Federal appeals court deals another setback to proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline

BY: - January 27, 2022

A federal appeals court has again rejected permits issued by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management allowing Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross three and a half miles and four streams in the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia. In its ruling issued Tuesday, the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit Court of […]

Unexplained drilling on land owned by former lawmaker alarms neighbors in Yadkin County

BY: - December 14, 2021

Firm headed by developer with links to mining and fracking is looking for something on former State Rep. Wilma Sherrill's property For the past six months, mysterious drilling has been conducted on a vast tract of land north of Hamptonville, in Yadkin County, and the company president behind the project is refusing to disclose what he’s looking for and why.

EPA knew fracking fluid can degrade into toxic PFAS, approved it anyway

BY: - July 12, 2021

The EPA in 2011 knew that chemicals used in fracking fluid can break down and form PFAS — potentially contaminating groundwater and drinking water — but approved them anyway, even though agency scientists acknowledged they could be toxic. The New York Times reported the story this morning, based on documents received by Physicians for Social […]

The NC Oil and Gas Commission: Pointless, obsolete and often surreal

BY: - February 12, 2020

Out in the woods in far northern Lee County, two natural gas wells have been idling, under pressure as much as 900 pounds per square inch, for nearly 22 years. Over several days in September 1998, Simpson 1 and Butler 3, as the test wells are known, were fracked by Amvest using nitrogen foam. While a […]

State lawmakers ask FERC to stop work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline, reassess need

BY: - April 16, 2019

More than 20 Democratic legislators, led by Rep. Pricey Harrison of Guilford County, sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking it to issue a stop work order on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline while it reassess the need for the $7.8 billion project. The letter, dated April 12, also asks FERC to suspend […]

Disorganized, unrealistic and ready to spend tax dollars: Jim Womack wants to take Oil and Gas Commission on expensive field trip

BY: - August 8, 2018

Jim Womack must believe he’s playing with house money. The chairman of the NC Oil and Gas Commission, Womack yesterday proposed several expensive outlays of taxpayer funds that have no legislative appropriations or resource commitments from other state agencies. First, he suggested that all nine commission members travel 1,150 miles round-trip to Bradford County, Pa., […]


Note to SBI: No need to spy on pipeline opponents — they’re hiding right here in plain sight

BY: - August 2, 2018

As Policy Watch environmental reporter Lisa Sorg reported yesterday (“State Bureau of Investigation unit prepared “threat assessment” of Atlantic Coast Pipeline protestors”), state law enforcement officials have been spying on, or at least, monitoring, opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — the highly controversial energy project that threatens to bring significant environmental harm to eastern […]

A second natural gas pipeline proposed for NC would run through Rockingham, Alamance counties

BY: - April 12, 2018

This is a developing story and will be updated this afternoon. An extension of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline has been proposed for North Carolina, potentially opening the door for fracking operations in Rockingham County. Known as MVP Southgate, the 300-mile pipeline would extend from Pittsylvania County, Va., into Rockingham and Alamance counties. Once in […]

Digging out: Let’s keep the de-icer, road salt out of our water supply

BY: - January 18, 2018

While you’re excavating your sidewalk from beneath a foot-deep slab of snow, take it easy on the de-icer and rock salt. First, de-icers can contain a variety of salt compounds, which can be harmful and/or corrosive to plants and pets. Second, when the glacier on your driveway melts, the water can whisk those salts into […]

A long night ahead in Garysburg: Public hearing on Atlantic Coast Pipeline air permit

BY: - November 15, 2017

Fifty-six tons of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — entered the air over Northampton County in 2015, and that amount could increase if a compressor station is built there as part of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Co-owned by Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, the controversial $5.5 billion project would pipe natural gas from a fracking […]

Oil and gas commission will meet (for real) on Thursday — oddly, at the same time as the Energy Policy Council

BY: - November 7, 2017

The state Oil and Gas Commission, whose previous meeting derailed because it was illegally convened, is scheduled to meet Thursday in Sanford. However, there remain some statutory questions about who called the meeting and if they did so in writing, as required. The meeting will be held at the McSwain Education & Agricultural Center, 2420 […]

New legislation would resurrect fracking proponent Jim Womack’s career on the oil and gas commission

BY: - October 4, 2017

Jim Womack, a fracking proponent and dethroned oil and gas commissioner, appears likely to get his wish to return to that board. This morning, the House Rules Committee proposed a substitute for Senate Bill 416 that would change the requirements for the oil and gas commission to allow anyone who simply joins a conservation group […]