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Duke's sham reasons for scrapping wind project

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Welcome to another wonderful edition of "Ask Boomer With Attitude," live from Charlotte, N.C., where some police investigators are so slack, they've actually endangered what should have been an open-and-shut case against a cop killer. Let's get on with the show; as usual, one question is fake; see if you can detect which one it is.

Dear BWA: I'm so disgusted with Duke Energy for canceling their wind power project I could just throw up. Aren't you? — Beach Bum

Dear Beach Bum: I'm not nauseous yet, but I'm concerned. Duke Energy canceled its plans to build wind turbines in Pamlico Sound, but said it would now focus on larger-scale wind power projects in offshore waters. If they really intend to pursue larger, offshore projects (and honestly, with Duke Energy, who knows?), that's great — if they act quickly. Duke Energy's devious poor-mouthing in this case is disturbing, however, and speaks volumes about its priorities. Duke says the cost of the Pamlico project "exceeds the benefits our customers would receive ...," citing an estimated cost of $145 million, including decommissioning costs. BlueNC blogger S.C. Harrison, however, dug into Duke Energy's latest financial statement, where he found a couple of things that make Duke's claims seem dubious. First, it turns out that Duke, using targeted rate increases on you and me, has put aside over a billion dollars to pay for expected future decommissioning of nuclear plants. Kinda hard to believe that if Duke is as committed to wind power as it claims, it couldn't tap the billion-dollar nuke fund for $145 million. In addition, Harrison found that Washington awarded Duke around $125 million in advanced clean coal tax credits, associated with construction of Cliffside Unit 6. Seeing that the term "clean coal" is as oxymoronic as "jumbo shrimp," the credits are a travesty. So, a billion dollars saved up for nukes, a $125 million gift for polluting our state, but the wind power project is too expensive and won't benefit us. That says as much about Duke's "greenwashing" of its reputation as you need to know. To read S.C. Harrison's info on Duke Energy's financial statement, go here: www.bluenc.com/duke-energy-backs-out-wind-project.

Dear BWA: You should be ashamed for disrespecting the woman who was raped by the Butler High School football player, by turning it into a joke. — You Totally Suck

Dear Totally: Sorry, but I disagree. I prefaced and ended the particular blog post you're referring to by affirming that the most important thing in the case of accused rapist Osvaldo Sombo was the alleged rape itself, not the ridiculous actions taken by authorities in reaction to it. Rape is a horrendous offense and is never something to be joked about, but when supposed pubic servants botch a high-profile case such as Sombo's so badly — and in such a goofball way — we're going to write about the goofballs. Quick recap: Sombo was charged with two counts of rape and one of sexual battery. The courts system snail-mailed a letter to CMS to let them know, which took five days. CMS then waited more than a week to let Butler High know about it. My simple question was: Have any of these people heard of e-mail? I'll say it again: For God's sake, how about bringing the courts system and CMS's communications technology up to date, or at least up to the 1990s?

Dear BWA: Anything else you'd like to say? — Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: Yes, and thank you for your question. Congratulations to Bank of America for landing the Tea Party Express account, despite having received $45 in bailout money. One of the TPE's "founding principles," or so they say, is that bank bailouts are "dangerous," "immoral," and, of course, "socialist." So where does the Tea Party Express hold all its funding? Yep, at Bank of America; specifically, a BofA in Corona, Calif., a city with at least six other banks that received no bailout money. The only reasonable explanation we've heard for this disconnect between Tea Party beliefs and practices is that someone must have explained to them that the bank bailouts were set up by the Bushies, not Obama, so then it's probably OK. C

Send your questions, comments and love offerings to john.grooms@creativeloafing.com. If you'd like to use a nickname, just let us know.

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