UPDATED: North Carolina GOP Scrambles to Save Pig Stink

The state’s House Republicans don’t want to let their hog industry protection bill die.

<a href="http://www.gettyimages.com/license/492260862">DarcyMaulsby</a>/iStock

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


UPDATE: 5/10/2017: The North Carolina House voted 74-40 to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill designed to protect hog farms from nuisance lawsuits. The bill now goes to the NC Senate. “Big Pork had a big day in the state house, as it snatched away the ability for residents to obtain fair compensation for damage to their homes and health from the animal waste of factory farms,” Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement.

Last week, North Carolina’s newly elected Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, vetoed a bill that would have shielded the state’s massive industry pork industry against nuisance lawsuits from residents who live near massive hog operations. As I teased out in this post, the facilities foul air and water and make life miserable for neighbors, mainly in areas with sizeable black and Native American populations.

But the North Carolina Republican Party—author of such legislative triumphs as the “bathroom bill” and its “even worse” replacement—has sufficient votes in both chambers of the legislature to override a gubernatorial veto. Cheered on by the North Carolina Pork Council, the House has scheduled a vote Wednesday to do just that, reports the Greensboro News and Record. If it passes, the override legislation would then go to the state Senate—which has already worked with the House to override a Cooper veto in this legislation session.

A recent analysis of satellite data by Environmental Working Group found that around 160,000 North Carolinians live within a half mile of an industrial-scale hog operation or an open cesspool filled with waste from one. An analysis of campaign-finance records by the Durham-based weekly IndyWeek found that the politicians pushing the legislation have been heavily funded by donors associated with Smithfield, the globe’s biggest pork company, which dominates pork production in North Carolina. Over on Civil Eats, Christina Cooke has more details; and here’s my piece from two weeks ago.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate