Daily dose: First the Dan, now the Yadkin

POLICY & POLITICS
Conservation groups say Duke Energy plant leaks coal ash into river (LA Times) -- Three environmental groups said Thursday that they have discovered toxic coal ash leaks from a retired Duke Energy coal plant in North Carolina, allegedly polluting the Yadkin River nine months after a massive coal ash spill from a Duke plant fouled the nearby Dan River in February. The groups, which posted photos of the reported leaks, said the alleged discharges have not been disclosed by Duke Energy or by state environmental regulators. The leaks stretch for at least a quarter of a mile along the Yadkin River in central North Carolina, coating the river’s banks with orange sludge, the groups said. Coal ash stored in 33 ponds at 14 Duke Energy plants in North Carolina has been a volatile political issue since the Feb. 2 spill coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge from an ash storage pond at Duke’s Dan River plant. A Duke Energy spokesman said the utility regularly surveys all its coal ash sites for seeps, including the Yadkin river plant, and reports all findings to state environmental regulators. "Seeps occur at low flows and contain low levels of constituents, so the Yadkin River would be continue to be well protected and would not be influenced by these type of flows,’’ said the spokesman, Jeff Brooks. A spokesman for the state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources said the agency will visit the Yadkin River site to test water quality "to determine if there are any exceedances of water quality standards." The spokesman, Jamie Kritzer, said the agency would take "appropriate actions’’ based on the results.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-nc-coal-ash20141204-story.html

'60 Minutes' to spotlight coal ash, Duke Energy on Sunday (Charlotte Business Journal) -- CBS news program 60 Minutes will run a segment on coal ash Sunday focusing on Duke Energy and developments in North Carolina, including interviews with CEO Lynn Good and environmental critics of the company. CBS crews were in North Carolina in September, filming interviews with Good and others. Leslie Stahl will be the reporter for the segment, which is timed in advance of new coal-waste disposal guidelines expected from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before Christmas. The television crews went to sites including the Sutton Steam Electric Plant near Wilmington and talked to representatives of the Waterkeeper Alliance and other local environmental groups.
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/energy/2014/12/duke-energy-ceo-lynn-good-talks-coal-ash-on...

British drugmaker cutting hundreds of US jobs (AP) — Hundreds of British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline's 17,000 U.S.-based employees will lose their jobs by the end of next year under the pharmaceutical industry's latest restructuring.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/statef/british-drugmaker-cutting-hundreds-us-jobs-2725869

Fayetteville call center to lay off 226 workers (AP) — A Fayetteville customer call center approved for incentives two years ago says it plans to lay off more than 200 employees.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/fayetteville-call-center-lay-226-workers-2725889

Spaulding calls on McCrory to back police camera requirement (AP) — A Democratic candidate for North Carolina governor in 2016 wants current Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to join him in pushing for state legislation requiring local police to wear video cameras on the job.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/spaulding-backs-police-camera-requirement-nc-2725995

NC leaders ask AG Cooper to join lawsuit against Obama (WNCN-TV) -- The governor's office is asking North Carolina's attorney general to join 14 other attorneys general across the country to join a coalition of representatives challenging the president's executive action on immigration. On Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory made North Carolina one of the 17 states involved in a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's executive order last month on immigration. The coalition argues the president exceeded his powers laid out in the U.S. Constitution. Along with McCrory, the lawsuit names three other governor and 14 attorneys general among those challenging the action. On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest delivered a letter to state Attorney General Roy Cooper asking Cooper, a Democrat, to join in the lawsuit. "You have the authority to stand up for the people by joining the suit on behalf of North Carolina," Forest wrote. "To fail to do so would acquiesce to a constitutional violation that has the potential to harm all North Carolinians."
http://www.wncn.com/story/27551963/nc-leaders-ask-ag-cooper-to-join-lawsuit-against-obama

McCrory, Forest urge AG Cooper to join suit on immigration (WRAL-TV) -- North Carolina's governor and lieutenant governor are urging Attorney General Roy Cooper to step into a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's action on immigration.
http://www.wral.com/mccrory-forest-urge-ag-cooper-to-join-suit-on-immigration/14245979/

McCrory to use Texas AG to advise on immigration lawsuit (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory plans to use the Texas attorney general’s office to advise him on the lawsuit he joined challenging President Obama’s immigration plan. “We do not anticipate any costs to the state,” said Josh Ellis, chief spokesman for McCrory.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4376428/mccrory-to-use-texas-ag-to-advise.html

