• House bill would ban sale, production of PFAS in North Carolina

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch May 15, 2020 Companies could no longer manufacture PFAS, also known as perfluorinated compounds, in North Carolina under a new proposal, House Bill 1109. If enacted into law, the measure would also prohibit the export of the toxic compounds, “except for products specifically authorized or required to contain PFAS under federal law.” The bill was introduced May 14; it has eight co-sponsors, all Democrats: Pricey Harrison, John Autry, Alison Dahle, Susan Fisher, Marcia Morey, Deb Butler, Zack Hawkins and Raymond Smith. There are 5,000 types of PFAS. Most are used in, or byproducts…


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  • Duke Energy gave half a million to political group before primary, new filings show

    By: Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network April 29, 2020 North Carolina law allows the utility to hide which candidates benefited from its political spending. Duke Energy funneled half a million dollars through a tax-exempt political group to pay for polling, television ads, and mailers in advance of North Carolina’s March primary, new documents submitted to the Internal Revenue Service show. At least three state legislative candidates got help from the entity named Citizens for a Responsible Energy Future, according to media reports and filings with other federal officials. But that aid accounted for less than a tenth of the group’s total expenses, leaving…


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  • Supreme Court hands environmentalists a win in water pollution case

    By: John Kruzel, The Hill April 23, 2020 The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with environmentalists by giving a…


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  • What the Negative Price of Oil Is Telling Us

    By: Neil Irwin, The New York Times April 21, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has caused a series of mind-bending distortions across world financial markets, but Monday featured the most bizarre one yet: The benchmark price for crude oil in the United States fell to negative $37.63. That means that if you happened to be in a position to take delivery of 1,000 barrels of oil in Cushing, Okla., in the month of May — the quantity quoted in the relevant futures contract — you could have been paid a cool $37,630 to do so. (That…


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  • States, cities get big opportunity to cut carbon emissions with new building code

    By: Christopher Perry, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy A new model building code – all but finalized this week – gives U.S. states and cities a great chance to save money and cut pollution by reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. Residential and commercial buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of U.S. energy consumption and GHG emissions. States and cities that adopt the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will effectively require new buildings to reduce covered energy use by more than 10% on average compared to buildings meeting the previous code, and by more than…


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  • EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus

    By: Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill March 26, 2020 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus outbreak. The temporary policy, for which the EPA has set no end date, would allow any number of industries to skirt environmental laws, with the agency saying it will not “seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations.” Cynthia Giles, who headed the EPA’s Office of Enforcement during the Obama administration, called it a moratorium on enforcing the nation’s environmental laws…


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  • Utilities Face Pressure To Stop Shutting Off Services Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    By: Alexander C. Kaufman, The Huffington Post March 13, 2020 A breakup doubled Andrea Guinn’s living expenses overnight. Saddled with the bills and rent for the apartment she once shared with her ex in Queens, she fell behind on payments to Consolidated Edison, the $29 billion investor-owned utility that enjoys a monopoly on electricity in New York City. By February, the 33-year-old said, she paid off all but $74 of the nearly $600 she owed the utility and stayed current on her monthly bills. But one night last month, she…


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  • ACP Case Could Gut 100 Years of Safeguards for Federal Parks

    By: Kathryn Miles, Politico March 3, 2020 When is a hiking trail not the same as the land it sits on? That’s a question before the Supreme Court, which last week heard oral arguments concerning the siting of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $5.1 billion project that, if completed, would transport over a billion cubic feet of gas each day from West Virginia to North Carolina. The arguments were the latest in five years of legal snags for the project that has…


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  • Environmental advocates, fossil fuel industry debate Atlantic Coast Pipeline at the U.S. Supreme Court

    By: Sarah Vogelsong, NC Policy Watch February 24, 2020 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Where does a trail end and the land beneath it begin? That’s just one of the thorny questions the Supreme Court grappled with Monday morning during a one-hour hearing on a U.S. Forest Service permit for the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The hearing has been hotly anticipated by both the gas and oil industry, which supports the pipeline, and the environmental advocacy community, which opposes the project. Since its inception, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile conduit that would bring natural gas from West Virginia, through Virginia and…


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  • MVP Southgate clears environmental review by FERC

    By: Laurence Hammack, The Roanoke Times February 14, 2020 Plans to extend the Mountain Valley Pipeline 75 miles into North Carolina moved forward Friday, even as the initial project remains mired in legal and regulatory challenges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that while there would be some environmental damage caused by building the so-called MVP Southgate, it could be minimized to “less than significant levels.” An environmental impact statement released by FERC is a major step forward for the pipeline, which would originate at Mountain Valley’s terminus in Chatham, head southwest through Pittsylvania County and cross into North Carolina,…


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