Tell the EPA – Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency ARE part of the Climate Solution

Citizens from across the southeast are rallying in Atlanta today, July 29th, for Sold-Out Hearings for EPA Climate Plan as the Chamber of Commerce and Big Polluters Cry Wolf Over EPA Plan to Fight Climate Change and Protect Human Health.

Won’t you join them in solidarity and submit comments that Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency ARE part of the Climate Solution (see sample talking points below).

Email A-and-R-Docket@epa.gov: Include docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 in the subject line of the message.

Thanks so much!

Power Plan Message BoxClean Power Plan Message Box

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan Fact Sheet & link to full plan:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/25/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-climate-action-plan

 

News articles on anticipated EPA proposed carbon rules:

http://grist.org/climate-energy/heres-what-to-expect-from-obamas-big-new-climate-rules/

http://www.nrdc.org/air/pollution-standards/files/pollution-standards-report.pdf

http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/nation-world-news/epa-readying-climate-rule-existing-power-plants-deadline-approaches

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/epa-power-plant_n_5356784.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-22/obama-divides-power-players-with-rule-utilities-accept.html

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/30/3442251/carbon-pollution-rule-attacks/

P.S. Want to submit a quick comment? Click on Tell President Obama and the EPA you support strong climate action!

Tell the EPA – Fracking is NOT part of the Climate Solution

Citizens from across the southeast are rallying in Atlanta today, July 29th, for Sold-Out Hearings for EPA Climate Plan as the Chamber of Commerce and Big Polluters Cry Wolf Over EPA Plan to Fight Climate Change and Protect Human Health.

Won’t you join them in solidarity and submit comments that Fracking is NOT part of the Climate Solution (see sample talking points below).

Email A-and-R-Docket@epa.gov: Include docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 in the subject line of the message.

Thanks so much!

EPA Carbon Rules and FrackingEPA Power Plant Rules and Fracking Talking Points

Health Spotlight: Fracking in North Carolina Webinar on July 17

2012-05-27-doctors-orders-no-fracking

Health Spotlight: Fracking in North Carolina Webinar hosted by Medical Advocates for Healthy Air and Clean Air Carolina. July 17th online. This webinar, geared towards medical professionals, will be an opportunity to learn more about potential health impacts of fracking, lessons learned from Pennsylvania, and how medical professionals can address the issue.

Webinar date and time: Jul 17 from 2:00 until 3:30 PM

Goal: To provide medical and public health professionals a context regarding the scope of potential health impacts of fracking, lessons learned from Pennsylvania and offer ways to address the issue.

Who and What:

David Brown, ScD, Public Health Toxicologist and Director of Public Health Toxicology for Environment and Human Health, Inc.

In this webinar Dr. Brown will identify the acute and chronic health impacts associated with the practice of hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as “fracking”) and actions available to address them. Dr. Brown will provide a method to evaluate the appearance of health effects from fracking and amelioration of the harmful impacts.

Grady McCallie, Policy Director, NC Conservation Network

Grady will briefly present the context in which fracking is likely to happen in North Carolina – how we got here; the resource; recent legislation; and ongoing rulemaking, as it connects to the environmental health issues raised in Dr. Brown’s presentation. Grady will also mention upcoming opportunities for medical professionals to influence these issues in North Carolina.

Organization Hosting Event: Medical Advocates for Healthy Air , Clean Air Carolina

Website: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1084034162079875329

Stop Fracking in the North Carolina Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests

I got this message from the Forest Service about plans for fracking in our North Carolina national forests. When I get this sort of message it makes me even more concerned and calls out to tell the Forest Service why fracking our national forests is a really, really bad idea.

Please join me and send a comment about the “Revision of Land Management Plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests’ and tell them why you believe that fracking our national forests is a really, really bad idea.Click below to take action.

Thanks!

Comments may be sent via email to: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=43545 or via facsimile to 828-257-4263. Send or deliver written comments to: National Forests in North Carolina, Attention: Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision Team, 160A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801.

National Forests in North Carolina
160A Zillicoa St.

