Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NEW HOUSE PANEL STIRS MEMORIES OF EARLIER MCCARTHY: Lawmakers point to outrageous abuses of the federal government’s unchecked law enforcement and intelligence apparatus, vowing to get to the bottom of the dirty business and root out the shadowy figures responsible. McCarthy on Thursday described the new committee as “Church style” as he trumpeted the first week’s work of House Republicans, including the creation of the panel. “Government should be here to help you, not go after you,” McCarthy told reporters. Democrats and historians see darker historical parallels. They liken the Republican zeal to pursue nebulous allegations of deep state conspiracies to the “Red Scare” days of a McCarthy from an earlier era: Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis. The McCarthy hearings in the 1950s and investigations by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1930s and 1940s have come to be seen as sordid, painful chapters in the congressional past, a series of communist witch hunts that needlessly destroyed lives. Lawmakers unleashed unfounded allegations in pursuit of sensational headlines and nonexistent infiltrators and traitors, and Democrats warn that the same could happen again. “Dozens of whistleblowers who have come and talked to Republican staff on the Judiciary Committee don’t think this is a ploy,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chair of the Judiciary Committee. “That is why they came to talk to us. They know how serious this is.” Right, just like the "dozens of whistleblowers" who claimed they had evidence of widespread voting fraud that led to Donald Trump's "stolen" election. Nothing but conjecture and conspiracy theories. We knew this was going to happen after Trump's (two) impeachments and the Insurrection hearings, but hopefully the media will give it the attention it deserves, which is very little.

How does this sound?

Dear friends in the NC Democratic Party,

I hope your new year is off to a good start, I don't envy the challenges you're facing in Raleigh. Good luck.

I'm writing to let you know that Jane and I will be taking a wait-and-see approach for political contributions in the next cycle. We're discouraged by what's going on with our party organization and feel we are not being heard by leadership. We understand that a couple of old hippies in Chapel Hill aren't your top priorities, so we're letting go.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


DUKE ENERGY'S FAILURE SHEDS LIGHT ON A WAY FORWARD: This event is similar to the one that happened in my native Texas in 2021, which cost the lives of 246. We are incredibly fortunate that North Carolina didn’t suffer a similar loss of life. However, unfortunately, the same mindset prevails in power generation. North Carolina and Texas overwhelmingly rely on coal and natural gas as the primary resources to produce electricity. The lessons we should learn from the storm are clear in Duke’s responses to Gov. Cooper and the Utilities Commission: Climate change is causing more extreme weather, which is unpredictable. We are facing more historic storms, not fewer; Gas and coal aren’t always dependable in extreme weather, while renewable energy with battery storage is more reliable. By signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law, President Joe Biden ensured these costs will continue to drop. In fact, a new study by the clean energy think tank RMI shows the Inflation Reduction Act makes clean energy cheaper than more than 90% of proposed gas plants.
Similarly, a study Duke commissioned from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory revealed that Duke could most economically meet the carbon reduction targets mandated by the law by tripling the proposed solar on its grid by 2030. Fortunately, the Utilities Commission highlighted both the Duke outages and the Inflation Reduction Act in its order to Duke. When Duke presents its revised plan to the Utilities Commission in September, they will no longer be able to credibly say natural gas is the cheapest and most reliable path. And we must not forget, the natural gas sector is still plagued by fugitive emissions of the (super) carbon Methane, throughout its entire production cycle. Even sites that are "played out" and supposedly capped are leaking a substance 50 times worse that Co2. The way forward is clear, but the fossil fuel industry and their puppets will fight to their last breath to derail that progress.

Duke Energy's contempt for Solar is irresponsible


The deep freeze on Christmas weekend exposed major flaws in their approach:

The first domino fell in Duke Energy Carolinas territory, which serves 2.5 million residential, commercial and industrial customers. Starting at midnight on Christmas Eve, utility officials cut back power at the Dan River combined cycle plant, which runs largely on natural gas, to 360 MW, roughly half of its capacity, said Sam Holeman, vice president of transmission. (This is also known as derating.) Some of the plant’s instrumentation had frozen, and to prevent the facility from failing altogether, operators had to reduce the strain. The Buck plant in Salisbury encountered low pressure issues and had to be derated after peak energy usage had passed.

Solar energy “performed as expected,” Duke officials said, although it was not available overnight during the peak hours of 2 to 6 a.m.

It could have been available to ease that burden if Duke had dedicated more resources to battery storage in NC:


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