Conservative news outlets still pushing negative stories about renewable energy

Britain’s Sky News TV network may no longer be owned by Fox’s Rupert Murdoch, but critics and researchers who study the media maintain that it has always kept that Fox News-ish ultra conservative tilt to the news.

That is apparent in few places more than Sky’s coverage of climate issues, including this article about transmission and storage problems with the country’s plentiful wind turbines in the north of the country – including the world’s largest wind farm — and getting all that energy down to the south of the country where it is most needed:

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), which is responsible for keeping the lights on, has forecast that these “constraint costs”, as they are known, may rise to as much as £2.5bn per year by the middle of this decade before the necessary upgrades are made.

The problem has arisen as more and more wind capacity is built in Scotland and in the North Sea but much of the demand for electricity continues to come from more densely populated areas in the south of the country.

In order to match supply and demand, the National Grid has to move electricity from where it is being made to where it is needed.

But at the moment there aren’t enough cables between Scotland and England to do that.

There is one major undersea cable off the west coast of the UK, and two main junctions between the Scottish and English transmission networks on land.

This bottleneck means that when it is very windy there is actually too much electricity for these cables to handle without risking damage.

And because we can’t store excess renewable energy at the necessary scale yet, the National Grid Electricity System Operator has no option but to ask wind generators to turn off their turbines.

According to analysis by energy technology company Axle Energy, using publicly available data from the electricity system’s balancing market platform Elexon, in 2022 the National Grid spent £215m paying wind generators to turn off, reducing the total amount generated by 6%, and a further £717m turning on gas turbines located closer to the source of demand, in order to fill the gap.

These costs are eventually passed to UK consumers as part of the network costs section on energy bills.

It’s not until further down the article that you learn that constraint charges have also been an issue for excess fossil fuel energy generation from coal, oil and gas.

But OK, that fact might be seen as downplaying that there are real storage and transmission issues currently in some locales with wind power.

Governments and power companies have had decades to plan for these transmission issues. But oil, gas and goal interests have successfully lobbied during those decades to stymie the progress of wind, solar and other renewables. So let’s set aside the fact that we are where we are because the same conservative business interests who are now crying that renewables involve too much expense for the conversion from fossil fuels, are the same people who fought for so many years to prevent all of us from adequately preparing for the inevitable eventuality of renewables.

Britain and other places are dealing with the problems associated with wind power storage and transmission in ways both old and innovative:

These solutions will cost money up-front.

In the U.S., some of these costs will be borne by President Biden’s landmark infrastructure and green energy legislative victories that will help change the way America approaches energy infrastructure – something for which Biden is getting entirely too little credit in the media.

Fossil fuel interests are not giving up. They are paying shadowy front groups with deceptive names to plant anti-renewable stories in the media. Conservatives are paying Russian troll farms to spread misinformation and divisiveness about renewables on social media.

These stories appearing all over recently – but especially in right-wing media — about the cost of wind power constraint payments in the face of excess supply are but one example of the ways that conservative forces are still trying to beat back the world’s progress on renewables.

The Hornsea Wind Farm Project.

The Buy Nothing movement gains steam around the country

Until I read this article in the Washington Post by Maura Judkis, I had not heard of the Buy Nothing project. But it seems like a great idea, even if I dont have guinea pig poop to contribute:

It was not until after Angela Parker, 53, had raced across her north Atlanta neighborhood to nab eight leftover, thick-cut slices of ham with gravy from the porch of someone she didn’t know that she began to ask herself some questions. Was it weird to eat a stranger’s porch ham? Was it safe? Would the ham be worth it?

It was free, so — yes?

Parker had been alerted to the ham via her neighborhood’s Buy Nothing group, where people offer up their belongings to neighbors who might need or want them. The ham-givers had leftovers from a party, they said, and it was from Matthew’s Cafeteria, a legendary old-school Southern restaurant.

Sure enough, it was delicious. Well worth the (nonexistent) price.

“Ham’s my jam,” Parker says. “I enjoyed the heck out of it, on some Hawaiian bread.”

Meanwhile, in the Takoma Park area of D.C., Julie Patton Lawson, 44, posted a free item on her Buy Nothing group: 13 gallons of Guinea pig poop.