Asheville, N.C. 28801 

News Alert

Media Contact: Stevin Westcott, 828-257-4215

Hydraulic Fracturing and Plan Revision

 

Some stakeholders have raised concerns about hydraulic fracturing and how it fits into revision of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests management plan.

It’s important for concerned citizens to know that revision of the management plan focuses on management practices, not on specific budgets or allocations of budgets.

The potential for oil and gas exploration will be identified in the plan revision process in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management.

As described in the Notice of Intent To Revise The Land And Resource Management Plan (NOI)…

“No decision regarding oil and gas leasing availability will be made in the revised Forest Plan, though standards will be brought forward or developed that would serve as mitigations should an availability decision be necessary in the future.”

Click here to read more.

Hearing Set for NC Fracking Stormwater and Water Quality Rules – July 1

Fracking NC

Public invited to comment on stormwater and water quality rules for oil and gas development

DENRRALEIGH – State officials will host a public hearing on July 1 in Sanford on a proposed rule that would put in place stormwater management requirements for oil and gas exploration and production sites, and proposed revisions to four land application and wastewater reuse rules.

The public hearing is being hosted by the state divisions of Water Resources, and Energy, Mineral and Land Resources on behalf of the N.C. Environmental Management Commission. The hearing starts at 6 p.m. at the Dennis Wicker Center at 1801 Nash Street in Sanford. People wishing to speak during the hearing are asked to register starting at 5 p.m. The hearing will be recorded.

Rules discussed at this meeting will include only those related to stormwater, land application and wastewater reuse. The bulk of the rulemaking necessary for development of the state’s oil and gas regulatory program falls under the authority of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission. The Mining and Energy Commission’s rulemaking process is separate from this rulemaking by the Environmental Management Commission. Public hearings for the Mining and Energy Commission’s rules are scheduled for August.

Written comments from the public will be accepted at the meeting and may also be submitted until 5 p.m. Aug. 1. Written comments should be sent to: Evan Kane, Division of Water Resources, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1617. Written comments may also be sent by email to: Stormwater_and_LandApp_Rules@lists.ncmail.net.

The complete text of the proposed rule and proposed revisions to existing rules are available online at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/rules.

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – June 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

We know it’s hot all across the state, and things are certainly heating up in Raleigh right now as the legislature settles in for its final weeks of short session.  As expected, one of the last bills the legislature will consider is going to be one that looks for a solution to our coal ash crisis. We have a real opportunity to get meaningful legislation passed on coal ash, but we are going to need you to be a part of this.  You can read more about the latest coal ash developments below.

Also below, you’ll find a recap of our recent wilderness celebration, a write-up of this month’s featured wilderness area, and plenty more! We hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Footnotes online, and as always, thanks for your constant support for our state’s air, water, and natural places.

Cheers,

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

Take Action: Speak Up on Coal Ash

As you know, legislative leaders vowed to find a solution to our state’s coal ash crisis after 40,000 tons of coal ash and millions of gallons of contaminated waste water spilled into the Dan River in February.  This week, Senate leaders offered some significant improvements to the initial plan offered by the Governor, but we need you to encourage legislators to strengthen the bill even more.

There are several areas of the bill where legislators could increase protections for North Carolinians and our state’s waterways.  Click here to find out what needs to be strengthened and how you can take action today!

 

Coal Ash Action Button - june.png

 

Breaking News on Billboards!

Please thank Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg) for just this morning successfully amending a regulatory reform bill that is moving at the speed of light through the House. Her successhul amendment rebukes a newly proposed set of giveaways to the billboard industry.

The provisions in S 493, which has morphed into the 2014 Regulatory Reform Act, would have given the billboard industry new concessions for tree-removals on exit ramps.  It would also have required any city or county to allow a billboard to be rebuilt, even if it no longer conforms with current requirements.  Please take a moment to thank Rep. Carney for efforts to block another giveaway to the billboard industry.

 

Thirty Years of Wilderness Celebrated in One Evening

On June 12, people traveled from all across the state and gathered in Raleigh to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act.  The law protected 68,700 acres of wilderness areas in North Carolina and an additional 25,816 acres of wilderness study areas.

Awards were given to two Sierrans who played pivotal roles in passing the landmark legislation, Dr. Robbie Cox and Anne Taylor.  

