Energy/Environment

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

A natural gas fracking well near Shreveport, Louisiana.
Credit Daniel Foster / Flickr

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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Local News
9:21 am
Tue July 15, 2014

NC Senate Unanimously Opposes House Coal Ash Changes

The North Carolina House and Senate have found another area of disagreement to go along with the budget. One of the legislature’s top priorities—a bill to address coal ash—failed to advance to the governor’s desk Monday night.


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Local News
4:57 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

NC Utilities And Solar Developers Argue Over Price

Electric utilities and renewable energy developers are facing off this week in front of the North Carolina utilities commission over the price of renewable energy, and how much companies like Duke Energy should have to pay for it. The dispute has drawn in both national environmental organizations and Google.

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