“They eat a lot of fiber, so they poop a lot,” says Lawson, who owns four Guinea pigs and is fostering seven others. She had been using their poop as occasional fertilizer in her garden, but with 11 Guinea pigs in the home she had more poop than she needed. Also, her dogs kept eating it. So Lawson decided to offer it up to her neighbors.

“Within an hour I had one inquiry, and she came and picked up that bag the next day,” she says. “I have other people asking me, ‘So when will you have your next bag?’”

There have always been scrappers and freecyclers prowling the curbsides on trash day for castoff furniture and other treasures. The people who think, “Someone could use this,” and the people who do. They are scrimpers and savers, environmentalists, neighborhood do-gooders, benevolent hoarders; people who love stuff and hate waste and have a high threshold for risk, or just a quirky sense of adventure.

Who wants this raccoon skull? This possibly haunted baby doll? This toilet seat? These three mismatched spoons? A landline phone shaped like a shoe?

The answer is, almost always, somebody. Especially if it’s free.

Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller started the Buy Nothing Project as an experiment on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. The idea was to encourage their neighbors to give away unwanted possessions instead of trashing them, and to take others’ things instead of buying something new and adding to the heaps of plastic junk circulating the globe. People can also use the app to ask if other people in their communities have a thing they need and would be willing to part with it — for free. That part is important. Members are prohibited from selling and trading, or even mentioning the monetary value of items.

Seems like a great idea, although if I were a woman I’d have second thoughts about racing over to a stranger’s place to pick something up from inside a house or apartment.

A primer on e-bikes from The New Yorker

I’m considering buying an e-bike, and I’m not alone. Over 500,00- e-bikes were sold in 2021, the last year for which sales figures were available. But those numbers were expected to grow to at least 565,000 in the year just ended.

But the market is confusing as hell right now with some domestic e-bike manufacturers you might recognize (Trek, etc.) and a dizzying array of foreign manufacturers who sell through everyplace from Walmart to Amazon and beyond.

So I found this articke in the current issue of The New Yorker interesting and helpful. It has a lot of basic e-bike information that I did not know (or fully understand) before, along with a lot information about NYC-centric sellers that will likely only interest New York City residents.

Here we must break for a lesson on how e-bikes work. Every e-bike has a battery and a motor, and, if you don’t know that, may I recommend my class on the invention of the wheel? The motor delivers power to your crankset by one of two systems: the pedal-assist and the throttle control. (Crankset, n. 1. the metal arm and surrounding components that connect the pedal to the wheel 2. informal. your neighbors in 8-G.) The Citi Bike is a pedal-assist. It will help you, but only if you help yourself. Pedal daintily and the boost it supplies will be commensurately unenthusiastic; pedal with more vigor and it’ll send in the Marines. Cheaper pedal-assists have a cadence sensor, which, unlike the torque sensor on a Citi Bike, is binary and, when activated, can feel like a passive-aggressive shove. The motor shuts off when your speed hits eighteen miles per hour, a limit agreed on by Lyft (the operator of Citi Bike) and the Department of Transportation. Most e-bikes cut off at around that speed, the exact m.p.h. determined by the relevant state or municipality. In New York City, the speed limit for pedal-assist-only bikes (Class 1) is twenty m.p.h., and the same goes for Class 2, a pedal-assist with a throttle. Class 3 bikes, which are also pedal-assist and throttle, can travel up to twenty-eight m.p.h., but New York City law requires the rider to wear a helmet. If you find this interesting, you should join the City Council’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure while the rest of us talk about throttles.

Throttles provide power regardless of what the pedal is or isn’t doing. They are to regular bikes what Roombas are to brooms (pedal-assists being Dustbusters). A throttle control is functionally a gas pedal on your handlebars, operated either by twisting one of the grips or by pushing a thumb trigger. Now, if they just had air bags and a cup holder . . .

Patricia Marx, the article’s author also notes:

Let’s say you’d like an e-bike but don’t want to spend the money, or you already own a bike. One option is to buy an electric-bike conversion kit—essentially, a motor, a battery, and electric controls that you add to your analog bike. Most of these kits require you to swap out one of the wheels, a process that, according to instructions I’ve read, resembles performing a head transplant with a screwdriver.

If you think that sounds like a fun D.I.Y. challenge, I hate you. Luckily, there’s an alternative to this alternative. It is CLIP, an upgrade that you clamp onto one wheel of your bike which instantly electrifies it ($549). It’s bigger than a barrette but not as big as a breadbox, and as easy to use as both. No tools are required. If, later, you’re not in an e-bike mood, it takes a second to remove. This matte-white device weighs a little less than a cat (eight pounds) and looks like a sleek version of the boot that traffic cops stick on the wheel of your car if you’ve forgotten to pay your parking tickets. It contains a battery and a four-hundred-and-fifty-watt motor, and its two arms hug either side of the front wheel. A bike with CLIP installed can be ridden for fifteen to eighteen miles (or about forty-five minutes) on a single charge and travels up to fifteen miles per hour. CLIP can be preordered for shipping this spring, the initial run of a thousand having sold out.

I tried a prototype at the CLIP headquarters, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s New Lab building. Dating from 1902, the building was the machine shop for every significant ship launched during both World Wars. Now it is home to more than two hundred startups. At the ferry dock, I was greeted by Somnath Ray, CLIP’s C.E.O. and founder, a boyishly charming Indian architect whose résumé includes creating electric rickshaws, unfortunately at a time when the world wasn’t ready for them. Ray chaperoned me to the CLIP offices, on the second floor, passing one groovy venture after another. He explained that CLIP works via “friction drive”: “Think of it as a smaller gear driving a bigger wheel. CLIP is the smaller wheel and can deliver just the right amount of torque to the wheel.”

Because it was a weekend and the Yard was empty, I was able to take a test ride back and forth along the concrete floor in a corridor downstairs. I pedalled, felt a nudge, then pressed a red button on the handlebar and got a burst of juice. Whee!

All in all, a helpful article.

The New Yorker: Hell on Two Wheels, Until the E-Bike’s Battery Runs Out

E-bikes have gotten so reliable that major corporations have started using them for deliveries in warmer climes.

One neighborhood dispute about a lawn changed state laws about natural plantings in yards

Fascinating story in the New York Times about a Maryland couple, the Crouches, who decided to stop using pesticides on their yard, and start planting and nurturing naturally occurring plants that encourage a thriving bird and insect ecosystem.

This pissed off a nosy neighbor, who decided to start a campaign against them because he wanted them to plant a turf lawn instead. He even got the neighborhood association involved, and that association started threatening the Crouches with court action if they did not remove the indigenous plants and replace them with a conventional turf grass lawn:

For the Crouches, giving in was not an option. They hired a lawyer and contacted every wildlife and environmental group they could think of, along with local legislators. After a year and a half, still at an impasse with the homeowner association and fearful that one day they’d come home to find their garden mowed down, they filed a complaint in Howard County Circuit Court. A chief claim was that in 2011 they’d been told there was no issue with their gardens, and also that before 2017, they’d received no violations for their yard despite regular inspections.

“The overall principles are bigger than us,” Mrs. Crouch said. “We had an opportunity and even an obligation to see it through as best we could.”

Two months after the Crouches filed their complaint, a Maryland state representative asked if they would allow their case to form the basis of a new environmental law.

Maryland has contended with devastating floods — among them the 2018 submersion of Ellicott City — and mounting concerns about pesticide runoff to Chesapeake Bay. A bill was drafted that forbade homeowner associations from banning pollinator plants or rain gardens, or from requiring property owners to plant turf grass.

Dozens of states have passed legislation to promote the health of pollinators, which include bees, wasps, bats and butterflies, while some have curbed the authority of homeowner association edicts during droughts.

But the Maryland law was the first in the country to limit homeowner association control over eco-friendly yards, said Mary Catherine Cochran, former legislative director for Maryland State Delegate Terri L. Hill, a Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation. The measure gained bipartisan support, passed with near unanimity, and became law in October 2021.

“It’s a really small effort in the face of the international work that needs to be done,” said Dr. Hill, a physician. “But it’s nice that individuals in the community are able to feel that they are empowered to make a difference.”

I live on a creek, and I do not use any chemicals on my lawn, nor do I plant anything on my property that requires insecticides or any extra water beyond what plants get as rainfall.