Robbie is a three time national club President who recently stepped down from the national Board last year after nearly two decades of services.  Anne was once a leader of the LeConte Chapter (North and South Carolina) Chair and later Hunt administration official. 

Without the work of Robbie, Anne, and many other volunteers, North Carolinians would have fewer places to connect with nature and experience wilderness.

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Click here to view photos from the celebration in Raleigh! (Big thanks to David R. Keith the photos!)

Breaking news!  Dr. Robbie Cox will the guest on WUNC’s The State of Thing’s on Thursday, June 19 at noon!  June 19 is the actual anniversary of the day that the NC Wilderness Act became law.  Click here to visit the WUNC webpage where you will be able to stream the program live this Thursday!

 

Write-In Success in the Mountains

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Thanks to local Sierra Club volunteers, voters in Buncombe County will have a choice when they go to the polls to vote for the County Board of Commissioners in November.  The photo to right shows Rich Wasch and Karen Ziff, just two of the many volunteers who worked to gather signatures throughout Buncombe County.

Volunteers gathered more than enough signatures to qualify Nancy Waldrop, an unaffiliated candidate, to appear on the ballot.  The reason this is a big deal is because the only other candidate on the ballot is committed to rolling back key environmental protections, including Buncombe County’s goal, adopted in 2013, to reduce the county’s carbon footprint by 80%. 

Thanks to Wenoca group chair Judy Mattox, 95 Sierrans gathered over 4,000 signatures (far more than the 2,222 needed) to get Waldrop on the ballot. But with the November election just around the corner, it’s doubtful that this is the last volunteer effort we will see in this race.

 

NC Volunteers Get a Well Deserved Recognition

At the NC Sierra Club’s Executive Committee on May 31, three volunteers were recognized for their contributions to the organization.  Chapter Chair Robert Scull awarded the following volunteers with a certificate and small gift:

  • Nancy Card was recognized for her role in reorganizing the Cape Fear Group three years ago, helping reinvigorate the chapter outings program, and taking a leadership role on the Wilderness Committee.  Nancy was rightfully praised for her leadership and communications skills.  We are thankful her continuing contributions to the NC Sierra Club.
  • Kelly Mieszkalski was recognized for her significant contributions to the chapter outings program.  Kelly has attended national conferences to make contacts and bring back ideas, been part of organizing two outings leader trainings, helped to get new hike leaders started, and initiated tools and processes to make the outings more prominent and well-attended.  Her contributions to the state chapter and the revived Headwaters group are highly valued.
  • Maribeth Weinman was presented an award for her remarkable prowess as the Treasurer for the North Carolina Chapter.  As Chapter Treasurer, Maribeth’s work is essential for maintaining the fiscal integrity of the organization. It is very fitting that Maribeth was praised for her high standards of accuracy, timeliness and completeness.
Volunteer awards.jpg

From left to right: Robert Scull, Maribeth Weinman, Nancy Card, and Kelly Mieszkalski.  Photo credit: Harvey Richmond.

 

Wilderness Spotlight: Shining Rock Wilderness

This month, we take a look at the Shining Rock Wilderness. This protected area was created by the 1964 Wilderness Act which celebrates its 50th anniversary this September.

North Carolina was one of only two states east of the Mississippi where wilderness areas were protected by the 1964 Wilderness Act; New Hampshire was the other. And Shining Rock Wilderness was one of two wilderness areas in North Carolina protected by the first ever wilderness law, which signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Linville Gorge was the other North Carolina area protected in 1964.

Today Shining Rock Wilderness contains 18,483 acres. Without knowing it, popular culture exposed many to the area through the Charles Frazier novel and subsequent film adaptation titled Cold Mountain.  Cold Mountain provides Shining Rock’s highest peak at 6,030 feet.

Those wishing to venture to this wilderness area may want to read an account of camping in the area written by Bill Gowan of Raleigh. His writing can be found on the OurWildNC.org blog page, and is certainly worth a read!

