Energy/Environment

Ways to Connect

Mark Boone / Mecklenburg County

A cleanup of Little Sugar Creek has been completed after a diesel spill just before Thanksgiving.  Ducks along the waterway were covered in oil, but they’ve now been nursed back to health as well. Thursday morning, some returned home Freedom Park, just in time for Christmas.

Steve Hillebrand / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As 2015 comes to a close, uncertainty remains about the fate of a federal program in North Carolina aimed at protecting the Red Wolf from extinction. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has repeatedly delayed a decision on whether to continue or abandon the Red Wolf Recovery program that was started in 1987. WFAE’s Mark Rumsey has a recap of this year’s developments:

Catawba Lands Conservancy

Congress last week approved a bill that makes tax incentives permanent for agreements that conserve land and preserve open space. Lands conservancies are calling it the most important legislation in decades for their movement.
 
Since 2006, landowners have been allowed to take tax deductions for donating land or granting conservation easements - promises not develop their land. That’s been an incentive for property owners to work with local lands conservancies, the non-profit groups that manage conservation deals.
 

The Federal Trade Commission has given its OK to Duke Energy's planned acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas, the companies said Tuesday.  

David Boraks / WFAE

Protesters were a fixture outside the recent climate change summit in Paris, calling on world leaders to agree on a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On Wednesday, local activists staged a rally of their own, supporting a new federal plan addressing climate change - and opposing North Carolina’s response. 

Courtesy of Duke Energy

Duke Energy plans to add two more solar energy projects to its North Carolina power network next year, as it works to meet state requirements for clean electricity.

The company is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission for permission to take over two projects already in development -  a 60-megawatt solar farm in Monroe and a 15.4-megawatt facility in Mocksville, in Davie County.

If approved, construction on both would start in March and be done by the end of 2016. 

Duke Energy Solar farm near Elizabeth City NC
Duke Energy

Corning Inc. is boosting its use of renewable energy in North Carolina through a big solar power deal announced Monday with a division of Charlotte-based Duke Energy.

Duke Energy Renewables began construction earlier this year on an 80-megawatt solar farm in Conetoe, east of Rocky Mount in eastern North Carolina. When it’s finished later this month, it will be the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi.

It is December, but the effects of this summer’s drought in Mecklenburg County are still taking a toll on a local nonprofit. 


David Boraks / WFAE

Water use around the nation and in the Southeast is unsustainable, and it may already be too late to avoid long-term effects, says a NASA water scientist who spoke in Charlotte Tuesday night.

ncdenr.org

Environmental advocates are warning that a state regulatory change could increase air pollution while shielding the polluters from public scrutiny. They're reacting to a proposal from the North Carolina Environmental Department that would broaden exemptions for small manufacturers.

Pages