But I watch people on my street — whose property also abuts this creek and its adjoining woods — as they dump tons of chemicals on their manicured lawns.

I don’t say anything because, well, it’s not my job to antagonize neighbors about what they do with private property. But I do wish more of them would stop with the lawns and ornamental bushes and go natural.

State of Florida loses yet another major homeowner’s insurance company

With hurricane season pressing down on Florida, yet more state residents are suddenly finding themselves without home insurance.

One of Florida’s largest home insurers is exiting the market, leaving thousands of homeowners scrambling to find new coverage as options continue to dwindle in the Sunshine State.

United Property & Casualty Insurance Company, based in St. Petersburg, announced Thursday that it filed a plan of withdrawal in Florida and also plans to exit three other states.

It comes right in the middle of hurricane season and amid an exodus of companies from the market.

Dr. Allen Lavina and his wife purchased a home in Sunrise back in 2019. The first-time homeowners were able to secure insurance and made their mortgage payments on time. But, recently, the couple was given a notice from their insurance company: “we’re reducing exposure in the area.”\

Homeowners said the state needs to do more.

“If they try to put some patches or Band-Aids on it, we still have an existential dilemma,” Quinones said. “Like, how are we going to live in Florida?”

Homeowner Neal Bloom also expressed disappointment in the government’s response.

“I’m very disappointed the Florida government refuses to acknowledge or do anything for relief,” Bloom said. “I’ve sent emails to my congressman but none of their replies was what I wanted to hear. We have a small mortgage on our home, very high credit scores, pay our bills on time. So I think it’s unfair that people in our situation are penalized because others decided to file fraudulent claims for new roofs from prior hurricanes, which was the excuse I’m getting as to why we were dropped just like that.”

These people might consider that hurricanes are the primary causative factor in the insurance dilemma, and not the roof repairs done after the hurricanes.

I know about 8 families personally who’ve moved to Florida in the last few years.

I get it. Sunshine and warmth in the winter.

But state and local governments seem unable or unwilling to stop rampant construction in large swaths of the state that should be development-free zones.

Guess the insurance companies are going to make those decisions for them.

You might want to think again about buying that waterfront property

Below is a screen grab of an article in today’s WaPo.

Click on screen grab to go to the article.

Some suckers … Oops, I mean, real estate buyers are going to be the ones holding the bag when waterfront real estate prices start to crash because your neighbors’ houses are washing into the sea, or you can no longer afford/get flood insurance, or any number of other reasons that seaside homes will become unsellable/unlivable.

And the Greenland ice sheet is only one factor involved in rising sea levels and coastal flooding.

Great Q&A to catch you up on the worsening water crisis around the U.S.

I tend to voraciously read anything well-written I come across concerning the climate-change-induced water crisis in the United States and around the world.

I am old enough that I suspect I will not witness the worst of it: famines, global food disruption, and subsequent wars over water.

I get the impression that most people are aware of the crisis, but are hoping or assuming it’s temporary or being taken care of by governments somewhere. Or they just have more immediate concerns, not realizing that soon farmers in California, the source of much of our food in America, will be forced to go out of business or severely limit what, and how much, they can plant.

Young people, on the other hand, seem more keenly aware than anyone else about the climate disasters that the older folks are leaving for them. That gives me some hope.

ProPublica has a new Q&A piece up by writer Abrahm Lustgarten that examines the worsening water disaster in the American west and southwest:

I recently sat down with Jay Famiglietti, the executive director of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, to talk about what comes next and what the public still doesn’t understand about water scarcity in the United States. Before moving to Canada, Famiglietti was a lead researcher at NASA’s water science program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and a member of the faculty at the University of California, Irvine. He pioneered the use of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites to peer into the earth’s mass and measure changes in its underground water supplies. The Colorado River crisis is urgent, Famiglietti said, but the hidden, underground water crisis is even worse. We talked about what U.S. leaders either won’t acknowledge or don’t understand and about how bad things are about to get.

Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Let’s start with the Colorado River because it’s in the news. The federal government has put some extraordinary numbers out there, suggesting water users cut between 2 and 4 million acre-feet of water usage starting this year — roughly 40% of the entire river’s recent flow. How could that possibly happen?

