Republican attack on the environment

Connecting the dots between climate change and flooding

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It's all about the evaporation:

“We are in part responsible for what’s going on in the context of fossil fuel combustion emissions that are leading to global warming. The ocean is a huge reservoir that is absorbing heat and seeing more evaporation. With more evaporation comes more rainfall.”

I've lost count of how many times I've had this conversation with people over the last year or two. But it's really a relatively simple concept/formula. Heat leads to evaporation leads to precipitation. Yes, silt and debris form choke points in our streams/rivers, and the water has to go somewhere. Yes, poor landscaping and over-development cause stormwater runoff. But the main driver of flooding is increased water vapor in the air. So the next time you're trying to explain to the dubious how climate change is causing this, don't waste time with stuff like "changing weather patterns" or other obscure references, just remember that formula above.

Offshore drilling opponents on the coast get boost from Asheville

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Would that all NC's major cities show the same support:

Since the spring of 2017 when a shift in policy by the Trump administration caused the prospect of offshore oil and gas exploration off the North Carolina coast to reemerge as real possibility, local governments from Currituck to Calabash have steadily weighed in, passing resolutions in opposition and in some cases multiple times. About 40 of the coastal region’s municipalities and all but two coastal county boards — Carteret and Brunswick — have put their opposition to paper.

One of the latest additions to that list, however, could be a sign that other parts of the state are lining up against new leases as well. In late April, the Asheville City Council unanimously passed a resolution against both offshore drilling and seismic testing.

Aside from Lousiana's Mississippi Delta region, I'm not sure there is another state whose coastal area is as vulnerable to toxic spills as North Carolina's. Spilled oil could (and would) easily migrate deep into our tidal wetlands, and there's no fixing that. It would be devastating to not only fish and other waterborne species, but also migrating birds. Having Cooper in the Governor's mansion is a huge relief, especially considering McCrory turned his office into the damn headquarters of the drilling effort:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump's EPA bows to industry pressure

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Nixing rule requiring power plants to show financial capability to clean up spills:

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it won't require electric utilities to show they have money to clean up hazardous spills from power plants despite a history of toxic coal ash releases contaminating rivers and aquifers. Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.

The finding comes after the EPA last year reversed a related proposal under President Barack Obama that would have imposed new financial requirements on the hardrock mining industry.

On paper anyway, the difference between "taxpayers" and "ratepayers" is substantial. But in reality, there really isn't much difference. All taxpayers also pay power bills, and when the NCUC bows to Duke Energy demands to raise their rates to pay for spills and safe disposal of coal ash, taxpayers are footing the bill. And this is not an academic exercise:

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