Defend democracy in the South.

conflict of interest

NC's ongoing coal ash regulatory disaster shows urgency of EPA action

December 11, 2014 - Environmental advocates announced they discovered a coal ash leak into North Carolina's Yadkin River from a Duke Energy power plant just days before 60 Minutes aired a report in which the CEO said her company was "operating safely." Will the EPA finally take tough action to stop the ongoing coal ash disaster in that state and others -- or will that job continue to fall to private watchdogs?

Bigger campaign contributions correlate with more wins for law firms at NC Supreme Court

November 20, 2014 - A study by the Center for American Progress looked at the success rates of law firms arguing cases before North Carolina's highest court and compared them to the firms' contributions to justices' campaigns. The findings underscore concerns about impartiality in a court system flooded in political money since the end of the state's public financing program for judicial races.

NC lawmaker overseeing legislative response to Duke Energy coal ash problems downplays toxic thallium pollution

April 3, 2014 - North Carolina regulators have found highly toxic thallium seeping from coal ash pits at two Duke Energy plants. Rep. Mike Hager -- the state lawmaker who co-chairs the committee that will handle coal ash cleanup legislation and former engineering manager for one of the thallium-leaking plants -- doesn't think the discovery is cause for alarm. Is his perspective shaped by his Duke connections?