It’s going to be really hard. We’re looking at drastically reduced food production and the migration of agriculture to other parts of the country and real limits on growth, especially in desert cities like Phoenix. My fear is that groundwater will, as usual, be left out of the discussion — groundwater is mostly unprotected, and it’s going to be a real shit show.

Remind us how that happens. States and farmers cut back on the Colorado River, and California and Arizona just start pumping all the water out of their aquifers?

Yeah. This started with the drought contingency plan [the 2018 legal agreement among the states on the Colorado River]. Arizona had to cut nearly 20% of its Colorado River water. To placate the farmers, the deal was that they would have free access to the groundwater. In fact, something like $20 million was allocated to help them dig more wells. So, it was just a direct transfer from surface water to groundwater. Right away, you could see that the groundwater depletion was accelerating. With this latest round, I’m afraid we’re just going to see more of that.

Some of that groundwater actually gets used to grow feed for cattle in the Middle East or China, right?There’s Saudi-owned agriculture firms planting alfalfa, which uses more water than just about anything, and it’s not for American food supply. Do I have that right?

There’s been other buyers from other countries coming in, buying up that land, land grabbing and grabbing the water rights. That’s happening in Arizona.

It’s not a happy interview. At least it does point to some things that can still be done. But, as Famiglietti points out, we are past the point of stopping these problems. We can only mitigate.

You can read the rest of the interview at this link.

In related news, Nevada has finally, after all this time. started discussing ways to limit attractions such as golf courses, giant water fountains, and other ginormous water features in and around Las Vegas.

Isn’t that crazy? The city’s main source of water is drying up before their eyes, and Las Vegas is finally getting around to telling casinos they can’t recreate the canals of Venice just to entice gamblers.

See video below of renowned scientist Carl Sagan testifying in 1985 about the looming climate change crisis.

Northwestern scientists may have found a way to break down some “forever” chemicals

PFAS — so-called “forever chemicals” — are everywhere. So much so that you or someone (or someones) you love are probably already carrying toxic levels of the chemicals, and will likely have some adverse health effects because of that contamination. (It’s not even clear how much of an exposure means you increase levels of, for example, certain cancers or endocrine disruption diseases.)

An estimated 26,000 U.S. sites are contaminated with some form of PFAS. At least six million Americans are estimated to have drinking water containing some form of PFAS above the existing safe limits recommended by the U.S. EPA.

Coming up with ways rid of these PFAS chemicals from our environment has been difficult because the properties that make them so durable in everyday use are the same ones that make them tough to destroy.

For over a century, our world has been made of plastic. It’s in everything from firefighting foam to water bottles to nonstick pans, yielding convenient products that last. But in the long run, plastic releases hazardous chemicals, called Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), that seep into the soil and groundwater. These “forever chemicals” are everywhere today: in our drinking supplies, our food, the air, and even our bodies, where they can lead to unwelcome consequences, including cancer, infant development problems, and weakened immunity.

Scientists have been working on ways to destroy PFAS chemicals that permeate our environment, but no easy method exists. That’s because these standoffish compounds don’t react to anything—not biological or other chemical agents. They stick only to each other and resist being torn apart. Current methods require“very harsh conditions to decompose these compounds,” according to chemists at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Until now, how to break those PFAS bonds has been unclear.

That team’s recent work, published in the journal Science on August 18, proves that the stubborn power of PFAS bonds can, in fact, be broken. The scientists discovered a way to disintegrate two concentrated, toxic forms of PFAS into smaller, innocuous compounds that decompose. Using low heat, a solvent, and sodium hydroxide (lye, the basis of some soaps), the method is both simple and inexpensive. It works for two major categories of PFAS permeating the environment today: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and one of its common replacements, known as GenX.

The traditional difficulty in destroying a PFAS compound lies in its many carbon-fluorine bonds, which organic chemists know as the strongest bonds. They require immense heat (about 400 degrees Celsius) and pressure to break, which can lead to cases of air contamination during incineration, William Dichtel, the lead author of the new study, explains in a news release. “In New York state, a plant claiming to incinerate PFAS was found to be releasing some of these compounds into the air,” says Dichtel, a professor of chemistry. “The compounds were emitted from the smokestacks and into the local community.” And burying PFAS just causes them to contaminate the environment after a few decades, he adds.

