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.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Duke Energy’s purchase of Piedmont Natural Gas was finalized this week after North Carolina utility regulators signed off on the deal. The acquisition is only the latest development in a regionwide push to expand natural gas investments and infrastructure that foreshadows an energy future experts are urging us to avoid. [ More ]
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Where does the war of words over coal ash health advisories leave North Carolinians with contaminated drinking water? Exactly where they were before: as distrustful of DEQ and DHHS as they are of their water’s safety. But in the battle between state employees and the McCrory administration, residents are clear on who they trust. [ More ]
Monday, June 27th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
In an open letter addressed to North Carolina lawmakers by the Alliance of Carolinians Together (ACT) Against Coal Ash, citizens threatened by coal ash pollution call on decision makers to take urgent action to ensure coal ash is cleaned up and impacted communities have access to clean water. [ More ]
Thursday, April 14th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
While the company no longer operates in Central Appalachia, the story of Peabody Energy’s downfall is similar to those of major producers in the region, where coal mining communities have plenty of first-hand experience with what happens next. [ More ]
Friday, April 8th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
The coverage of Blankenship’s sentence should shift the public’s focus to the leniency and lacking enforcement of our mine safety laws. Since few observers outside of Blankenship’s defense team and the “Dark Lord of Coal Country” himself would argue the punishment fits his crime, the question then becomes: what punishment would?
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Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 3 Comments
State officials in North Carolina owe citizens an apology and an explanation. The state Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health and Human Services are walking back their own recommendations that families living near coal ash ponds not drink or cook using well water containing levels of toxic substances that exceed their own standards.
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Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 2 Comments
Over the weekend, a letter by our Executive Director Tom Cormons to the editors of The New York Times appeared on the newspaper’s website. It was penned in part to stress the importance of the Stream Protection Rule and to urge federal regulators to stand firm in the face of industry opposition, and finalize it. [ More ]
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
After a setback dealt by the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s imperative that decision makers in our region understand the opportunities presented by the Clean Power Plan rather than falsely attacking it as the cause of the coal industry’s hard times. [ More ]
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
This morning, President Obama sent his plan for the federal government’s expenses during fiscal year 2017 to Congress. It lays out the president’s vision for spending on everything from clean energy to cancer research. We’re happy to announce that the POWER+ Plan is included.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
From Appalachian Voices' Press Room: Earlier this week, a wide array of Virginia leaders released a letter asking Governor Terry McAuliffe to reject efforts by Dominion Power that would increase carbon pollution in the Commonwealth. [ More ]
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Witnessing the one-sidedness of coal bankruptcies in Appalachia and their aftershocks goes to show who has a voice and whose voices the system values. Take Alpha Natural Resources, which recently received approval to pay its executives millions in bonuses despite not having made a profit since 2011. [ More ]
Friday, January 8th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
After the dismal year coal had in 2015, more hard times for the industry are ahead. Nowhere is the struggle more real than in Central Appalachia. A new white paper from Downstream Strategies tells the story of Appalachian coal over the past few decades in five simple charts. [ More ]