Blueprinting McCrory, NCGOP on coal ash?

download (49)Early in the McCrory era in Raleigh, we learned about a nefarious plot by lefty groups and their media allies to slime and slander and “eviscerate” our new governor and his fellow Republicans on Jones Street.

BlueprintNC advertises itself as a warm-and-fuzzy little lefty group seeking to spread peace, love and understanding from Murphy to Manteo. But the leaked memo from its executive director painted a much less rosy picture of the group’s intentions.

Since the beginning of the McCrory era, we’ve seen a regular pattern emerge.  Certain lefty groups generate talking points.  Then those talking points end up being reported as FACT in the mainstream media (i.e., Binky, The Shih-Tzu, ABC 11, McClatchy, WRAL).

The whole spin about the coal ash spill from Duke Power facilities into the Dan River appears to have Blueprint’s fingerprints all over it.  Simple reporting about an environmental accident has been transformed into an evil conspiracy to poison women and children by Gov. Pat and his former employer.

We’re getting a lot of video on TV showing discolored water.  We’ve heard about panics and runs on bottled water in communities along the Dan River.

The Natural Resources Defense Council — a notorious lefty cabal — has launched an ad campaign demanding that Gov. Pat McCrory ‘Clean It Up.’    NRDC decries some alleged cuts to the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  The problem with that allegation?  DENR’s total budgetary appropriation from the general fund increased by $3.7 million from 2013-14 to 2014-2015. 

In February, Chris “Blinky” (Not to be confused with Binky) Fitzsimon’s NC Policy Watch ran with an item blasting Duke Power for the coal ash spill AND for not paying any income taxes.  They didn’t mention how much they pay in property taxes, how much they collect in sales and other taxes from consumers, or how much income tax their employees chip in.  

The N&O’s Rob Christensen took his marching orders — cribbing from NCPolicyWatch, running with the attack on Duke Power and tying Gov. Pat into it all.   (For what it’s worth, I have a family friend who was once a high muckety-muck at Duke Power.  Now retired, he tells me he had NO IDEA McCrory worked for Duke until he saw it mentioned in coverage of the 2008 governor’s race.  So much for the ol’ grand conspiracy.) 

Rob uses Democracy NC as one of the primary sources for his article.  He turns to them  A LOT.  If you check in at their web site, you will see that Democracy NC’s staff is chock full of  “community organizers” and alumni of the ACLU and ACORN.  A real mainstream bunch. 

Most coverage of Duke coal ash affair is filled with hyperbole from lefty groups and others with political agendas.  But what about coal ash, itself? How much of a danger is it, really?

In 2010, Obama’s EPA was struggling with whether to even classify coal ash as ‘hazardous.’  The Edison Energy Institute points out that on FOUR prior occasions — including under the Clinton EPA — the feds found that coal ash did not warrant classification as hazardous material.

EEI also points to the findings of state and federal regulators regarding a 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee:

[…] In a draft report released in December 2009, {Tennessee Department of Health] found that there were no significant human health impacts from the coal ash spill. Despite the size of the release, TDH concluded that there was little potential harm to human health from the coal ash, but rather that the greatest threat appears to have been from the suddenness and size of the release itself, and not from the chemical or physical characteristics of the ash. The report concluded that based on ‘environmental test results,’ [TDH] does not expect harm to health from touching, eating, drinking or breathing the metals in coal fly ash.”

In October 2013, a federal judge ordered the EPA to actually come up with a classification for coal ash and some regulations for disposing of it.  Utility companies are warning that classifying coal ash as a ‘hazardous’ material will really jack up operating costs for them, which will get passed on to consumers.

Coal ash is a popular ingredient used for making asphalt and cement.

12 thoughts on “Blueprinting McCrory, NCGOP on coal ash?

  1. I hope that they wouldn’t Blueprint Thom Tillis’s lengthy legislative rap sheet in the upcoming Senate race. That would be just devasting to Republicans chances and it would seem that he’s more of a liability to Republicans than an asset. But if he loses not problems for Thom, mate. He’ll make out okay as a well paid lobbyist. We should all be concerned about what’s best for Thom Tillis’s future and not the country. Remember this is all about what’s best for Thom Tillis not the US in the equation. To bad he’s going to take the whole party down for his own selfish ambitions. Has someone talked to him about withdrawing from the race? He’s more a liability than an asset to Republican’s chances.

    1. “Has someone talked to him about withdrawing from the race?”

