Energy/Environment

Environment
9:27 am
Wed August 20, 2014

NC Senate Passes Bill That Cuts Environmental Regulations

Venus flytrap
Credit hyperion327 / Flickr

On Friday, state senators passed the Regulatory Reform Act. It covers everything from oyster permits to Venus flytraps. It also includes a few sections on coastal management and isolated wetlands that environmental advocates say they're concerned about.  


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Local News
2:01 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Warm Weather, Higher Rates Bolster Duke Energy Profits In Q2

Credit Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy earned more than $600 million in its second quarter this year, 80 percent more than last year.


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Local News
8:22 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

McCrory Issues Executive Order After Coal Ash Stalls

A form of coal ash, dried out.
Credit Alexia Gyorody / WFAE

After negotiations between the state House and Senate broke down last night, Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order about coal ash, stored by Duke Energy in ponds near waterways around the state.


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Local News
8:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

NC Wants Delay On Federal Climate Change Plan

Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina’s environment agency is objecting to a proposed federal rule that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s power plants. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently hearing public comments on the proposed rule, the Obama administration’s largest effort directed toward climate change.


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Local News
9:27 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Coal Ash Compromise Breaks Down, Senate Postpones Vote

Coal ash lagoon.
Credit Jeff Willhelm / 2008 Observer File Photo

As part of a flurry of late night activity, the North Carolina Senate planned a vote on one of its top priorities, coal ash, and what to do about one hundred million tons of the waste, which is currently stored in ponds next to waterways around the state. But, the measure never made it to a vote.


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Local News
10:07 am
Thu July 31, 2014

State Says Stop To Company Seeking NC Fracking Rights

The oil and gas extraction technique known as fracking is not yet legal in North Carolina, but a Pennsylvania company is seeking to buy the rights to oil and gas from landowners in Durham County. The state Department of Justice has told it to stop.


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Local News
7:10 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Farm Bill Seals Environmental Complaints From Public

Environmental watchdogs will fly over agriculture facilities, such as this poultry farm, to document problems.
Credit Catawba Riverkeeper

North Carolina’s annual farm bill addresses fertilizer regulations, landscapers , and even the legal definition of “planting and harvesting season.” But environmental groups say one provision unfairly shields the industry from public scrutiny, while the industry argues it protects from overzealous watchdogs.


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Local News
11:52 am
Thu July 24, 2014

NC Solar Industry In Jeopardy If Utilities Get Their Way

Sheep graze at Ararat Solar Farm in Mount Airy.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

In the span of five years, the solar industry in North Carolina has grown from nearly non-existent to fourth-largest in the nation, behind California, Arizona, and New Jersey. The pace is accelerating, with solar capacity set to more than double in the state, at least this year. The state’s powerful electric utilities are pushing changes that could blot out the industry in North Carolina.


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Local News
7:41 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Dan River Dredging Finished, Less Than 10 Percent Of Ash Removed

A plume of coal ash swirls in the Dan River, during the February spill.
Credit Appalachian Voices

Duke Energy announced it has finished actively cleaning coal ash from the Dan River, a little less than six months after a massive spill turned the water gray. The bulk of the ash will remain in the river.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 tons of ash, containing heavy metals including arsenic and lead, spilled into the river in February. It flowed down the Dan River, collecting in pockets on its banks and bottom.

Duke has dredged three main areas—next to the spill site, from the water treatment plants of cities downriver, and, the largest, near a dam outside the city of Danville.

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Local News
8:21 am
Wed July 16, 2014

NC Fracking Comment Period Begins

The controversial oil and gas extraction process known as fracking took another step toward legalization in North Carolina Tuesday.

The state formally opened a public comment period, a time when anyone can officially weigh in on the rules that will ultimately govern fracking.

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