• 21 state attorneys general sue over new Trump water rule

    By: Don Thompson, Associated Press July 21, 2020 Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Tuesday, alleging that new federal rules undermine their ability to protect rivers, lakes and streams within their borders. They say that new final rules issued last week by the Environmental Protection Agency alter a practice dating back more than 30 years giving state governments the authority to review, block or put conditions on federally permitted water projects. President Donald Trump in April 2019 issued an executive order directing the change that critics said could make it…


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  • Belinda Joyner Is Tired of Fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, But She’s Still Fighting

    By: Lewis Kendall, IndyWeek July 1, 2020 “We are tired of being dumped on.” In February, Belinda Joyner caught a ride to the U.S. Supreme Court. Alongside a couple of close friends, the 67-year-old rode from her home in Garysburg, a 1,000-person town near the North Carolina-Virginia border, up to Washington, D.C. They were there to watch the court hear arguments over whether the U.S. Forest Service should be allowed to issue permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be built through national forest lands connected to the Appalachian Trail. The 600-mile, $8 billion pipeline—spearheaded by Dominion Energy and Duke Energy and first…


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  • Robeson County residents tell DEQ to deny air permit for Active Energy wood pellet plant

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch June 24, 2020 A proposed wood pellet plant faces vehement opposition from many Robeson County residents, including elected officials, and environmental advocates, who say the facility would not only pollute the air, but also would be financially risky and environmentally unjust. The NC Department of Environmental Quality held a virtual public hearing Monday night to receive formal comments on a draft air permit for the plant, owned and operated by Active Energy Renewable Power, in Lumberton. More than 125 people attended, and of the roughly 50 who spoke, just four asked DEQ to approve the air…


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  • Why ‘I can’t breathe’ is resonating with environmental justice activists

    By: Denise Chow, NBC News June 10, 2020 The death of George Floyd in police custody sparked a movement that has focused national attention on institutional racism that permeates nearly every aspect of society. And that includes climate change. Now, climate activists and scientists say a similar reckoning needs to happen in the environmental movement, which experts say has had a long, uneasy relationship with racial politics. “There’s a level of racism in the movement itself, where some folks think that talking about these issues is a distraction,” said Jacqueline…


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  • Pipeline projects draw criticism for ‘environmental racism’

    Virginians calling in to the State Corporation Commission on May 12 pulled few punches: “environmental racism,” “sacrifice zone,” an “unfair and unjust project.” Many struggled to get through, repeatedly dropped from the call-in queue for public comment by technical glitches. But they kept calling back, hammering against a proposal to install yet more natural gas infrastructure in the state — 24 miles of 30-inch pipe, three compressor stations and two large gas plants.


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  • 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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