Shining rock footnotes.jpg

Upcoming Outings

June 21, 10:00 a.m. – Moses Cone Memorial Park – Blowing Rock

Join outings leader Steve Copulski for a 5 mile hike on the first day of summer  in the Moses Cone Memorial Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock.  Enjoy the cooler mountain weather and great views from the top of the Flat Top Tower.  The group will be hiking on fairly smooth carriage trails that gradually ascend to the top of Flat Top Mountain.  We’ll meet at Moses Cone at 10 AM. 

Contact Steve Copulsky to sign-up at scopulsky@mindspring.com or 704-543-7493.  Limited to 15 hikers.

June 21, 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Quarry Hike and Eat/Play at Sharky’s! – Durham

Join the Headwaters group for 3.2 mile moderate hike along the relatively new section of the Mountains To Sea/Laurel Ridge Trail, up and around the beautiful Durham Quarry, and back.  Wear closed-toe hiking or walking shoes and bring a water bottle for the hike.  For those who dare–swimmers and dippers–wear your bathing suit, bring your river shoes and a towel if you want to take a dip in the quarry or the river!  The quarry is DEEP water and appropriate for strong swimmers ONLY.  There are also spots along the river right beside quarry to get wet/dip your feet in.

There is likely to be a good bit of party-trash around the quarry so bring a bag if you are willing to help clean up a bit (leader will have extras, too).

For more information, contact Kelly Mieszkalski (kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com, 919.624.2225). You may also sign up via the group’s Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/NC-Sierra-Club-Headwaters-Group/events/189497522/

June 28,  8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk – Asheboro, NC

Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group and Nicole Petersen, a zoologist, marine scientist, and the NC Zoo’s Visitor Educator for our first NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk.  The zoo is about much more than showing off cute animals to the public—it has a serious environmental and conservation mission to protect, preserve, and rehabilitate threatened and endangered animal and plant species both in the U.S. and around the globe.

All participants will be required to purchase a zoo admission ticket.  There will be an additional $7/person fee for the Endangered Species Walk.  Our group will be limited to 20 participants. Your cell phone number will be required to register (this is for trip communication only–we do not give out telephone numbers to third parties.) 

Please contact Vance Parker to register by Wednesday, June 25th via e-mail at vance@vparkerlaw.com or by telephone before 10:00 p.m. at (336) 768-0481.  This is a family-friendly outing suitable for all ages.

August 22 – 24 – Outings Leader Training Weekend at Hanging Rock State Park

Outings Leader Training weekend for experienced and/or aspring new outings leaders at Hanging Rock State Park.  Cabin camping will be provided. You may also reserve campsites on your own.

More information coming soon!

Contact NC Chapter Outings Chair, Kelly Mieszkalski (kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com, 919.624.2225) with any questions.

Want to know the latest? Join us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.

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Sierra Club NC Chapter – Special Legislative Update – Some Good Environmental News

Protect Enviro DemocracyDear Friends,

A mid-week legislative update is in order due to some good news on the House version of the budget. You may have heard that the Senate budget had some bad environmental provisions. We got most of our requests for changes to environmental aspects of the Senate budget (S 744) – in the revised House version, released today, thanks to Rep. Tom Murry from Cary, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural & Economic Resources.  Representative Murry’s committee removed Senate proposals to put taxpayer funds towards fracking, and at the same time, increased funding for coal ash cleanup and stormwater pollution controls for our most polluted lakes (amongst other changes). The House and the Senate will need to agree on a final budget in the end, so we don’t know that all the improvements will be kept, but its great to see the House going in a positive direction.

Action Recommended:

Please thank Rep. Tom Murry (R – Wake) for his leadership on improving the budget on environmental issues by calling or sending an email, especially if he is your representative. Additionally, please ask your Senator to keep the House budget changes to environmental sections.

Fracking:

The Senate budget contained a provision that would have had taxpayers subsidizing the oil and gas industry by putting $100,000 towards marketing North Carolina’s small shale gas resource to an industry that has shown no interest so far. And $50,000 for an analysis of the chemical composition of our gas; and $973,000 for a no-bid contract – exempt from public contracting laws for test wells and core sample analysis in four parts of the state: the Dan, Davie, Cumberland-Marlboro, and southern Deep basins (click link to see map). Overall this idea seems to be an unnecessary gift to the oil and gas industry that taxpayers should not be shouldering. It was removed in the House version of the budget.

