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 ]

West Virginia Patriot Slurry Spill MCHM Test Results

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

PatriotSlurrySpill Preliminary water testing results from the February West Virginia coal slurry spill that blackened six miles of Fields Creek reveal that pollutants included MCHM, the coal-washing chemical that contaminated the drinking water of 300,0000 West Virginians in January. This finding is significant because state environmental officials appeared to be uncertain whether MCHM was involved — it seems that once more, polluting companies withheld important information from the public. [ More ]

NCDENR Defends NCDENR, Not the Environment

Monday, February 24th, 2014 | Posted by Kimber Ray | 1 Comment

IMG_6079 North Carolina environmental officials held a press briefing last week to discuss the massive Feb. 2 Dan River coal ash spill. After offering misleading statements in defense of the agency, officials abruptly walked out amid unanswered questions on their continued delays in holding polluters fully accountable. [ 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 ]

Powering Our Communities as an Olympic Event and Utilities as the Competitors

Friday, February 21st, 2014 | Posted by Hannah Wiegard | No Comments

apcoOur plans and achievements are be measured against our past performance and our potential. Take Olympic figure skating: the judges might remark, “That’s the best she’s ever skated!” or “He would have to beat his personal best by twelve points to medal.” But what about assessing how an electrical utility performs? [ More ]

Second Ruptured Pipe Spills Arsenic into Dan River

Friday, February 21st, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 1 Comment

12311117414_2a44f4aff4_b Contaminated water continued to flow into the Dan River from Duke Energy’s coal ash pond in Eden, N.C., this week. On Tuesday, state officials reported that a second pipe running beneath the coal ash pond is leaking water containing arsenic at levels 14 times higher than human health standards. Officials do not know how long the pipe has been leaking, but video footage from inside the pipe shows stains around the leaky seams, indicating that the leak is not new. [ More ]

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