Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The Obama administration has released its latest plan for oil and gas drilling off-shore the United States. It excludes restricts Alaska, but opens up parts of the Atlantic Ocean, including off the coast of North Carolina.

While North Carolina is ramping up to close coal ash ponds around the state, removal is already underway in South Carolina, and—at one site—ahead of schedule.

South Carolina electric utility Santee Cooper entered a settlement with environmental groups in 2013, to get its coal ash—which can contain arsenic and lead—out of storage ponds near public waters.

Lower-income customers of Duke Energy in North Carolina can now apply for energy-saving upgrades to their homes. A $20 million program funded by Duke Energy opened this week, the result of a deal Duke agreed to when it last raised rates.

Strata Solar

North Carolina energy regulators quietly released one of their most significant, long-awaited decisions of 2014, just as the year was ending. The state Utilities Commission had spent nearly the entire year re-evaluating the rules for solar energy. On Wednesday, the commission decided to leave substantially intact the rules which have underlied a solar energy boom in North Carolina.

Elliot Brown / Flickr

Electric utilities and solar energy developers across the U.S. have clashed over how much the utilities should have to pay for the energy supplied to them by homeowners with solar panels. In South Carolina, the sides reached an agreement Friday and both are claiming a win.

Duke Energy

Slow energy demand and carbon emission cuts are putting major pressure on the power industry, a top Duke Energy executive said today. Chief Financial Officer Steve Young spoke at a Wells Fargo energy conference about challenges facing coal, solar, wind, and nuclear energy.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy is exploring the option of entering the fracking business. While the company says it has not made any decisions, it would mark a departure from Duke’s usual operations.

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

North Carolina has taken measures since the 1970s to control the top water contaminant in the state, the dirt that pours into rivers and lakes from human activity. But a review of state records reveals a sharp drop-off in enforcement over the past five years and a series of warnings to lawmakers that have gone unheeded.

Appalachian Voices

North Carolina lawmakers, regulators, and media have spent nine months considering what to do about coal ash, but an upcoming federal rule could nullify much of the planned clean-up.

Jeff Foster / Flickr

North Carolina is now one step away from legalizing fracking. A state commission has spent the past two years writing a broad set of rules to cover how fracking will work in the state. The commission passed those rules Friday evening. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Duncan McFadyen to discuss.