You can read the rest of the article here.

World experiencing high lithium prices partially because indigenous people are blocking billionaires from mining it

Indigenous peoples and progressive governments in this part of South America (dubbed the “Lithium Triangle”) are making it difficult for multinational corporations to take advantage of locals the way they have in the past:

[T]his California-sized chunk of terrain accounts for some 55% of the world’s known deposits of the metal, a key component in electric-vehicle batteries.

As the Chinese EV giant BYD Co. recently learned, tapping into that resource can be a challenge. Earlier this year, after BYD won a government contract to mine lithium, indigenous residents took to the streets, demanding the tender be canceled over concerns about the impact on local water supplies. In June, the Chilean Supreme Court threw out the award, saying the government failed to consult with indigenous people first.

“They want to produce more and more lithium, but we’re the ones who pay the price,” said Lady Sandón, president of one of two Atacameño indigenous hamlets that filed a lawsuit against the auction. A BYD spokeswoman declined to comment.

Similar setbacks are occurring around the so-called Lithium Triangle, which overlaps parts of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. Production has suffered at the hands of leftist governments angling for greater control over the mineral and a bigger share of profits, as well as from environmental concerns and greater activism by local Andean communities who fear being left out while outsiders get rich.

At a time of exploding demand that has sent lithium prices up 750% since the start of 2021, industry analysts worry that South America could become a major bottleneck for growth in electric vehicles.

“All the major car makers are completely on board with electric vehicles now,” said Brian Jaskula, a lithium expert at the U.S. Geological Survey. “But the lithium may just not be enough.”

In Bolivia, the government nationalized its lithium industry years ago and has yet to produce meaningful amounts of the metal. Mexico, a smaller player, also recently nationalized lithium. In Argentina, output is only starting to take off.

It will be difficult for some government officials, left-wing or not, to resist the allure of big riches to those who cave to the mining companies. Somebody, somewhere is going to cut a back-room deal, eventually. It’s human nature to be greedy.

So it’s good to know that much of the bottleneck holding the millionaires and billionaires back from exploiting the land and the people is judicial and not legislative. That decision by the Chilean Supreme Court was huge.

You can read the rest of Ryan Dube’s Wall Street Journal article here.

You can read an article about the dangers of lithium mining in South America at this link. And another at this link.

A lithium evaporation pool in the Lithium Triangle.

How a Trump-supporting deep red community became a test case in the fight against the dangers of fracking

Grant Township (PA) is not populated by a bunch of college-educated suburban liberals. Quite the opposite. But it’s become famous in environmental circles for a fracking NIMBY court case with national ramifications for community-inspired environmental crusading.

David V. Goliath (his real name) writes about the case in The New Republic:

Like most of exurban Pennsylvania, [Grant Township[ is also Trump country: In stark contrast to the so-called “urban liberals” of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, many area residents have long condoned, if not supported, domestic oil and gas extraction; oppose a ban on “fracking” in the state; and have a dim view of environmental regulation.

But something surprising happened after the Environmental Protection Agency approved permits in 2013 for the petroleum company Pennsylvania General Energy to place a fracking wastewater injection well in the area. Residents became a cause célèbre of progressive environmentalists by voting to create a Community Charter that, among other things, asserts the township’s right to create its own environmental regulations and bans injection wells within the township. “You will get sued, and you will lose,” PGE lawyers in crisp suits warned residents before the first vote in 2014, Aaron Skirboll reported for Sierra magazine. Residents voted almost unanimously in favor anyway. “Our ordinance is passed,” a township supervisor said to the corporate attorneys. “You boys know where we’re at. If there’s a problem, go at it.”

PGE did indeed sue, as did the state Department of Environmental Protection. Both parties argue that only the state—not any individual municipality—has the authority to regulate oil and gas development. Grant residents doubled down, filing a counterclaim against the DEP and voting to legalize nonviolent direct action against any state or corporate entity that infringes upon the community’s right to self-government. The message was clear: That injection well is going in over our dead bodies. Eight years on, the legal showdown seems headed for trial in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court (a preliminary hearing occurred in April).

What’s at stake is the well-being of not just Grant’s 700 residents but democracy itself.

You can read the rest of the article here.