking water for Pittsboro, Fayetteville and perhaps other cities downstream. Greensboro officials and the state Department of Environmental Quality also won’t say how the release of 1,4 dioxane happened and how much of the chemical was discharged.

Both entities called the release “a mistake,” one that caused the level of 1,4 dioxane in Pittsboro’s drinking water to temporarily spike in August to more than 300 times the lifetime cancer risk level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Mistake" or not, withholding the name of the company is simply not acceptable. It shields them from exposure to the media, which in many cases do a better job at holding polluters accountable than regulatory agencies do. It also raises many questions about potential conflicts of interest, from campaign donations to government incentives, and many of those questions would simply disappear with a little sunlight shining on the scene. And this timeline is nothing short of infuriating:

Monday News: Xenophobia

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DURHAM CITY COUNCIL MEMBER HAS CITIZENSHIP CHALLENGED BY LOSER: Caballero told The Herald-Sun in 2017 that her family moved to the United States when her father was in graduate school and that she became a U.S. citizen at age 14. Sunday’s joint statement repeated that Caballero is a citizen and also a registered voter who has lawfully voted in Durham since 2010. “Javiera has faced these sorts of baseless claims about her citizenship throughout this election, and it’s time for our community to speak with one voice to say that enough is enough,” Reece said in the statement. “Durham must be a city that works for everyone, and that must include our immigrant neighbors.” Johnson, the city’s mayor pro tempore, said Caballero and many other immigrants have had to endure suspicion throughout their lives.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article236093808.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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THE WEAK REPUBLICAN CASE AGAINST EXPANDING MEDICAID IN NC: Perry’s argument follows a series of hollow Republican warnings about Medicaid expansion. First there was the rationale offered by then-Gov. Pat McCrory. He deemed North Carolina’s Medicaid program “broken” and said it would be irresponsible to add a half-million more people to the program. It turned out that the program is actually quite efficient compared to other states and has even come in under budget in recent years. Next came the claim that the state couldn’t afford its 10 percent share of the cost of expansion. But under Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget proposal the state’s share would be covered by the hospitals and health care plans that would benefit from the surge in insured patients. Finally, there’s the semi-conspiracy theory that the federal government might renege on its commitment to pay a minimum of 90 percent. Given that 36 states are now getting that level of payment, it’s unlikely that their representatives in Congress would approve cutting it back.
https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article236040708.html

Saturday News: Welcome Mayor Baldwin

CHARLES FRANCIS CONCEDES VICTORY IN RALEIGH MAYORAL CONTEST: A former council member in North Carolina's capital city will become its next mayor, as the second-place finisher in this week's election decided against seeking a runoff. Mary-Ann Baldwin got the most votes in Tuesday's six-candidate race for Raleigh mayor. Unofficial results showed Charles Francis trailing Baldwin by 7 percentage points. Francis said in a written statement on Friday that while there was no clear mandate for any candidate, the pathway to a runoff victory would have required the campaign to raise several hundred thousand dollars in just a few weeks. Baldwin will succeed Nancy McFarlane, who has been mayor since 2011 and chose not to run this fall. Francis lost to McFarlane in a mayoral runoff in 2017.
https://www.wral.com/with-no-runoff-baldwin-now-raleighs-next-mayor/18692384/

Natural Gas is not the cure for Climate Change

It is actually making it worse:

"The time is now to stop building more fossil fuel construction," Shindell, who is part of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said on a conference call with reporters.

The press conference was arranged by NC WARN, a climate activism group that has opposed Duke Energy's expansion plans for years. Shindell keyed not just on carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas responsible for rising average temperatures, but on its less-covered cousin: Methane.

Methane is something like 60 times worse than carbon dioxide in trapping insolation, so it warrants much closer scrutiny than Co2 emissions. But its volatile nature makes that difficult, because it will escape into the atmosphere wherever it finds a weakness in its containment infrastructure. There are over 1.5 million active gas and oil wells in the United States alone, and each one suffers from fugitive emissions of Methane. Same goes with the pipelines, and monitoring thousands of miles of those is impossible, even if the industry tried. Which they don't. And this desperately needs a clarification:

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