Surprised? McCrory’s Coal Ash Proposal Falls Short

Saturday, April 19th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

coal1North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's poorly planned coal ash proposal is catching flak from environmental groups and legislators in his own party who already planned to push for reform during the upcoming legislative session. [ More ]

America’s biggest bank moves away from mountaintop removal

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 3 Comments

r-TOO-BIG-TO-FAIL-large570Pressuring large investment banks to stop financing mountaintop removal has been a strategy of the nationwide movement to end the practice for years. Judging by the progress made by Rainforest Action Network, and other grassroots groups targeting the infamous “too big to fails,” that strategy is working. [ More ]

Central Appalachian-focused James River Coal Company enters bankruptcy

Friday, April 11th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

CAPPvulnerableThis week, James River Coal Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court. Like Patriot Coal, which reemerged from bankruptcy in December, the Richmond, Va.-based company’s operations are concentrated in Central Appalachia and are located in some of the counties most economically vulnerable to coal’s downturn. [ More ]

Duke Energy Appeals Court Order to End Coal Ash Groundwater Pollution

Friday, April 4th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

9068479979_3023eb4546_zDuke Energy has appealed the March 6 ruling by a Wake County judge that it must take immediate action to end groundwater pollution from its coal ash ponds at its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. The company also asked the N.C. Court of Appeals to stay the order until an appeal can be heard to avoid losing "years of planning" to improve how it handles coal ash. [ More ]

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on the “Sequel to Citizens United”

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

Us_supreme_court_sealIf you weren’t recently rescued from a deserted island, you’re probably aware that money in politics holds sway over every issue imaginable. So anyone passionate about, well, anything really, should take note of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a case that’s being called “the sequel to Citizens United.” [ More ]

Supreme Court Rejects Spruce Mine Mountaintop Removal Case

Monday, March 24th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

sprucemap3 The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t consider the case of Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. EPA, a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to veto mountaintop removal permits. In this case, the permits in question are for Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine No. 1 — the largest mountaintop removal project ever proposed in West Virginia. [ More ]

Emails indicate coordination between Duke Energy and DENR on coal ash lawsuits

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

800px-Dan_River_Steam_StationThe Associated Press reported today that emails between N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials, the N.C. Department of Justice and lawyer for Duke Energy indicate how DENR coordinated closely with Duke after it blocked citizens groups from suing the company over coal ash pollution. [ More ]

Appalachian Coal Companies Face Major Fines for Clean Water Act Violations

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 2 Comments

iron precipitate in right fork fugate creek below unpermitted fill and pondsTwo recent federal enforcement actions against major Appalachian coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources and Nally & Hamilton, are a positive sign. But can fining coal companies come close to solving the fundamental problem of water pollution that stems from mountaintop removal? [ More ]

What’s Happening in Tennessee on Mountaintop Removal Today?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

TN_mtr_flyover Two important legislative efforts in Tennessee face hurdles in the form of a legislative hearing and committee vote today. Both efforts pertain to coal mining and mountaintop removal. One promotes the health of Tennessee’s mountains and mountain communities, the other would harm them. [ More ]

Aftermath of NC Coal Ash Spill Still Unfolding

Friday, March 7th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

12310805543_fdedeeee35_b Regardless of the political environment in North Carolina, the Dan River spill was a major event and a reminder of the dangers of coal ash and the consequences of poor enforcement. But with the anti-regulatory renown of North Carolina’s lawmakers and state agencies, it has understandably created a firestorm in Raleigh and around the state of people demanding action that many believe is long overdue. [ More ]

Poll: North Carolinians Favor Swift Action on Coal Ash

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

12797608253_6d0b5b1c32_zThe vast majority of North Carolinians believe Duke Energy should be forced to pay for the cleanup of the Dan River coal ash spill and that state lawmakers should act now to prevent future spills, according to a new poll commissioned by the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. [ More ]

Preventable Spills Yield Predictable Apologies

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

article-2538144-1A987DB600000578-459_634x349 As the cornerstone of crisis P.R., apologies are to be expected after the West Virginia chemical spill and the coal ash spill in North Carolina. But without action, apologies aren’t meaningful — they’re a reflex, a stalling tactic and a reminder of past offenses. In the weeks and months ahead, we should hold polluters responsible by remembering all the acceptances of accountability and the promises to do better that came after the spills. [ More ]

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