• The great methane debate and what it could mean for North Carolina

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch April 21, 2021 Environmental advocates want stronger regulation of the potent greenhouse gas, but ag and energy interests are touting biogas More than 2,200 industrialized hog farms and another 200-plus dairy operations in North Carolina are constantly belching untold amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, into the air. Yet because of the EPA’s inertia and the livestock industry’s significant political power, these farms have eluded any meaningful regulations of their methane emissions and their contribution to the climate crisis. More than two dozen environmental groups recently petitioned the EPA to regulate industrialized swine…


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  • Proposed Plastics Plant Will Test Joe Biden’s Commitment to Environmental Justice

    By: Dharna Noor, Gizmodo April 6, 2021 Myrtle Felton has lived in St. James Parish her whole life, but it looks nothing like it did when she was young. “It looks like a third world,” she said. “Sometimes I just go ride to River Road, and I try to remember what it actually looked like years ago. I try to remember, ‘Whose house was here? Whose house was there?’ But there are so many chemical plants down this road that now, even me, I forget what it looked like because it’s so different.” In the decades Felton…


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  • Converting hog waste into energy: Not as neat and simple as it might sound

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch April 2, 2021 Public comment period ends Sunday on Optima TH’s air pollution permit for facility at Smithfield slaughterhouse  Optima TH has applied for a state air quality permit to operate a major biogas facility at Smithfield Fresh Meats in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel. If approved, Optima TH could emit 24,500 to 40,800 tons of greenhouse gases each year. Biogas, in the form of methane, would be collected from Smithfield’s wastewater treatment system, upgraded onsite at the Optima TH facility to meet natural gas standards, and then injected into a Piedmont Natural…


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  • ‘The stakes are very high’: In North Carolina, more interest than ever in Duke Energy’s long-range plans

    By: Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network March 22, 2021 With North Carolina businesses, communities, and residents increasingly committed to climate action, Duke Energy’s 15-year power generation plan has drawn more attention than ever before. More than two dozen cities, counties and corporations have submitted comments on the utility’s plan, which will dictate whether and how they achieve their own ambitious renewable energy goals. A record number of stakeholders — from tech company Apple to the City of Charlotte — are formally intervening in the process by which regulators review and approve the document, in an effort to gain more leverage in the proceedings. A…


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  • Celebrating the History of Black Communities and their Fight for Justice in NC

    Clean Water for North Carolina celebrates the achievements and efforts of communities that continue the fight for justice, equality, and healthy, safe environments to call home. In North Carolina, Black communities have a long history of resilience and activism. The following descriptions, while not comprehensive, offer a brief look into this history and the people, places, and groups that have made a difference. Princeville, NC was incorporated in 1885 and stands as the oldest town incorporated by Black Americans in the United States, though its place as a community predates that. It was originally known as Freedom Hill…


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  • Gov. Cooper nominates Dionne Delli-Gatti, another EDF alum, to lead Department of Environmental Quality

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch February 16, 2021 Dionne Delli-Gatti, who previously worked as for the Environmental Defense Fund, is Gov. Roy Cooper’s pick to head the NC Department of Environmental Quality, his office announced today. Delli-Gatti was EDF’s director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs and Southeast Climate and Clean Energy Initiatives. Former DEQ Secretary Michael Regan, now on his way to becoming EPA administrator, had also worked for EDF, focusing on clean energy. According to her EDF bio, Delli-Gatti “focused on maintaining North Carolina’s position as a clean energy leader and on promoting clean energy goals in other…


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  • Activists See Biden’s Day One Focus on Environmental Justice as a Critical Campaign Promise Kept

    By: Kristoffer Tigue, Agya K. Aning, Judy Fahys, Katie Surma – Inside Climate News January 24, 2021 Catherine Flowers remembers the moment she realized the environmental justice movement had entered a new era of acceptance and recognition. It came last spring, the environmental justice activist said, when then-candidate Joe Biden snatched the Democratic nomination from Sen. Bernie Sanders and shortly afterward announced the creation of a joint task force to shape climate change policy. “He talked about environmental justice,” said Flowers, recalling her sense of amazement. “He also mentioned ‘cancer alley.’ I’ve never heard a president mention ‘cancer alley’ before,” she said, referring…


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  • Biden Interior nominee discusses environmental injustice with tribal leaders

    By: Justin Coleman, The Hill December 28, 2020 Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) discussed environmental injustice with tribal leaders on Monday in her first meeting after being named President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of the Interior. In the meeting, Haaland committed to “fully” honoring the U.S.’s treaty obligations to tribal nations and working with leaders to address the “disproportionate harm” Native Americans face “from long-running environmental injustices” and climate change. Haaland, if confirmed, would become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. The New Mexico lawmaker told leaders at the meeting that she plans…


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  • Equitrans reports increased cost estimate, delayed in-service date for Mountain Valley Pipeline

    By Debra Flax, Pennsylvania Business Report November 5, 2020 Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN) said this week that the cost estimate of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is now between $5.8 billion and $6 billion and the project’s full in-service date is anticipated during the second half of 2021. MVP is a proposed underground, interstate natural gas pipeline system, expected to span roughly 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to Southern Virginia and designed to transport clean-burning natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale regions. MVP is a joint venture of ETRN, NextEra Capital Holdings, Inc., ConEdison Transmission, Inc., WGL Midstream, Inc., and…


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  • Fracking Fiasco: The Banks That Fueled the U.S. Shale Bust

    Published by Oil Change International and Rainforest Action Network. September 2020 DOWNLOAD THE REPORT A new report by Oil Change International and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) shows how major banks have continued pouring money into fracking companies in recent years, despite numerous warnings that the sector has been financially unsustainable, in addition to the well-documented environmental, health, and climate impacts of the shale industry. This analysis compiles data from 51 U.S. fracking-focused companies, receiving USD 224 billion in financing since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. (January 2016 — August 2020). Nearly 40% of that financing came from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo alone,…


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