Facing South

Company Behind Dakota Access Pipeline 'Strong-Armed' Landowners and Protesters, Says Federal Lawsuit

Four Pennsylvania residents filed a federal lawsuit this week against Texas-based pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), claiming the Fortune 500 company and its subsidiaries violated their constitutional rights by engaging in illegal surveillance and harassment against landowners and pipeline protesters and caused emotional distress and other harm.

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12 Pieces of Proof Laying Bare the GOP Lust for Power and Racial Discrimination

Editor's Note: Until last week's Supreme Court ruling on North Carolina's extreme redistricting, federal courts have tended to look at political mapmaking as either overtly partisan, which has been legal, or as racially discriminatory, which has been illegal. In North Carolina, the Court's 5-3 majority said race and party overlap and it told a lower court to oversee drawing new U.S. House districts. This list, from Sue Sturgis of Facing South, summarizes some of the history and issues surrounding extreme GOP gerrymanders in North Carolina and elsewhere.

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18 Staggering New Numbers on Corporate Income Tax Dodging As Average Americans Each Pay $9,100

The 35 percent federal corporate income tax rate is a myth, according to a new Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report that studied 258 consistently profitable Fortune 500 firms over an eight-year period. Among the sectors that paid the least were electric utilities and oil, gas and pipeline companies.

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Governor Pat McCrory Is Disturbingly Cozy With Big Energy

North Carolina's embattled Gov. Pat McCrory has been criticized for his close relationship with the energy lobby, especially the company where he worked for 29 years, Duke Energy.

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How Much More Environmental Injustice Must Uniontown, Alabama, Bear?

It is with deep concern that I write to address the ongoing travesty inflicted on the residents of one small, impoverished community: Uniontown, Perry County, in Alabama's Black Belt. My family has lived in Uniontown for many generations and, as a longtime resident, I have observed with sadness the harmful effects, distress, and heartache Uniontown citizens have experienced since the establishment of Arrowhead Landfill. Although other factors have contributed to the economic decline of our small town, it is clear to me that Arrowhead's mountain of garbage mixed with toxic coal ash is the major reason for the disintegration in recent years of a once-thriving community.

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Why North Carolina Is the Biggest Battleground of 2016

The volatile 2016 presidential race has shaken up the national political map in many ways, putting new states in play and causing Democrats and Republicans alike to scramble to adjust for Donald Trump's potential impact on hundreds of down-ticket races.

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13 Facts Showing Why Civil Rights Leaders Are Asking for Extra International Election Monitors this November

AlterNet editor's note: On August 23, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human rights announced its request to an international election-monitoring body for additional Election-Day scrutiny of polling places for the 2016 presidential election. The letter sent by the LCCH to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reads, in part: "Now a presidential candidate—who has made demonizing minorities a central part of his campaign strategy—is encouraging his supporters to challenge voters at polls in 'certain sections' of Pennsylvania, an apparent reference to 59 mostly African-American precincts. Efforts at voter intimidation stemming back to the mid-1970s resulted in a federal court banning the Republican Party from engaging in challenge and intimidation efforts aimed at voters of color." Below is an index of facts about the past and present state of voting rights in the United States.

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The Inequality Index: What Can Be Done to Close America's Growing Wealth Gap?

Two new reports document the growing chasm between the rich and the poor in the United States: "Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us" by Chuck Collins and Josh Hoxie of the Institute for Policy Studies, and "The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground" by Pew Research Center. Most of the numbers in the index below come from those reports.

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What Went Wrong With The South Is What Went Wrong With America

In an article last month for the Washington Post, Chico Harlan describes the difficulties facing young people growing up in some of the nation's lowest wealth communities.

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A Statewide Attack on Public Health and the Environment Is Underway in North Carolina

Environmental advocates in North Carolina are stepping up pressure on Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to veto a bill they say is the most anti-environmental of the 2015 legislative session — and possibly of McCrory's tenure.

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In American South, Local Food Systems Key to Transition Away From Extractive Industries

The term "locavore" has become ubiquitous since appearing in the American vernacular about 10 years ago. It represents a rapidly growing movement of people choosing locally produced food rather than packaged goods that traveled hundreds of miles to market. Last year, the local-food economy was valued at nearly $12 billion. According to the Department of Agriculture, the number of farmers markets rose 76 percent from 2008 to 2014. Direct-to-consumer food sales increased threefold between 1992 and 2007, twice as fast as overall agricultural sales.

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What Tennessee Paid to Lure Lawbreaking Volkswagen to Chattanooga

The scandal over Volkwagen's illegal scheme to sell diesel vehicles equipped with software designed to cheat U.S. air pollution limits is widening.

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'Reckless Gamble': Obama's Atlantic Drilling Plan

More than 300 businesses along the East Coast sent a letter to President Obama this week urging his administration to drop the Atlantic from the proposed plan for offshore oil and gas drilling through 2022.

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Resistance to Atlantic Offshore Drilling Is Growing

Monthly town council meetings in Kure Beach, North Carolina, an oceanfront community of 2,000 people located 15 miles south of the port city of Wilmington, are usually quiet affairs, drawing a half-dozen or so residents to discuss mundane matters like board appointments and budgets.

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Startling Revelations about Three Mile Island Disaster Raise Doubts Over Nuke Safety

This story originally appeared on Facing South, online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies.

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