Brian is an environmental news junkie concerned with our lagging energy policy and revealing the true cost of coal on our health, the environment and the climate. He is Appalachian Voices' Program and Development Communications Coordinator.
Thursday, October 16th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
The North Carolina Utilities Commission (somehow) decided that even though the legislature cut North Carolina’s corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5 percent last year, Duke Energy and other public utilities can continue charging customers at 6.9 percent and pocket the difference. Meanwhile, for three consecutive quarters, Duke has received a larger rate of return than authorized by state regulators, or in this case, the utilities commission.
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Thursday, October 9th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 2 Comments
An employee of a state-certified company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the federal Clean Water Act after he faked compliant water quality samples for coal companies between 2008 and 2013. While we’re appalled by this discovery, it is hard to be surprised.
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Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 2 Comments
If you find yourself staring at spinning wheels on some of your favorite sites today, take a moment to imagine what an unfair internet would look like. Because if an open Internet is not maintained, the future could hold significant challenges for advocacy groups of all types, independent journalism, entrepreneurs and anyone who uses the web as a resource to learn or communicate about issues close to their heart. [ More ]
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
However dysfunctional, the North Carolina General Assembly always seems to come together in the end — often in literally the final hours of the legislative session. After a last-minute compromise, the North Carolina legislature passed the coal ash bill on Wednesday, but fell short of promises to protect communities in the wake of the Dan River spill. [ More ]
Thursday, August 7th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
In recent years, outstanding violations and unpaid fines have weighed down coal companies owned by West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice and burdened the communities where they operate. But rather than paying his debts, Justice just spent $30 million to build a lavish sports complex on the grounds of the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. [ More ]
Friday, July 11th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
A ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals today is as clear as the science indicting mountaintop removal coal mining, and affirms what advocates working to end the destruction of Appalachian mountains and streams have been saying for years. [ More ]
Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
The N.C. Senate's coal ash bill would put into law what Duke Energy has already committed to: cleaning up the most high-profile coal ash sites in the state. But in its current form, the proposal gives too much sway to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and a coal ash commission that has yet to be created. [ More ]
Thursday, June 5th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Four months after a massive coal ash spill devastated the Dan River, and before the state’s coal ash problem is remedied, North Carolina is poised to open a new can of worms. On Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory signed the Energy Modernization Act, lifting a moratorium on natural gas drilling in the state. [ More ]
Monday, June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled a plan to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants this morning. In a rousing speech that covered the host of risks, and opportunities, that come with a changing climate, McCarthy called the plan “part of the ongoing story of energy progress in America." [ More ]
Monday, May 12th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 3 Comments
An order from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will put a section of a mountaintop removal permit near historic Blair Mountain off limits to mining until at least 2018, when the permit comes up for renewal. During a site visit in March, Friends of Blair Mountain documented “significant areas of the battlefield” that were destroyed through logging and construction methods. [ More ]
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Not only is climate change real, it has “firmly moved into the present” and its impacts "are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond." That’s according to the U.S. National Climate Assessment, a report five years in the making that was released today. [ More ]
Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
The U.S. Supreme Court handed a significant win to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency when it revived a federal rule aimed at reducing air pollution that travels across state lines and harms the health of those downwind, and the ability of certain states to meet Clean Air Act requirements.
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