What’s 86 Times More Potent Than Carbon Dioxide?

Send a message to protect our air, health and planet.

Take Action: Protect Our Climate from Methane
Take Action: Big Oil Must Stop Poisoning Communities
Methane — it’s the greenhouse gas that flies under the radar. But pound for pound, methane is 86 times more potent over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide. As the oil and gas industry pushes to frack more, President Obama needs to come up with a plan for cutting this dangerous greenhouse gas. President Obama and his administration can ensure the protection of our climate and our communities by taking an important first step — regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Take Action
Tell President Obama and his administration to step up, cut methane, and help us move toward a future where our homes, schools, and businesses are powered with clean energy.

 

Send a message to protect our treasures.

Take Action: Protect Boulder-White Clouds as a National Monument
Take Action: Protect Boulder-White Clouds as a National Monument
Boulder-White Clouds in central Idaho is filled with 150 alpine peaks that rise over 10,000 feet in the air. It is the crown jewel of Idaho wilderness and is treasured by, and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. But as population grows and industry looks to expand, the fate of this pristine region is uncertain. Boulder-White Clouds is the largest unprotected roadless forest landscape left in the lower 48 states. But with your help we can change that and protect Boulder White-Clouds for future generations to enjoy.

Take Action
Tell President Obama that Boulder-White Clouds should be our nation’s next national monument.

Make Duke Energy Pay

Isn’t it time to make Duke Energy pay? Would you like to to make Duke pay to help you save money, energy and protect our air, water and health? You betcha’!!!

Duke Energy is required by law to offer Energy Efficiency (EE) programs to rate payers. Image if everyone took advantage of these offers and cut our energy use by qt least 20%! We could avoid paying for expensive new power plants, decrease our Mountain Top Removal coal use, save tons of water, and clean up our air and water. 

I just place my order for 3 types of bulbs:

2 x Philips PAR20 Flood – Retail $22.95, Store price $17.95, Duke incentive $7.00 = My cost $10.95

10 x TCP G25 Globe – Retail $5.50, Store price $3.00, Duke incentive $1.70 = My cost $1.30

15X CREE LED A Lamp 9.5W – Retail $9.97, Store price $9.87, Duke incentive $7.00 = My cost $2.97

Total retail cost $250.45, My cost $79.45 (plus zero tax and free shipping!)

And I plan to make Duke Energy pay more!

Here are some of the Energy Efficiency programs that Duke Energy is offering (click on images for more information).

Home Energy House Call

Make Duke pay for a $180 home energy assessment – check your home for air leaks, examine your insulation levels, check your appliances and more. Plus you’ll get a free energy efficiency starter kit (free CFLs, showerhead and more), valued at $30, to help you start saving right away.

Duke EE House Call

LED Lightbulbs

Make Duke pay you to replace even your CFLs with LEDs – see the chart below about why this is a good idea and how to select your bulbs.

Duke EE Lightbulbs

Duke EE LED bulbs

LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Bulbs

LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Bulbs

Appliance Recycling

Make Duke pay you $50 to pick up and recycle your outdated, energy hog old frig!

Duke EE Appliance Recycling

 Smart $aver

The  home improvement rebate programs help you make your home more comfortable. You can improve the air quality in your home, fix uneven temperature spots and make sure your equipment is running efficiently. These changes help you reduce your energy usage and save on your monthly bill!

Make Duke Energy pay you to save energy, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Duke EE Smart Saver

Duke EE Smart Saver List

Save Energy and Money Programs and Information

Get a free customized report that will show you how your home uses energy — and other specific recommendations to reduce your energy use. Get answers to your energy questions and learn how to make simple low cost changes that result in big savings.

Duke EE Save Energy and Money

If you are a formewr Progress Energy customers there are similar but sightly different programs. Check the Duke Energy website for details.

After the Elections: Pollution Has Consequences

Yes,  time to fight harder!

Pollution Has Consequences

Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign

November 6, 2014

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Elections have consequences—that’s a common political trope we hear after every election, and it’s true. It’s also true that pollution has consequences, and those hit Americans right where they live, from kids with asthma, to rivers fouled with coal pollution, to the farmer in the grip of an unending drought made worse by climate change.

pollutionelection
Pollution will still have consequences. Decisions about energy will continue to be made at the local and state level, by utility commissions and state regulators who are usually far less partisan and polarized than their federal counterparts—and those are venues where every one of us can and should get engaged.