      I do think actually there was someone who did just that. There was a spaceship that landed near Mebane three days ago. I hear that one creature got off the ship and flew into town on its 18 arms. The creature kept shouting, “I wrote the Constitution and I know all about nullification. Put us back on the gold standard, abolish the IRS and quit charging tax on Hersey Chocolates.” Then the creature went over to Thom and said, “Withdraw from the race. Danica will never win either.” Then the creature went to IHOP and ate three stacks of pancakes.

      P.S. The space craft is still in Mebane but no one can find the driver since he left IHOP. A rumor has it that he is trying to find some tickets to the ACC basketball tournament. I have not heard if Thom is taking this guy’s advice.

  2. Sorry to burst the bubble you live in Jeff but by losing the trial Brannon just lost would be a greater liability than Tillis record in a race against Hagan.The ad showing Brannon “jipping” and “lying” to investors and being found guilty is devastating and if he made it through the primary, which is highly unlikely now, it would certainly put the general election in deep jeopardy.I feel for him as the case appears to be a set up and the jury got it dead wrong.But the case was very complex and juries are notorious for getting complex business cases wrong.This should have been tried in Business Court.My advice is for Brannon to keep his chin up and make a run for governor at a later date when this sorry trial has time to mature-a much more important post.

    1. We do have a less than stellar crop of candidates, and from what I hear Rove trying to clear the field for his buddy Tilli$ may have had something to do with that. Brannon was about my third or fourth choice of those who talked about running, but my first among those active in campaigning when the time got close. If Alexander or Snider had gotten in earlier, I probably would have been inclined to support one of them.

      However, the blueprint problem is indeed the biggest liability of any candidate out there, and is only one of many major liabilities for Tilli$. Add to that the fact that Tilli$ flip flops on Obamacare will mean, that like Romney, he will be unable to effectively use the bigger issue we have against Hagan.

      Harris is my second choice, as their seem to be only three candidates with viable campaigns. I will stick with Brannon. Tilli$ is my 9th choice out of eight candidates.

  3. Conservative candidates for everything down to dog-catcher should know everything about “BlueprintNC” and be able to turn it back on the opposition.

    1. The big problem with Blueprint is that even though it was leaked before it was put into practice, Robin Hayes and NCGOP sat there like a deer in the headlights and did nothing to push back against it. It has now gotten so much traction as the liberal media has hashed and rehashed it, with little of no counter from the GOP, that is a real problem for NC Republicans. It shows up in approval ratings for the legislature and governor. It shows up in Senate polling where Tilli$’ numbers drop off when his legislative role gets mentioned. It shows up in the fact that in his biographical TV ad, Tilli$ neglects to even mention the fact that he is Speaker of the House.

      It is going to be difficult for Republicans to deal with, and having a Senate candidate from the legislature would make it much more so.

      Fighting back now is all we can do, but it will not have the impact that fighting back when this Blueprint crap first came out would have had.

      1. When you read anything in the liberal media, you have to take it with a grain of salt.

        Mitt Romney was an awful candidate, foisted upon us by the establishment and the liberal media. Any other candidate would have probably beaten Comrade Obama. But electing him would certainly not have advanced tyranny.

        Any time a GOP candidate appears before the media, they should tape their presentation to be able to knock down media distortions.

  4. Coal ash has a variety of heavy metals in it. The main ones are Chromium, Mercury & Arsenic. Already downstream the Dan River is turning into a dead zone. Samples taken from the river by environmentalists show levels exceeding federal guidelines. This has been verified by DNER. McCrory did sign legislation relaxing standards on coal ash ponds. I know, I commented on it. The reality is this happened on his watch. If you ask me, quit complaining about people pointing the finger and clean it up. By the way, I find it ridiculous that Duke Energy is asking its ratepayers to help pay for a decision they made. Everyone in Raleigh knew these ash ponds were leaking. They dragged their feet and know this happened. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I am a citizen who lives downstream from one of these ash ponds. Everything that I have read on it says its leaking. Why would anyone build something like this in a watershed that is used to supply drinking water. That’s Dumb!

    1. Sir: The deposit of coal ash has been removed from the Dan River riverbed
      using suction at the discharge site of the broken pipe. The equipment is now working down stream. My source is DNER.
      Prior to the metallic pipe rupture the quantity of discharge came from toe leaks and the quantity of material was small. One environmental group claimed that the state permits had expired-not true.
      Chromium, mercury and arsenic are present in coal ash, but the metallic content that exceeded permit levels at Dan River test sites was determined to be iron and aluminum.
      I challenge you for a source on “relaxing standards on coal ash ponds”.

    2. The source of the mercury that will be getting into our environment more and more in the future will be from those lousy CPF twisty lightbulbs that the environmental extremists compel us to buy instead of the cheaper, dependable, and non-polluting incandescent bulbs they have now banned. Thanks a lot, environmental extremists!

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