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.
Friday, November 6th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
From Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s perspective, it’s probably best to just keep a lid on what state officials say publicly about controversial natural gas pipelines proposed to cut through the state. But among opponents of the pipelines, the administration’s actions are only deepening skepticism of the governor and his relationship with the projects' primary backers. [ More ]
Monday, November 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
Duke Energy wants to smack down NC WARN for setting up a experimental solar project on the rooftop of a Greensboro church and testing a law prohibiting third-party electricity sales in North Carolina. The company is not helping its reputation for quashing clean energy efforts that aren't its own. [ More ]
Friday, October 16th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
From The Appalachian Voice:Almost everyone agrees that the Clean Power Plan is a game changer. Beyond that though, arguments about the climate regulations are often deeply colored by politics and disconnected from the plan’s intention or realistically expected outcomes. Here's how Appalachian states are reacting to the final rule.
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Thursday, October 15th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
Efforts to increase employment, and develop and diversify the economies of historically coal-reliant communities just received a major boost. Earlier today, the White House announced $14.5 million in grant awards to organizations and projects occurring across 12 states. A majority of the three dozen awards, and most of the grant dollars, are going to plan or implement projects in Central Appalachia. [ More ]
Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
In Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, cities and counties with long histories of coal mining are advocating for the POWER+ Plan, a federal budget initiative proposed by the White House to build a more diverse economy in the communities hardest hit by the regional coal industry’s decline. They deserve to be heard. [ More ]
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) published a blog post today showing that coal produced by mountaintop removal mining in Central Appalachia decreased by 62 percent between 2008 and 2014. Demand for Central Appalachian coal will continue to decline, making further progress inevitable. But we won't end mountaintop removal by relying on the market alone.
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Monday, June 29th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
In a major decision today, the Supreme Court ruled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider costs when it created a rule to limit mercury emissions from power plants. But the agency has a mandate and a clear path forward to protect public health by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollutants.
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Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
From The Appalachian Voice Online: Yet another aspect of the financial perils facing U.S. coal companies is coming into full view. As even some of the nation's largest coal producers run the risk of caving under their debts, regulators and analysts are voicing urgent concerns about cash-strapped companies' ability to pay for reclamation land after mining. [ More ]
Thursday, May 21st, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
The disgust with North Carolina Sen. Bob Rucho today is broad and bipartisan. Yesterday in the Senate finance committee, which he chairs, Rucho not only limited debate on provisions of HB332, which would freeze the state's highly successful Renewable Portfolio Standard, he refused to allow an individual tally of votes and declared a failed bill passed. [ More ]
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Duke Energy announced plans today to retire its polluting, uneconomical Asheville coal plant and build a natural gas-fired facility in its place. While the news should be celebrated as progress, it also represents another precarious step along a dangerous road that will prolong our region’s over-reliance on fossil fuels and saddle consumers with long-lived investments in natural gas. [ More ]
Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Clean Water for North Carolina and three residents of counties where fracking could occur are challenging the authority of the state to preempt local ordinances offering communities greater protections from the practice. Dozens of North Carolina counties and towns have already passed resolutions calling on the General Assembly to hand over control, while others urge lawmakers to reinstate the ban on fracking altogether.
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Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
Appalachian Voices is committed to creating a forum for citizens' stories and sharing the most up-to-date data available about the ongoing risks the practice poses to Appalachia. Today, we’re sharing a new web tool we developed to reveal how mining continues to encroach on communities and send a resounding message that ending mountaintop removal is a must if we hope to foster economic and environmental health in Appalachia. [ More ]