As the new report by the world’s leading scientists makes clear, the effect of climate pollution released over the next two years will be far more lasting and irrevocable than anything that happens in the 114th Congress. So now is not the time for despair—it’s time for us to double down and do the most effective, strategic work of our lives.

While Americans showed their anger and frustration at the voting booth and sent new leadership to Congress this week, they did not vote for dirty air, dirty water or dirty energy. However, unless we do our work very well, that is just what they will get. In the next two years we will need to defend the progress that has been made to address climate change, shift away from fossil fuels to clean energy, and safeguard public health from dangerous air and water pollution.

Federally, climate deniers are poised to take the reins in several key U.S. Senate committees, and they clearly intend to take aim at a whole host of air, water and climate safeguards, especially the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Meanwhile, in statehouses across the nation, polluters are teeing up a wave of anti-environmental measures, including making it harder for homeowners to go solar, rolling back state clean energy standards and blocking states from reducing their carbon pollution under the Clean Power Plan.

At the same time, when it comes to our progress moving the U.S. beyond coal, we’re not going backwards. No new coal plants are being built in the U.S. right now, our existing coal plants aren’t getting any younger, and clean energy is being installed at such skyrocketing rates that wind and solar are as cheap as fossil fuels in a growing number of states around the country.

Pollution will still have consequences. Decisions about energy will continue to be made at the local and state level, by utility commissions and state regulators who are usually far less partisan and polarized than their federal counterparts—and those are venues where every one of us can and should get engaged.

Poll after poll has shown that the public wants clean air, clean water and action to tackle the climate crisis. We want more investments in clean energy now. Local concerns about public health, air pollution, and clean water will still be the most powerful arguments in the room. And regular people, fighting for their families and their communities, will still be the most powerful force shaping America’s energy future.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pieces of advice that seem very fitting this week, from two strong Appalachian women who I count among my heroes. When Judy Bonds, a leader and legend in the fight to end mountaintop removal, was in failing health, she told her friends and supporters that the best way to honor her legacy was simple: “Fight harder.” And to paraphrase legendary labor organizer Mother Jones, “Don’t whine—organize!”

Sustainable Commute Challenge – Win $50

Do you walk, bike, or ride transit in Charlotte? Sustain Charlotte’s Transportation Choices Alliance is giving away $50 every weekday in November to the contestant whose photo attracts the most ‘Likes’ in our Sustainable Commute Challenge! Everyone in the Charlotte region is eligible to enter: www.movecharlottesmarter.org/challenge

TCA Challenge

Now you can vote early in NC, your three-step plan

early_voting_mgn

This is a critical election and every vote will make a difference!

If you agree it’s a critical time for leaders to take action on climate change and promote clean energy jobs and development here in North Carolina make a plan to vote early!

North Carolina’s early voting program lets you vote when it’s convenient for you (even on Saturday and Sunday), rather than finding time on Election Day.

Here’s your three step guide to voting in this year’s important election:

1. Vote early: We recommend you vote early—voting early means you can vote when it’s convenient for you, including on the weekend! Early voting begins on Oct. 23rd. Find out more about early voting in NC dates, times, and locations by visiting your county’s Board of Elections website.
2. Know your ballot: View a sample ballot and other information before you vote.
3. Know your rights and the rules of voting in NC: Visit NC Election Connection’s Protect My Vote page.

Due to the changes in election and voting law there has been some confusion about early voting and photo ID. North Carolinians can still vote early. And—until 2016— you generally do not have to show identification to vote. However, if you are a newly registered voter or if you have never voted at your current address, then you may be required to show ID. (You do not need a photo ID. Examples of ID that you could bring include: driver’s license, utility bill, pay-stub, bank statement).

We encourage you to reach out to your friends and family in North Carolina to make sure that they are prepared for the election as well.

For more information about Charlotte early voting sites, election rules, etc. check out http://charlottesierraclub.org/political-2/elections-2014/

Be there! Crucial Oct 27th Charlotte City Council Vote on Stormwater Controls

The agenda was published yesterday and the vote for THE Most Important Environmental Decision of the year is scheduled for  6:30 PM, October 27th at the Government Center, 600 E. Fourth Street, Charlotte NC (free evening parking in Fourth Street parking deck). Check out the agenda items below.

