HB2 update: Inside the federal courthouse at yesterday’s hearing
By: Lisa Sorg - August 2, 2016
With elbow-length winter-white hair, and wearing black shorts and a sleeveless shirt, Hunter Schaefer looked vaguely Nordic. Her celery-thin legs were jammed into thick-soled, black platform shoes, and, like many girls and boys in their early teens, she seemed coltish.
At a weird meeting, Gov. McCrory warns ag board about “environmental extremists”
By: Lisa Sorg - July 29, 2016
This week’s agriculture board should have been a snooze. Instead, it was a doozy. On the agenda were two ceremonial items: Governor Pat McCrory would sign the farm bill and Associate Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby would swear in new board members. And then, the board would delve into a mind-numbing discussion of ag rules, including those on pen-raised […]
Two years after Dan River disaster Duke Energy plans for massive coal ash landfill
By: Lisa Sorg - July 28, 2016
At 12 stories, the proposed coal ash landfill at Duke Energy’s Dan River Steam Plant in Eden would loom taller than any building in this small town.
At 23 acres, the landfill would consume the same amount of space as 17 Morehead High School football fields.
Leading coastal scientist resigns from key state panel in protest
By: Lisa Sorg - July 26, 2016
It wasn’t just the political controversy over sea-level rise. Or the Coastal Resources Commission’s defense of a sea-level rise report.
Or state environmental officials, who are allowing 21 eight-bedroom houses to be built on ecologically sensitive and flood-prone land on Sunset Beach.
Hands off bee-harming pesticides: N.C. board to consider restrictions
By: Lisa Sorg - July 25, 2016
When a honeybee gets dosed with a neonic, a common pesticide used on millions of acres of farmland and on home lawns, it may not get sick right away. Instead the bee’s immune system can take a hit, making this important insect vulnerable to mites and diseases. It’s similar to what happens how elderly people can succumb to the smallest infraction: Weakened […]
HUD report: Former Sanford Housing Authority director responsible for financial irregularities totaling $418,000
By: Lisa Sorg - July 22, 2016
In early November 2014, Sanford Mayor Chet Mann read a proclamation honoring Ken Armstrong, the outgoing executive director of the Sanford Housing Authority for his “exemplary service.” “There is a general feeling that the Sanford Housing Authority has performed flawlessly,” Mann went on, according to town council minutes. But a federal investigation released this week alleges that […]
Edenton Bay afflicted with hazardous algae — again
By: Lisa Sorg - July 22, 2016
The water is as green as a sheet of nori in Edenton Bay, as potentially toxic algae is blooming in the waterway near the Albemarle Sound in Eastern North Carolina, according to state environmental scientists. The state Division of Water Resources received a report of green water on July 19 from a Chowan County environmental group. DWR staff […]
Dissecting the McCrory administration’s defense of the new state coal ash law
By: Lisa Sorg - July 21, 2016
A detailed look at what DEQ officials claim and what they leave out in their new video
The state’s coal ash crisis is under control.
That’s what the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality wants viewers to believe, in a recently released a five-and-a-half minute video on the agency’s website and YouTube channel.
Civitas Institute hires pro-fracking professor to write anti-renewables report
By: Lisa Sorg - July 19, 2016
University of Wyoming professor Timothy Considine, the “energy expert” commissioned by the conservative Civitas Institute to assail North Carolina’s renewables strategy, has at least one glaring problem: He regularly receives money from fracking advocates and the natural gas industry to write reports that advance their agenda. Considine’s latest work, for Civitas, “North Carolina’s Renewable Portfolio Standard: Examining the Economic […]
Factcheck: Republican National Convention platform claims coal is clean
By: Lisa Sorg - July 18, 2016
Photo: Robert S. Donovan/cc/flickr The Republican National Convention starts tonight, and one of the planks of its platform is the unscientific notion that coal is an “abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.” Coincidentally, as Grist.org points out, the GOP’s language is nearly identical to that of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which calls coal an “affordable, abundant, and […]
Another state environmental program targeted for extinction?
By: Lisa Sorg - October 12, 2015
[Editor’s note: This article originally appeared at Coastal Review Online a newsletter of the North Carolina Coastal Federation.] At about 1,000 pounds and 10 feet long, the West Indian manatee, its muzzle quilled with stiff whiskers, uses its paddle-shaped tail and short flippers to navigate the warm estuaries and river mouths along the N.C. coast. […]