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Longtime environmental advocate Molly Diggins of the Sierra Club offers the following take on so-called “solid waste reform” legislation scheduled for a final vote in the state Senate tonight:

“Tonight, the Senate will have a final (3rd) reading on S 328,  Solid Waste Management Reform Act.  S. 328 would undo many of the community, fiscal and environmental solid waste policies the state adopted in 2007. The 2007 measures were put into place after a one-year moratorium and comprehensive stakeholder process, including input from state and federal resource agencies. 

S 328 has had no associated studies and no stakeholder process.   Read More

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Jordan lakeYou know something’s amiss in the General Assembly when even the folks who had criticized environmental rules for being too heavy-handed are now taking lawmakers to task for going too far in their response. The subject is Chatham County’s Jordan Lake and the rules that state environmental officials had adopted a few years back in order to save it from the pollution flowing down from Greensboro, Durham and other points north.

Today’s edition of the Greensboro News & Record — the hometown paper of the biggest city impacted by the rules (a city that had complained mightily about them) — editorializes against the state Senate’s plan to eviscerate the rules in a piece entitled “Don’t give up on lake” Read More

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Greenpeace investigator Connor Gibson has a post worth checking out at the Greenpeace blog, The Witness . It’s about Duke Energy’s amazingly two-faced stance on North Carolina’s renewable energy law. As Gibson reports:

“Corporate polluters are taking aim this year at states with renewable energy laws, starting with an attack on North Carolina’s clean energy economy by a corporate front group known as ALEC with support from Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries.

North Carolina state Representative Mike Hager says he is confident that he has the votes needed to weaken or undo his state’s clean energy requirements during his second term. Read More

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Nat Keohane of the Environmental Defense Fund has an op-ed in today’s edition of Bloomberg Businessweek that’s worth a read. Let’s hope Hurricane Sandy spurs people to take some of the actions he’s promoting.

“In the 2008 campaign, both presidential candidates called for comprehensive action on climate change through a declining cap on carbon. This time around, the economy has taken center stage; while Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have presented different visions on energy policy, climate change has largely been relegated to the sidelines. Nonetheless, the magnitude and urgency of the challenge have not diminished. If we needed any reminder of that fact, Hurricane Sandy should have provided it—especially coming on the heels of devastating drought, record-breaking temperatures through the spring and summer, and a record low in the extent of Arctic sea ice.”

Read the entire piece by clicking here.

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Thanks to Steve Harrison at Blue NC this morning for highlighting and critiquing a pair of dueling essays in yesterday’s Charlotte Observer on the sobering subject of coal ash (the waste that results from burning coal and, in part, from “scrubbing” the exhaust so that we keep the air a smidge cleaner).  

The bottom line takeaway: The innumerable problems with coal ash are just another reminder of why we are kidding ourselves if we pretend that coal is a viable long-term solution to the world’s energy challenge.

(Photo courtesy of the Southern Environmental Law Center).