An interview with Christopher Scotton, author of “Secret Wisdom of the Earth”

Thursday, January 8th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

chrisscottonFrom The Appalachian Voice Online: "Secret Wisdom of the Earth," the debut novel by Christopher Scotton released this week, is a coming-of-age story that takes familiar themes — tragedy and the quest to find healing — and explores them with the backdrop of a Central Appalachian community beset by mountaintop removal coal mining. [ More ]

EPA finalizes long-awaited coal ash regulations

Friday, December 19th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

DanRiver_ashpond The day we've been waiting for has finally come. No, not Friday -- the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release its long-awaited coal ash rule. But, as expected, the EPA's new rule does not go far enough to truly fix the major pollution problems associated with coal ash including contamination of waterways and drinking water supplies. [ More ]

Hey North Carolina, New York just banned fracking

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

Greener-Fracking_jpg_800x1000_q100New York’s debate over whether or not to allow fracking came to a close today when Gov. Andrew Cuomo sided with the state’s top public health and environmental officials in calling for a ban on the practice. The announcement was exceptional for the much-needed truth it inserts into the fracking fight that could, just maybe, help other states come to their senses. [ More ]

DENR deserves an environmental leader to replace John Skvarla

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

johnSkvarlaLargeAfter a tumultuous two years as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John Skvarla is stepping over to lead the state’s Commerce Department. No word from Gov. Pat McCrory on who will replace Skvarla yet, but here’s to hoping his successor is the environmental leader DENR deserves and North Carolina desperately needs. [ More ]

Coal ash rule reaches White House for final review

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

toxic-coal-ash-spills-photo-007 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sent the long-awaited Coal Ash Rule to the White House for final review. But until the agency's Dec. 19 deadline, we likely won't know much about how far the final rule will go to protect communities from coal ash pollution. And that's probably just how the White House wants it. [ More ]

Corporate windfall lets N.C. utilities charge customers under outdated tax rate

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

9068479979_3023eb4546_zThe 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. [ More ]

Employees of DEP-certified lab conspired to violate Clean Water Act

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 6 Comments

4528869007_4484c3d401_bAn 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. [ More ]

Advocating for a fair Internet, for all

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 2 Comments

NN_shotIf 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 ]

After last-minute compromise, N.C. legislature passes coal ash bill

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

906527_10152419133054084_3153136159662225319_oHowever 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 ]

Expecting Justice: The backward priorities of a billionaire coal baron

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

10320266_723385017709066_821447761059699020_nIn 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 ]

Court sides with EPA on science-based mountaintop removal permitting

Friday, July 11th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

4535374630_be9af60ec8_zA 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 ]

A “strict proposal” that should be stronger

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

coal1The 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 ]


 

 

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