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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).  
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They’re probably clinking glasses this morning over in the Pope Empire over the contents of this Charlotte Observer story. Here’s the lead:

“Hundreds of trees may fall under new billboard law

Charlotte’s largest billboard company has requested permission to clear hundreds of trees along city interstates under a controversial new law opponents say could blight the landscape.”

Read it and weep by clicking here.

 

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As North Carolinians continue to study and debate the issue of whether the state should open up to natural gas “fracking,” here’s another fun byproduct of the process that’s turning up in the news more and more that needs to be factored into the debate: earthquakes.

Check out this story from CNN about new tremblers in, of all places, eastern Ohio.

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The nonprofit news site, Pro Publica reported last night on a new draft EPA report  that, for the first time, links the controversial practice of fracking to ground water pollution.

The findings appear to confirm what common sense (and many people who live near fracking sites) already told us — that it would be pretty darned unlikely that the oil and gas industry could inject  millions of gallons of dangerous chemicals underground at high pressure in thousands of sites and not cause harmful groundwater pollution.

Let’s hope the report adds another brick to the wall currently barring the controversial practice in North Carolina. You can read the full EPA report by clicking here.