Fouling Our Nest: Coal Ash Roundup and Next Steps

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 | Posted by Kara Dodson | No Comments

watertestingWe’ve watched national interest in North Carolina’s coal ash mess grow over the past month and a half, and it’s been a wild ride. The Dan River spill on Feb. 2 sparked a wave of support for closing the 33 ash ponds owned by Duke Energy polluting North Carolina’s surface and ground waters. Here are the most recent developments. [ More ]

Electricity Costs Tied to Poverty in the South

Friday, March 14th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments

povertymapblogFifty years ago, President Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in America, and Congress passed legislation to increase support and economic opportunities for the poor. Appalachia was the “poster region” for this grand endeavor. Today, a “war on wasted energy” makes sense for many reasons, and it would provide a much-needed boost to communities in Appalachia and across the South who are most in need. [ 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 ]

Advancing Community-owned Energy in Blacksburg

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 | Posted by Hannah Wiegard | No Comments

mayor_rordam_solarizeIf you’ve ever wished that purchasing a solar array for your home could be more like shopping for food in bulk at a big box store, then the new program Solarize Blacksburg is right up your alley. For the next three months, Blacksburg, Va., is using financial tools and focusing the public’s interest in clean energy to encourage scores of potential rooftop solar customers to sign up all at once. [ More ]

Virginia Legislature Ends with Modest Progress on Solar

Monday, March 10th, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

photo 5Guest post by Virginia writer and lawyer Ivy Main: Advocates of enlightened energy policy march into session every January bright-eyed and optimistic, only to become mired in the slough of despond. We watch the best bills die, while bills we thought too backward to survive the light of day flourish like an invasive species. Yet even in Virginia, the past few years have produced glimmers of hope that suggest a slowly shifting mindset among legislators. [ 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 ]

Study Confirms Air Pollution from Mountaintop Removal

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Meredith Warfield | No Comments

blasting For generations, coal-mining communities in Appalachia have raised questions about local health problems, wondering whether or not they may be linked to pollution from nearby coal mines. A recent study conducted by a group of West Virginia University researchers has confirmed that suspicion, reporting that potentially dangerous air pollution levels are more likely in areas surrounding mountaintop removal coal mines than in mine-free communities. [ More ]

Citizens Deliver Coal Ash Petition to Duke Energy

Friday, February 28th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 2 Comments

12797909964_793e620d6f_b (1)Tuesday afternoon, more than 150 concerned citizens gathered at Duke Energy’s headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., to demand that the company take action to clean up its toxic coal ash. The event was the result of an amazing collaboration between a variety of environmental and social justice groups from the states affected by the Dan River spill -- North Carolina and Virginia -- as well as national interest groups. [ More ]

AV Takes Part in Google’s New Maps Gallery

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

Appalachian Voices was among a handful of entities invited by Google to provide maps for the Maps Gallery, which launched today. Our offerings include a map that shows how families in the Southeast pay a higher percentage of their income for electricity compared to the national average, one that shows average poverty rate by electric utility territory, and six maps that highlight the connection between mountaintop removal coal mining and poverty and health issues. In conjunction with the Maps Gallery launch, we also released a new report explaining in detail the data we pulled from to create the maps. [ More ]

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