The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter

June 25, 2015

Making headway on energy efficiency in North Carolina's High Country

Appalachian Voices joined with numerous others this month in asking Blue Ridge Electric co-op to help its members save money and make their homes healthier and more comfortable by financing energy efficiency improvements. At the co-op's annual meeting, CEO Doug Johnson said his team is considering offering debt-free financing for things like home weatherization.

[ Read more ]

30 Years of Toxic Water Pollution

Coal-fired power plants are responsible fo more than 60% of heavy metals like arsenic and mercury that are dumped into America's streams, rivers and lakes every year. The last time the rules for this wastewater were changed, "Back to the Future" hit movie theaters, Nintendo arrived in the U.S., and Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for his 2nd term. It's high time we updated our clean water rules.

[ TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA and the OMB to protect our rivers and lakes from power plant waste! ]

Duke expands cleanup, but leaves communities in danger

Duke Energy is patting itself on the back, touting its plans to expand coal ash cleanup efforts in North Carolina to three more sites. But the bulk of coal ash in the state — more than 70 million tons of it — still remains largely unaddressed and continues to pose significant threats to drinking water and nearby communities. Is Duke really the "good neighbor" it claims to be?

[ Read our take ]

The Pope's historic message on climate

"...For human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth's waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins." Thus spake Pope Francis on June 19 in the Vatican's first encyclical on the environment. And it's a doozy.

[ Excerpts and reactions ]

Mountain Ingenuity: Finding solutions to real problems in Appalachia

This issue of The Appalachian Voice highlights some of the many efforts by communities and citizens groups to tackle the problems of our time. New rural clinics are helping miners with black lung improve their quality of life, veterans are finding solace by working the soil, schools are switching to solar power, scientists are making progress in the fight to save bats from white-nose syndrome and more.

[ Read all about it! ]
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Ask the Experts: Fracking

Join our upcoming webinar, "Natural Gas in Appalachia: Community, Health and Environmental Impacts," on Wednesday, July 1 at 2 p.m., to learn more about the concerns related to the region's ongoing shale fracking boom. We'll take a look at everything from drilling to pipelines with a panel of expert organizers from West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina who are working to protect local communities.

[ Register for the webinar ]



Help us make energy efficiency more affordable to low-income residents in Appalachia -- donate to our Energy Savings campaign to build a cleaner, healthier future for everyone!

[ Become a member now ]


A Tribute to
Jean Ritchie

Jean Ritchie was a true preservationist of traditional Appalachian music and helped inspire the folk revival of the 1960s. She died June 1 at age 92, but her legacy lives on.

[ Read Silas House's moving tribute ]


Special discount for Appalachian Voices supporters!
Get 25% off your FloydFest general admission ticket price — simply enter "AVFF2015" into the Promotion Code field when purchasing. The special discount is valid through July 21, 2015!

[ Get your tickets now ]


Clean Energy
Finance Talk

June 26: Join Energy Policy Director Rory McIlmoil to discuss the regulatory and financial landscape of EE/RE. Hosted by the Appalachian Energy Center. Boone, N.C.
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High Country
Farm Tours

June 27 (Ashe County) and July 18 (Watauga County): Visit local farms and learn about sustainable agriculture. Northwestern North Carolina
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Marcellus Academy 2015
June 27-28: Learn about fracking and the Marcellus Shale. Find out what you can do to address the fracking boom. Wesleyan College, W.Va.
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Solar Powered Music Festival
July 3-5: See mountaintop removal from the top of Kayford Mountain during this music festival completely powered by solar energy. Kayford Mountain, W.Va.
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Whippoorwill Festival
July 9-12: This outdoor festival will have over 75 workshops on earth-friendly and Appalachian living skills. $35-$120. Berea, Ky.
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New River

July 11: Raise awareness of New River clean-up efforts, and support water quality conservation. New River State Park, N.C.
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Floydfest 2015
July 22-26: Appalachian Voices is the featured nonprofit for the 14th annual music and art extravaganza in lovely Floyd, Va.!

Environmental Calendar of EventsMore calendar events...

Vol. 7, No. 6


Boone, N.C. • Charlottesville, Va. Appalachian Voices Raleigh, N.C. • Knoxville, Tenn.