Apologies for the Dan River spill, guilt for coal ash crimes

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

Dan RiverDuke Energy likes to use a tagline about how, for more than 100 years, it has provided affordable, reliable electricity to its customers "at the flip of a switch." But a year after the Dan River spill, Duke seems to accept that coal ash pollution has its own chapter in the company’s corporate story. Now, facing federal criminal charges, Duke will pay for its crimes. [ More ]

Criminal charges filed against Duke Energy

Friday, February 20th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 9 Comments

12311876586_dd088acae8_zThe U.S. Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against Duke Energy for violating the federal Clean Water Act at coal ash sites across North Carolina. The company announced today that it has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors to resolve the charges that includes $102.2 million for fines and mitigation. [ More ]

“Clean coal” is on the fritz

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

Futuregen_DOE_Concept_artFrom The Appalachian Voice Online: As one of the most high-profile and hyped-up projects of its kind, the FutureGen “clean coal” plant in Illinois was supposed make history. So the announcement that the U.S. Department of Energy is backing out of its $1.1 billion funding promise to the project sent a shockwave through the coal sector and investors, energy analysts and environmentalists all took note. [ More ]

Obama budget creates opportunities for Appalachian communities

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 3 Comments

economyThe Obama administration’s 2016 budget calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to be spent cleaning up abandoned strip mines, and to support economic development and workforce training in mining communities facing layoffs as coal is increasingly outcompeted in America’s energy mix. Read a statement from Appalachian Voices Legislative Associate Thom Kay on the proposals. [ More ]

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 ]


 

 

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