All eyes on Raleigh for the next couple of days as Governor Bev Perdue still has a few bills on her desk that a growing group of environmental advocates want to see vetoed.
Top of the list is H819, which includes the infamous sea-level rise provision, a complicated mess. Boiled down, it’s a slap at climate change science. I’ve covered this story for the past few months for Coastal Review Online and you can read the latest on the site this am.
Personally, I have no idea how much the sea will rise in my lifetime, but I’m pretty sure it will. I’m all for better science, but when I want to know how to do that I’d rather rely on the science community to come up with the plan.
The bill got a lot of criticism, but it wasn’t the worst part of this episode. Throughout this process some of the country’s top geologists and shoreline scientists have been treated shabbily by our elected officials, at one point even accused of bribery and making their research more controversial to get grant money. It got even worse at the end. If the bill does get vetoed, I hope it’s debated with a lot less vitriol and personal attacks. Coastal Review Online: Will She or Won’t She?
The other bills of concern are S229 and H953, which are omnibus bills with various amendments to the state’s environmental laws. These kinds of bills can be pretty technical in nature, but the changes are always there for a reason. Once you make the connections on how various revisions in how things can be monitored or how a regulation is delayed or altered, it’s usually clear that a particular industry, sometimes a specific plant or business is the beneficiary.
The bills also contain some big shifts in policy. At the request of Greensboro, the Jordan Lake rules, aimed to clean up a major water supply, are being delayed thanks to provision that got tucked into one of the bills near the end of the session. The secretive nature of the move is troublesome for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it is a significant, unvetted change in policy toward the Jordan Lake watershed and the water supply of more than a million people in the Triangle. If the delay really means delay then the damage will be limited, but if it mean the end or revision of the rules then that’s a different kettle of fish. Meanwhile, the lake is getting worse, particularly in the upper end above the NC 751 causeway.
[places soapbox back in corner]
– You can bet the lunch chatter in the tonier spots in downtown Raleigh will be the new society rankings handed down by the NC Center for Public Policy Research. To no one’s surprise, the GOP takeover altered the landscape among the lobbyists. Via the N&O New lobbyist rankings reflect GOP takeover of NC legislature
You can read the press release here. The report will cost ya ten bucks, but you get the picture.
– The big chew of the day for political types is just what the new poll in NC-7 means. Via Roll Call GOP Poll Shows Mike McIntyre With Small Lead, Well Under 50 Percent
The poll really shows how remarkable it will be if McIntyre manages to hold on to his lead.
In a sign of the hill McIntyre will have to climb to keep his seat, Mitt Romney topped Barack Obama by a whopping 17 points in the redrawn district. The president got 36 percent to Romney’s 53 percent in the poll, conducted by respected GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies.
For those of you who think Blue Dog McIntyre can’t be any worse than his GOP opponent, Johnston County state Sen. David Rouzer, please note that he’s the guy that pushed the above mentioned sea-level rise bill.
– And the Romney odyssey continues . . .
Buzzfeed has a look at the papers in Israel, especially the one owned by the guy who is determined to become the top donor in this year’s U.S. presidential contest. He was the fellow who was seated at the head of the table when Romney made his “cultural differences” speech. Adelson’s Newspaper Downplays Romney’s Visit
It looks like the Poland leg of the trip was an anomaly in that Romney failed to insult his hosts. He also heaped praise on JPII, which is a real crowd-pleaser and another indication that the trip was about Catholic and Jewish voters back home and raising money among well-to-do folks living abroad. In Warsaw speech, Romney heaps praise on John Paul II