Plan to attend the meeting and bring a sign calling for VOTE NO on this weakening of our clean water protections.

If you really want to learn more about the details, you can read this article in Creative Loafing: http://clclt.com/charlotte/developers-vs-the-environment/Content?oid=3534215

But here’s what you need to do immediately:

Send a letter, email or call the Mayor and as many City Council members as you can and tell them to oppose the extension of the temporary policy that allows developers to pay a fee to avoid on-site pollution controls. This fee is called a “fee-in-lieu,” meaning the developer makes a payment “in-lieu” of doing what is needed to control on-site pollution. While the payment will theoretically be used by the City storm water department to help clean-up our streams, that’s a backwards way of approaching the problem and will harm our streams. On-site pollution controls are needed.

Here are some talking points that you can use:

  • Please oppose the extension of the “fee-in-lieu” to the Post-Construction Controls Ordinance.
  • Over 80% of our streams are impaired and not fit for human contact.
  • This is Charlotte’s most important ordinance for water quality.
  • PCCO provides on-site regulations that are needed and cannot be replaced by less effective mitigation. On-site controls offer the best method of controlling pollution.
  • PCCO was a compromise. A group of stakeholders met over several years to develop the ordinance. We can’t compromise on the compromise.
  • It’s unrealistic to believe that development is being stopped by the PCCO.
  • We should actually strengthen PCCO by requiring on-site filters.
  • This is an example of paid staff from the development community trying to wear down citizens who have limited time to stay informed and involved in complicated issues. Citizens lose faith in the government and the process when this occurs.
  • We should rename PCCO to “Charlotte Stream Protection Law” so that citizens can recognize its importance.
  • This is an opportunity for the City Council to show environmental leadership and accountability.

Scroll down to see the email and phone numbers for the Mayor and City Council members.

 

PCCO Agenda Oct 27 2014 A

PCCO Agenda Oct 27 2014 B

PCCO Agenda Oct 27 2014 C

PCCO Agenda Oct 27 2014 D

Here’s the contact information for the Mayor and City Council:

Mayor   Daniel (Dan) Clodfelter   E-mail:  mayor@charlottenc.gov   Phone:  704-336-2241

Mayor Pro Tem

Michael Barnes   Email: barnesforcharlotte@gmail.com Phone: 704-509-6141

Council At-Large:

David Howard   Email: info@davidhowardclt.com Phone: 704-336-4099

Claire Green Fallon   Email: cfallon@charlottenc.gov Phone: 704-336-6105

Vi Lyles   Email: vlyles@charlottenc.gov Phone: 704-336-3431

District Representatives:

Patsy Kinsey, District 1   Email: pkinsey@charlottenc.gov Phone: 704-336-3432 or 704-376-5367

Al Austin, District 2   Email: aaustin@charlottenc.gov Phone: 704-336-3185

LaWana Mayfield, District 3   Email:     lmayfield@charlottenc.gov Phone:   704-336-3435 (office) or 704-352-7305 (cell)

Greg Phipps, District 4   Email: gaphipps@charlottenc.gov Phone: 704-336-3436

John Autry, District 5   Email: jautry@charlottenc.gov Phone: 704-336-2777

Kenny Smith, District 6   Email: krsmith@charlottenc.gov Phone: 704-336-3433

Ed Driggs, District 7   Email:ed@eddriggs.com Phone: 704-432-7077

 

This is critically important. If we lose this battle, we’ll lose the opportunity to clean-up our polluted streams.

Box Creek Wilderness Update – October 23

Here’s an update about the plan to run a powerline through the Box Creek Wilderness in Rutherford and McDowell counties. Thanks to the great folks involved in this fight. If you would like to join in and support this fight, or if you have any questions, email Elly Wells.

Box Creek Wilderness News

Box Creek Wilderness Festival Visitors  Box Creek Wilderness Festival Visitors  Box Creek Wilderness Festival Visitors

Thank You!

We’ve had a great start to the fall with a booth at the Rutherford Hilltop Festival on October 4, and the Mountain Glory Festival in Marion on October 11. We met lots of new friends and had more than 240 people sign our petition to save Box Creek between the two events.

