Energy/Environment

Local News
9:57 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Dan River Update: A Fraction Of Ash Removed

A plume of coal ash flowing into the Dan River, after the failure of a Duke coal ash pond in February.
Credit Appalachian Voices

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it has struck an agreement with Duke Energy to clean up coal ash from the Dan River. The EPA has been overseeing the company’s response, since a storage pond failed at a Duke coal plant in February, spilling at least 30,000 tons of the waste into the river. But the agreement binds Duke to clean up ash as the EPA directs and to reimburse the agency for its costs. EPA officials say that comes to about $800,000 for the past three-plus months of clean-up.


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Local News
4:45 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Airport Or No, Duke Will Remove Riverbend Coal Ash

The primary coal ash pond at Riverbend. The grey bed in the foreground is coal ash.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy officials confirm the company will remove coal ash at the Riverbend power plant above Mountain Island Lake, even though the company’s proposal to send the ash to Charlotte airport is encountering resistance. 

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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Exploring Local Farms And Local Food

Vegetables
anathea Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We've all seen the bumper sticker - 'No Farms. No Food.' While agriculture remains North Carolina's largest industry, a new census from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that farmers in the state are getting older and scarcer. Experts say we need more growers and more attention on building the local and regional food economies. Eating local isn’t just the hip thing to do anymore; many see it as vital for environmental sustainability as well. Farmers markets are growing in popularity, more restaurants are locally-sourcing their ingredients and we're seeing the rise of agritourism that connects the eaters with the growers. Ahead of the 'Know Your Farms' tour this weekend, we meet some of our local farmers and food systems experts to find out about their challenges and discuss the future of food and farming in the Charlotte region.

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Local News
8:50 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Utilities Seek To Address Catawba's Eventual Water Shortages

Credit -ted / Flickr

Almost two million people in the Carolinas rely on the Catawba River, or the Wateree River, which it becomes in South Carolina. This week, the region’s water utilities released what they call the most significant plan for the Catawba’s water supply since reservoirs were built in the early 1900s.


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Local News
10:44 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Babcock & Wilcox Struggles Prompt Nuclear Reactor Competitor To Open Charlotte Office

A one-third scale test model of the reactor runs on electricity, not nuclear power, at Oregon State University.
Credit NuScale

Charlotte will play host to two companies developing a new type of nuclear reactor. Oregon-based NuScale Power has announced it will open a new office in SouthPark and will hire 100 employees, after seeing an opportunity in the struggles of its Charlotte competitor.


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Local News
10:35 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Fracking Commission Requests 3-Month Extension To Write Rules

A state commission developing rules for fracking in North Carolina is asking for a three-month extension to finish the job. Mining and Energy Commission Chairman Jim Womack says commissioners do not need more time to write the rules, but he expects as many as 10,000 public comments about the controversial issue. He says an extra three months will help.

“That means we can take more time to sift through the thousands of public comments that we’re going to receive and, so we can have a more conscious and deliberate response,” says Womack.

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Charlotte Observer
5:18 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Charlotte Douglas Doesn't Want Coal Ash Under Runway

A airplane lands at Asheville Regional Airport, to the right is the Duke Energy Asheville Plant, below is the ash fill project under construction at Asheville Regional Airport on March 27, 2014. Airplane hangars and taxi ways will be built at this area of the airport in the future.
Credit Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Douglas International Airport doesn’t want coal ash from a Duke Energy power plant buried under a planned new runway or other airport infrastructure, dealing a potential blow to a proposal that would move millions of tons of ash from Mountain Island Lake to the airport.

Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle said there’s uncertainty about how coal ash would work as a fill material under a runway, where it could be subjected to the pounding of hundreds of jets a day at Charlotte Douglas, the sixth-busiest airport in the world.

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Local News
3:31 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Duke Stock Up After 1st Quarter Earnings Loss

Duke Energy reported a nearly $100 million loss in the first quarter of this year—and its stock went up.

The loss comes from Duke selling its Midwest business—13 coal and natural gas plants—where it has less control over the price of electricity. The company estimates a $1.4 billion hit to its books. Other than the one-time loss, the company reported strong growth, partially due to a rebounding economy.

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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Years Of Living Dangerously: Preacher's Daughter

The Blue Ridge Mountains near Cashiers, North Carolina.
Eric Lang

Anna Joyner grew up roaming the hills and mountains of western North Carolina. She fell in love with the land and the streams, and devoted her life to preserving them against climate change.  She also grew up the daughter of mega church founder Rick Joyner. He had passionate beliefs of his own but they didn’t include belief in climate change. Anna and her father came to the attention of the producers of the Showtime Series on climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, and now their story will be told nationwide. But first, Anna and her father join us to talk about their journey to respect and learn from each other and see if they can work together for environmental change.

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Local News
3:28 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

McCrory Sheds Duke Stock

Governor Pat McCrory has sold his stock in Duke Energy, the company where he worked for nearly three decades. The sale came during a year when McCrory’s connections to Duke have been scrutinized.

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