Environment

Politics & Government
10:03 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

North Carolina Lawmakers Look At How To Tax Fracking Companies

A rig and gas well operation on the Marcellus Shale in Scott Township, Pennsylvania.
Credit WCN247 via Flickr

North Carolina lawmakers are beginning to look at how they would tax the shale gas drilling companies for extracting gas from the ground in the state.

Members of the legislative commission that handles laws on energy heard Tuesday afternoon about how states that allow fracking charge companies for removing gas from the ground.

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Environment
5:00 am
Sat March 1, 2014

NC Coal Ash Disaster Discussed On Diane Rehm Show

Diane Rehm
Credit Glogau Photography

Did you miss it? The Diane Rehm Show devoted an episode earlier this week to the coal ash spill in Eden, NC.

(The spill was caused by a pipe failure at a Duke Energy location. Coal ash is leftover from the process of burning coal. The ash is considered toxic, and is held in ponds. This spill is the third largest of its kind in U.S. history.)

This was an interesting part of the show, between Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center and Diane Rehm:

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The State of Things
11:31 am
Tue February 25, 2014

NC WARN And The John Locke Foundation Team Up For Electricity Competition

Power plant in Goldsboro, NC.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/dukeenergy/11441208065/

Jim Warren, NC WARN's executive director, and Jon Sanders, the John Locke Foundation's director of regulatory studies talk about Duke Energy's monopoly on electricity
NC WARN, a progressive environmental non-profit, is teaming up with an unlikely partner: the John Locke Foundation. The two organizations share a desire to increase competition in the power industry and challenge Duke Energy's monopoly on electricity in the state.  
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The State of Things
10:42 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Raleigh's New Climate Change Hub - How Will It Help Farmers?

Climate change can cause droughts.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/12309025826/

Host Frank Stasio talks with Steven McNulty, a research ecologist at the U.S. Forest Service and director of the local climate change hub

Earlier this month, Raleigh was selected to host one of seven climate change research hubs in the nation. The hubs will prepare farmers to cope with  the effects of climate change on their land. 

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The State of Things
12:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill

Volunteers with the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and staff with the environmental group Appalachian Voices collect water samples on the Dan River after a massive coal ash spill.
Credit Eric Chance / Appalachian Voices

 When a stormwater pipe burst in Eden, N.C. on Sunday, more than 80,000 tons of coal ash rushed into the Dan River. The waste from the retired Duke Energy coal-fired power plant poses possible threats to humans and wildlife in the region. Host Frank Stasio discusses the coal ash spill and its ramifications with WUNC reporter Jeff Tiberii.

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Politics & Government
8:33 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Fracking Commission Seeks To Cut Water Contamination Liability For Drilling Companies

A rig and gas well operation on the Marcellus Shale in Scott Township, Pennsylvania.
Credit WCN247 via Flickr

The head of the commission appointed to write North Carolina’s rules for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas asked lawmakers Tuesday to halve the area for which drilling companies would be responsible in case of water contamination.

James Womack, chairman of the state’s Energy and Mining Commission, asked that drilling companies be held liable for contamination up to 2,500 feet from excavation sites. Under Senate Law 143, which was signed in 2012, mining companies are liable up to 5,000 ft.

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Politics & Government
9:58 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Panel Recommends Fracking Companies Maintain Some Chemical Secrets

A rig and gas well operation at the Marcellus Shale.
Credit wcn 247 / Flickr

The panel that is writing the rules that may become North Carolina’s fracking laws will not require drilling companies to disclose which chemicals they use to extract gas.

Members of the Energy and Mining Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the rule, which stumped them for more than a year and drew  input from environmental and business groups.

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Environment
8:48 am
Thu December 19, 2013

NCDOT Evaluates 17 Routes To Complete The I-540 Loop

NCDOT is collecting data along 17 proposed routes to complete the I-540 beltway around Raleigh.
Credit NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is considering 17 alternative routes to complete construction on the I-540 beltway around Raleigh.

Project Manager Eric Midkiff says that's down from hundreds of options the North Carolina Department of Transportation has already considered.

In the 1990s, the DOT established a likely location for the roadway.   The so-called Orange Route was protected from development in anticipation of the 540 loop.

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Business & Economy
9:08 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Raleigh Is Phasing Out Its Toilet Rebate Program

Credit Salim Virji / Flickr Creative Commons

Raleigh residents have until January first to take advantage of the city's toilet upgrade reimbursement.

Raleigh has been giving out $100 rebates for efficient toilets since 2009. It was part of an effort to encourage water conservation following the severe drought in 2007 and 2008.

Ed Buchan is Raleigh's environmental coordinator. He says the city is ending the rebate program, because rate-payers have embraced the efficiency effort.

"So we have this business case analysis, we looked at the program, and we budgeted $500,000 a year for the rebates," Buchan says.

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