Ben Bradford / WFAE

Since a spill polluted the Dan River early last year, coal ash has become an environmental head ache for Duke Energy. But while Duke, state regulators, and environmental groups struggle with how to safely store or bury more than 100 million tons of the waste, other industries don’t look at coal ash as waste—it’s a commodity, and they want more.


Duke Energy and Chatham County have resolved a dispute over the transfer of coal ash.

News that state environment officials were drilling near the Dan River last week to look for oil and gas caused a stir. One headline read: “North Carolina Wants To Frack In Small Town Already Struggling With Coal Ash.”

Thomas Kohler / Flickr

The biggest companies in tech want top North Carolina lawmakers to back away from changing the state’s renewable energy laws. They join the solar energy industry and environmental advocates in their opposition to legislation that’s nearly reached the governor’s desk.

Michael Tomsic

When you think "environmentally friendly," NASCAR is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.

After all, burning fuel is a fundamental part of stock car racing. But NASCAR, like other pro sports, is trying to decrease its carbon footprint. Some of those initiatives will be on display at the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for its handling of coal ash, which led to last year’s Dan River spill and violated the Clean Water Act around the state.

Solar Energy In North Carolina

May 13, 2015
Strata Solar

  Solar energy has gone from a pipe dream to a boom industry in North Carolina.  This state put more solar online last year than every state other than California.  That growth came despite major restrictions that the legislature is looking into removing.  If they did, it would change the way solar companies make their money.  Right now, owners of rooftop solar can only sell power to the major utilities.  This bill would change that and we’ll explore both sides.

Mike Linksvayer / Flickr

About forty protesters rallied outside Duke Energy’s headquarters, chanting “Up with solar, down with coal,” as shareholders left the annual meeting. The clash between environmental advocates and Duke Energy about solar energy and fossil fuels also extended inside the meeting, even the demonstrations.

After a battery of tests on private drinking water wells near coal ash ponds around North Carolina, health officials have cautioned many residents against drinking from those wells. But officials are hesitant to draw a link between contaminants in the wells and the nearby coal ash ponds.


Cold weather helped and drought hurt Duke Energy’s earnings this quarter. The company announced its results today, which included the effects of its settlement with federal prosecutors and a changing customer base.