Energy/Environment

Local News
4:45 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Airport Or No, Duke Will Remove Riverbend Coal Ash

The primary coal ash pond at Riverbend. The grey bed in the foreground is coal ash.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy officials confirm the company will remove coal ash at the Riverbend power plant above Mountain Island Lake, even though the company’s proposal to send the ash to Charlotte airport is encountering resistance. 

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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Exploring Local Farms And Local Food

Vegetables
anathea Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We've all seen the bumper sticker - 'No Farms. No Food.' While agriculture remains North Carolina's largest industry, a new census from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that farmers in the state are getting older and scarcer. Experts say we need more growers and more attention on building the local and regional food economies. Eating local isn’t just the hip thing to do anymore; many see it as vital for environmental sustainability as well. Farmers markets are growing in popularity, more restaurants are locally-sourcing their ingredients and we're seeing the rise of agritourism that connects the eaters with the growers. Ahead of the 'Know Your Farms' tour this weekend, we meet some of our local farmers and food systems experts to find out about their challenges and discuss the future of food and farming in the Charlotte region.

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Local News
8:50 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Utilities Seek To Address Catawba's Eventual Water Shortages

Credit -ted / Flickr

Almost two million people in the Carolinas rely on the Catawba River, or the Wateree River, which it becomes in South Carolina. This week, the region’s water utilities released what they call the most significant plan for the Catawba’s water supply since reservoirs were built in the early 1900s.


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Local News
10:44 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Babcock & Wilcox Struggles Prompt Nuclear Reactor Competitor To Open Charlotte Office

A one-third scale test model of the reactor runs on electricity, not nuclear power, at Oregon State University.
Credit NuScale

Charlotte will play host to two companies developing a new type of nuclear reactor. Oregon-based NuScale Power has announced it will open a new office in SouthPark and will hire 100 employees, after seeing an opportunity in the struggles of its Charlotte competitor.


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Local News
10:35 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Fracking Commission Requests 3-Month Extension To Write Rules

A state commission developing rules for fracking in North Carolina is asking for a three-month extension to finish the job. Mining and Energy Commission Chairman Jim Womack says commissioners do not need more time to write the rules, but he expects as many as 10,000 public comments about the controversial issue. He says an extra three months will help.

“That means we can take more time to sift through the thousands of public comments that we’re going to receive and, so we can have a more conscious and deliberate response,” says Womack.

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Charlotte Observer
5:18 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Charlotte Douglas Doesn't Want Coal Ash Under Runway

A airplane lands at Asheville Regional Airport, to the right is the Duke Energy Asheville Plant, below is the ash fill project under construction at Asheville Regional Airport on March 27, 2014. Airplane hangars and taxi ways will be built at this area of the airport in the future.
Credit Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Douglas International Airport doesn’t want coal ash from a Duke Energy power plant buried under a planned new runway or other airport infrastructure, dealing a potential blow to a proposal that would move millions of tons of ash from Mountain Island Lake to the airport.

Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle said there’s uncertainty about how coal ash would work as a fill material under a runway, where it could be subjected to the pounding of hundreds of jets a day at Charlotte Douglas, the sixth-busiest airport in the world.

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Local News
3:31 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Duke Stock Up After 1st Quarter Earnings Loss

Duke Energy reported a nearly $100 million loss in the first quarter of this year—and its stock went up.

The loss comes from Duke selling its Midwest business—13 coal and natural gas plants—where it has less control over the price of electricity. The company estimates a $1.4 billion hit to its books. Other than the one-time loss, the company reported strong growth, partially due to a rebounding economy.

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Local News
3:28 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

McCrory Sheds Duke Stock

Governor Pat McCrory has sold his stock in Duke Energy, the company where he worked for nearly three decades. The sale came during a year when McCrory’s connections to Duke have been scrutinized.

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Local News
6:47 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

It's Déjà Vu At Duke Shareholder Meeting

Protesters chanted outside the Duke Energy corporate headquarters in Uptown.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy held its annual shareholder meeting Thursday. The meeting has developed into something of a tradition: environmental groups use it as a rare opportunity to face, question, and berate the CEO of one of America’s largest power companies. This year, with a new CEO at the helm and Duke under fire for its handling of coal ash, tensions ran higher than usual.


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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

The World Of Ants

Ant face
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Insects are all around us: under our feet, in the air, living in the trees, even sharing our homes.  But perhaps the most ubiquitous of them all are ants.  We’re certainly outnumbered by them and probably have no idea exactly how massive the ant world in our region is.  But Dr. Eleanor Spicer-Rice does.  She’s made it her business to study these insects that impact agriculture, development, the economy and more.

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