Water Quality:

A special provision in the House budget would add $1,000,000 to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. If passed, the money would be used for the treatment of pollution before it enters the rivers and streams that are drinking water sources. Jordan Lake and Falls Lake are subject to Nutrient Management Strategies, so these funds may help the ongoing pollution problems in these two local water bodies.

Coal Ash:

The House increased funds for DENR salaries overall and increased funds for coal ash positions and operating funds by $500,000. Further, the House budget untied coal ash funding for DENR from the passage of S 729, the Governor’s Coal Ash Action Plan, so that even if the Senate’s bill were not to pass, DENR would still get funding to address North Carolina’s coal ash problem.

There were other improvements to certain provisions affecting agriculture, wells and coastal jetties. Overall, the House version of the budget is much improved from the Senate’s in terms of environmental issues.

Thank you,

Cassie Gavin, Director of Government Relations

Sierra Club – NC Chapter

cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org

Taxpayer subsidies for NC frackers?

Fracking Drink of Water

Thanks to Sue Sturgis of the Institute for Southern Studies for this very informative analysis, even though it’s pretty hard to swallow…

This week North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a bill that opens up the state to fracking for natural gas. The Energy Modernization Act will allow drilling permits to be issued 61 days after the state Mining and Energy Commission approves final rules for the industry, which is expected to happen by next summer.

The new law breaks a pledge from legislators that they would review and approve the rules before the state’s drilling moratorium could be lifted. Environmental advocates also criticize the law for failing to adequately address the risks associated with fracking and for weakening safeguards. Supporters claim it will boost North Carolina’s economy.

But it turns out that North Carolina’s Republican leaders are now seeking taxpayer-financed “corporate welfare” for the oil and gas industry — even though the five biggest drilling companies alone hauled in $93 billion in profits last year. As The News & Observer of Raleigh reports:

* The state Senate’s proposed budget includes nearly $1.2 million to help the energy sector with drilling, analysis and marketing.

* McCrory’s proposed budget includes $500,000 for drilling up to three test wells in Lee County, part of the state targeted for fracking.

* A separate $550,000 initiative was approved last year to help the energy industry assess fracking prospects.

The new fracking law also calls on the state to conduct taxpayer-financed studies on locating a liquid natural gas export terminal on the North Carolina coast, establishing a curriculum to train drilling industry workers at Central Carolina Community College, and developing infrastructure to facilitate oil and gas development such as pipelines, compressor stations, and gas processing systems. In addition, it prohibits local governments from imposing taxes on gas produced in their jurisdictions.

This appears to be the direction in which North Carolina’s current political leadership is headed: spending public dollars on a highly profitable industry that imposes significant social costs, including health-damaging water and air pollution. Fracking also releases significant amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate disruption — a serious concern for a coastal state like North Carolina that’s vulnerable to sea-level rise and intensifying tropical storms.

“The state has already spent significant resources in pursuit of fracking, with no new jobs to show for it (beyond the state government staff hired to write the new rules),” NC Conservation Network Policy Director Grady McCallie wrote in his analysis of the new law. “If the legislature had spent a fraction of these resources on renewable energy and efficiency, we would already be seeing the payoff in jobs and income for North Carolinians.”

Read the full article at: NC passes fracking law, seeks taxpayer subsidies for industry

Rein in the fracking industry

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Friends,

Tell EPA to protect our communities and special places from oil and gas drilling.Take action

Take action!

Good news! EPA is considering how to regulate the oil and gas industry.

From beginning to end, fracking only fuels climate disaster. As EPA decides how to regulate this out-of-control industry, let’s remind them we have one chance to get it right and protect our communities and public lands from dirty and dangerous fracking.

Send your letter today, and tell EPA to protect our communities and special places from oil and gas drilling.

Right now, EPA is using outdated information and drastically underestimates how much methane escapes during the drilling process. Pound for pound, methane’s impact on global warming is 86 times greater than carbon dioxide. 1 Will you tell EPA to go back and use the most up-to-date information as they consider how to rein in the oil and gas industry?

