In Walnut Cove — a community whose history has been tainted by coal ash for decades — The Lilies Project has turned coal ash into art, and is expanding to encompass the town’s story beyond coal ash.
Today, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club announced a settlement with A&G Coal Corporation, owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, to help ensure the reclamation of three large surface coal mines in Wise County, Virginia.
Last year, rural advocates won big in the Inflation Reduction Act by securing billions of dollars for rural communities to implement clean energy. Now, the USDA Rural Utilities Service is asking for input on how to set up and roll out these funding programs.
Virginia is one of only seven states that doesn’t protect residents from getting their power or water shut off over unpaid bills during extreme weather. State legislators aim to change that in the 2023 General Assembly session.
Blue Ridge Energy has a co-op principle on their website that states, “Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.” I don’t know about you, but I have never been asked to help set policy or make decisions regarding my energy that I am paying for.
The proposal is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. In Appalachia, our people are breathing fugitive mine dust and toxic emissions from numerous industries. Time and again, state regulatory practices have fallen short in curbing the impacts of these industries. Fugitive coal mine dust in particular has not been regulated in any meaningful way. EPA can and should do more to protect our health.
The listening session process raises the exciting possibility of building new communal systems that support the workforce and create equitable opportunities for Southwest Virginians.
Yesterday evening, the North Carolina Utilities Commission approved several measures to lower carbon emissions in North Carolina. The commission chose to focus on short term plans and therefore not pick any single portfolio or generation mix, the plan falls far short of what the law that started this process allowed and what could have been accomplished.
During this weekend’s unusually low temperatures, people whose power is produced by the Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke Energy have experienced coordinated, rolling electricity blackouts to reduce electricity demand and prevent major grid outages that could take days or weeks to restore.