Our total number of Save Box Creek petition signatures is now at 1,802! Whether you signed the petition online or at a festival booth, we appreciate your support and ongoing interest in the future of Box Creek Wilderness.

New Policy for Speaking at REMC Annual Meeting

Several of you have asked us about speaking (on topics ranging from the Box Creek Wilderness issue to alternate energy to capital credit payments) at this Saturday’s October 25, 2014 REMC Annual Member Meeting; some of you have then contacted REMC directly to inquire about speaking.

Last year at the 2013 meeting, two people asked to speak at the meeting and permission was granted and they spoke; time limit was three minutes.

Based on information supporters have shared with us, REMC has apparently changed its policy for the 2014 Annual Member Meeting in the following ways:

  • REMC requires that you send them a written request to speak at the meeting two weeks in advance (Saturday Oct. 11 for this year’s Oct. 25 meeting);
  • REMC requests that the written request to speak outline your proposed remarks so that the General Manager may obtain information related to your remarks before the meeting;
  • Remarks should be limited to topics of general interest to REMC or its members that relate to the business of REMC;
  • REMC’s General Manager has the discretion to approve or decline your submitted remarks;
  • If REMC’s General Manager allows you to speak in his discretion, you will be allowed no more than three minutes to speak; and
  • If more than 10 members request to speak, REMC will limit the number of speakers.
  • REMC has not published this new policy on its website yet, so details would need to be confirmed by REMC.

November 8: Autumn Hike in Box Creek

 

Box Creek Wilderness HikersWe’re excited to announce another oppportunity to hike in Box Creek Wilderness. Saturday, November 8, 2014 — hikers will meet at 9:45AM on Box Creek Road to begin the hike at 10:00AM sharp. The hike will be about three miles round-trip, with a stop at the top of Rockey Face Mountain.

If you are interested in attending this hike, please email us with the number of people in your party and their names. Hike spaces are limited, so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to sign up to attend. More detailed directions and information will be provided to those who sign up for the hike.

About the Hike
Box Creek Wilderness Hikers at Rockey FaceOur hike will be led by conservation biologist Kevin Caldwell of Mountains-to-Sea Ecological. It will go through the heart of Box Creek Wilderness, allowing participants to look at rare forest types including alluvial forests, dry basic oak-hickory forests and piedmont basic glades. Topics such as rare species, unusual plants, watersheds, geology, rocks, natural communities, and restoration ecology will be discussed. The hike will take a rest break top of Rockey Face, with broad sweeping views. No dogs please.

Difficulty
The hike is strenuous and may involve some hiking off-trail.

If you would like to join this hike, or if you have any questions, email Elly Wells, Box Creek Wilderness Communications or call (828) 258-3387.]

Legal Updates

Box Creek Wilderness Case

Last month, September 2014, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part the October 2013 case dismissal decision by the Rutherford County Superior Court with respect to the condemnation of the portion of Box Creek Wilderness in McDowell County. The Court of Appeals concluded that the condemnation of the Box Creek Wilderness property located in McDowell County could not go forward in the Box Creek Wilderness case, but that the Rutherford County portion could go forward.

On October 8, 2014, attorneys representing Box Creek Wilderness landowner Tim Sweeney filed a petition with the Court of Appeals to reconsider that decision based on legal errors, arguing that the condemnation of all of Box Creek Wilderness, including that portion in Rutherford County, should be dismissed. As of today October 15, 2014, the Court of Appeals has not ruled on the petition. In addition, the second lawsuit REMC filed to condemn additional property of Tim’s in the Copperleaf Tract, is still pending in Superior Court.

Tim’s offer to donate property he owns for an alternate right of way for the transmission line, which would keep the new line from bisecting this Natural Heritage Area in McDowell and Rutherford, still stands.

Rights of Members to Information for Non-profit Corporations in NC

In a separate case regarding the disclosure of information to members of non-profit corporations in North Carolina like REMC — In August 2014, the Rutherford County Superior Court ruled that Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation is governed by the North Carolina Non-profit Act, which includes laws that protect members of non-profit corporations and provides all members of such corporations access to information about the corporation including board meeting minutes, financial reports, the member list, and other information typically afforded to members of a non-profit corporation.

The court recognized that this information is needed by members in order for them to meaningfully participate in member activities, such as annual member meetings and the nomination of directors.  REMC has appealed that decision to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.