duke energy

Big business investment in big lobbying in North Carolina appears to be paying dividends

We’ve already covered the revolving door of lawmakers resigning from the General Assembly only to return to Raleigh a few months later. Former House Majority Leader Mike Hager started his own lobbying firm, Hager Strategic Solutions, shortly after his ‘cooling off period.’ Former house rules chairman, Tom Apodaca registered as a lobbyist in 2017 and started his firm, Vista Strategies. He has already amassed clients including Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Cable Telecommunications Network. Thom Goolsby also has his own firm, with clients including the NC Small Business Association and the Education Freedom Alliance.

In order to get a sense of exactly how much money lobbyists were funneling into North Carolina, we looked at reports issued by the Secretary of State from 2007-2016. In 2016, $45,307,721.63 was spent on lobbyists in North Carolina. This number is striking because, despite the fact that 2016 was an election year and therefore a “short” session, it is only a few hundred dollars fewer than 2013 spending and well exceeds 2014 levels. In 2015, more than $49 million was spent on lobbying the North Carolina General Assembly, compared to the just over $20 million spent just five years earlier. The overall trend is clear. Moneyed interests are spending more and more on lobbying the North Carolina legislature.

NC Lobbying Expenditures 2007-2016

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UPDATED: Could Duke Energy be planning to spray coal ash waste?

August 14, 2017: A coal ash dump in Chatham County run by Duke Energy contractor Charah now has a 90-day permit to collect the liquid it leaks and spray it into the air, but Courtney Wood at UNC-Chapel Hill's school of public health says the process "negates any basic chemistry from high school."

So yes, a Duke Energy contractor plans to use this process for coal ash.

Charah CEO Charles Price contributed at least $22,000 in 2016 and 2017 to NC Republicans, including Berger and Moore. Additionally, Charah has a history of violating permits. The company was previously cited at least twice by NC for starting construction at sites without required permits, but received no fine under Gov. McCrory’s DEQ.

June 1, 2017: The fluid that collects beneath landfills, referred to as leachate, could soon be sprayed into the air, thanks to House Bill 576 sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Dixon.

The aerosolization of leachate, or “garbage juice in a snow blower”, is an unproven and untested technology.

Via NC Policy Watch
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North Carolinians aren’t left wanting more after GA introduces four orphan bills

The North Carolina General Assembly has a knack for passing laws that no one asked for and no one wants. These four orphan bills have been left out in the cold with no one to claim credit for them and unlike poor Oliver Twist, North Carolinians are not asking for more.

Aerosolization of Leachate 

Rep. Jimmy Dixon spent last session fighting for the aerosolization of leachate, a process, he noted, that has its origins in chemical warfare

Despite Dixon’s push for H576, one of the largest waste management services in the United States, Waste Management, is not planning on using the new technology.

The company’s relations specialist has said that Waste Management does not use and is not in favor of the aerosolization technology.

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McCrory Administration Taking Unilateral Action to Sweep Coal Ash Issue Away

In the span of 3 days in March of 2016 McCrory has taken two unilateral actions to assert greater control over coal ash cleanup and then declare coal ash a non-issue. On March 8, 2016 his administration rescinded “do not drink” orders that were in place for hundreds of residents…

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McCrory continues to put the interests of his former employer, Duke Energy, ahead of protecting North Carolina families

McCrory Hosted Private Dinner with Duke CEO And Their Respective Counsels While “Sweet Deal” Was Under Consideration… McCrory met with Duke’s CEO at the Executive Residence and their respective counsels while coal ash settlement was under consideration.  &ldq…

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