The natural gas industry has their eye on a profitable prize — exporting liquefied natural gas to other countries. We already know how fracking pollutes our air and water, how close these drilling rigs are to the places we love, and have seen the extreme weather events fueled by climate-changing gases like methane.

Send your message to EPA. Tell them to take stand against climate change and put the health of our communities before the profits of the oil and gas industry.

Thanks for all you do to protect the environment,

Deb Nardone
Director, Dirty Fuels Campaign
Sierra Club

P.S. Six letter are even better than one! Please share this with five of your friends and family.

Share this action on Facebook Share this action on Twitter

Reference:
1. “Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change”, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Sierra Club NC Chapter Legislative Update – June 6

Protect Enviro Democracy

Dear Friends,

This week at the legislature the House took up the Senate budget (S 744) and began marathon meetings to craft their own budgetary proposals. The Senate took a bit of a break and then returned to Raleigh on Wednesday where they were greeted by nearly 80 coal ash lobbyists. Thank you to all the volunteer lobbyists who came to Raleigh to meet with legislators on coal ash lobby day! Lawmakers seemed pleased to have constituents visit and generally expressed support for a strong coal ash bill.

Opportunity for Action

Whether or not you were able to join us for coal ash lobby day – please follow up with your legislators; right now is the key time to make calls and send emails asking for a strong coal ash bill.

Senate Turns to Coal Ash Legislation

The Governor’s coal ash bill (S 729), which was filed by the Senate and the House as a placeholder, was discussed by a skeptical Senate committee on Thursday morning. Senators Tucker, Hartsell, Ford, Bryant, Walters, Rabin, McLaurin and Allran all asked tough questions of DENR Secretary Skvarla regarding a wide range of coal ash issues such as the potential for reuse in concrete, the cleanup timeline, DENR enforcement, pond closure prioritization and public notice. Senator Rabin (R – Harnett, Johnston, Lee) pressed for faster reporting of spills over the “no later than 24 hours” that would be required by the Governor’s bill. And Senator Tucker (R – Union) kicked off a committee discussion about the potential for reuse of ash in concrete; it turns out that North Carolina is actually a net importer of coal ash for that use.  There may be potential for reuse of at least some part of North Carolina’s coal ash.

The Governor’s coal ash plan is a first step in the right direction but is inadequate. The plan does not have deadlines for coal ash clean up and identifies only four of fourteen coal plants as sites where coal ash would be removed to lined storage. S 729 does not direct how coal ash at ten of Duke Energy’s plants should be dealt with, so it could be left in place, and continue to pollute groundwater if the bill, as currently written, were to become law. Some key areas that the Sierra Club asked the Senate to address in a revised bill are: the future of coal ash handling; dates certain for removal of ash and closures; and prioritizing and providing effective standards for the closure of all sites. A good coal ash bill should have a timetable, with fixed dates to close out all wet coal ash ponds and to remove ash to dry, lined storage away from our waterways.

As you may recall, Democrats proposed a strong coal ash clean up bill -H 1226 “Coal Ash Management Act”. But the Senate version of the bill was referred to the Rules Committee, usually where bills go to die. The House version was directed the the Committee on Public Utilities and Energy. Leadership determines what bills get calendared for committees – so the Democrats’ bill may not come to a vote.

Fracking and the Senate Budget

Yesterday, Governor McCrory signed S 786, which lifts the moratorium on the issuance of fracking permits in North Carolina. DENR will be able to issue permits as early as this time next year (after rules for the oil and gas industry go into effect). This summer there will be an opportunity to comment on the proposed rules at several public hearings – we will keep you updated on the dates and locations.

The Senate’s proposed budget would put $100,000 in taxpayer funds towards marketing North Carolina for fracking and $973,000 towards shale gas test wells and core sample analysis in the Dan, Davie, Cumberland-Marlboro, and southern Deep basins. Overall this seems like an unnecessary subsidy to the oil and gas industry. If the state is going to invest public funds in an energy sector – why not in solar and wind – given that North Carolina is known to have excellent resources in both?

Thanks again to all the Sierrans who came to the successful coal ash lobby day!

Best regards,

Cassie Gavin, Director of Government Relations

Sierra Club – NC Chapter

cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org