Federal spending in the states (Pew) -- The federal government spent $3.1 trillion in the states during its 2013 fiscal year.1 But the amount and composition of federal spending vary widely from state to state. As a result, federal budget decisions that increase or decrease different areas of spending affect each state differently. The distribution of federal spending provides important context for understanding the effect that federal fiscal policy has on the states.
http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2014/12/federal-spending-in-the-states

Jobless-benefit proposals back on deck (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Legislative supporters of clarifying eligibility requirements for state unemployment insurance benefits appear set to try again during the long session, this time with a two-bill strategy.
http://www.news-record.com/news/jobless-benefit-proposals-back-on-deck/article_e6f6d57a-7c2e-11e4-97...

Rep.-Elect Rouzer says Obama should be reprimanded (WECT-TV) -- Rep.-Elect David Rouzer says President Barack Obama should be reprimanded for “trampling all over the United States Constitution” with his executive action on immigration. “I think what the president has done is very sad,” Rouzer, a Republican, said after a meeting in Topsail Beach Thursday. “He's taken the law into his own hands in essence.”
http://www.wect.com/story/27552116/rep-elect-rouzer-says-obama-should-be-reprimanded-for-executive-a...

More projects on tap with NC road-building plan (AP) — North Carolina's first transportation funding blueprint based on new standards was unveiled Thursday, promising money for hundreds of additional projects for the next decade, many of which would have otherwise been delayed for years.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/more-projects-tap-nc-road-building-plan-2725525

Top projects within 10-year NC road-building plan (AP) — Highlights of top projects included within North Carolina's draft State Transportation Improvement Program, released Thursday to the state Board of Transportation
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/top-projects-within-10-year-nc-road-building-plan-2725541

DOT to rely on toll lanes for three Charlotte highway projects (Charlotte Observer) -- The N.C. Department of Transportation reaffirmed its commitment to toll lanes Thursday, with a 10-year plan including them in the widening of three key Charlotte projects.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/04/5362381/dot-to-rely-on-toll-lanes-for.html

NC State Officials Unveil Transportation Infrastructure Plan (WUNC-FM) -- North Carolina's Department of Transportation has released a plan that would spend $15 billion on road construction, aviation and public transit projects through 2025. The plan would use new standards under a new method approved by the General Assembly last year. Gov. Pat McCrory said it's the right choice for the state: "We're taking away the choke points which block access to rural and urban areas alike, to spur economic growth and create jobs. We're taking the politics out of road building and transportation so we're getting a bigger bang out of limited dollars."
http://wunc.org/post/nc-state-officials-unveil-transportation-infrastructure-plan

More Projects on Tap With NC Transportation Plan (TWCN-TV) -- North Carolina's first transportation funding plan using new standards has been unveiled. The plan promises spending on hundreds of additional projects for the next decade, many of which would have otherwise been delayed.
http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/all_nc_news/714601/more-projects-on-tap-with-nc-transporta...

NCDOT Releases Draft State Transportation Improvement Program (McCrory News release) – Gov. Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata today told State Board of Transportation that 303 additional projects will be fully or partially funded and about 126,000 more jobs will be created.
http://www.governor.state.nc.us/newsroom/press-releases/20141204/ncdot-releases-draft-state-transpor...

NCDOT plan fights urban congestion with light-rail and freeway upgrades (Raleigh News & Observer) -- North Carolina's new 10-year plan for major transportation projects is the first to follow Gov. Pat McCrory's funding formula that aims to take politics out of road construction.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4374119/i-40-upgrades-durham-chapel-hill.html

Currituck bridge to Corolla back on track (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- The mid-Currituck bridge connecting the mainland to Corolla, N.C., is back on track. The 7-mile-long span scored high on a regional level of importance after falling short on points earlier this year on statewide importance, according to a draft transportation plan released Thursday. "This is a game changer," said Peter Bishop, director of economic development for Currituck County.
http://hamptonroads.com/2014/12/currituck-bridge-corolla-back-track

Lawmakers Look to Support People with Traumatic Brain Injury (N.C. Health News) -- People in North Carolina with traumatic brain injury are closer to getting more state funds for treatment.
http://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2014/12/04/lawmakers-look-to-support-people-with-traumatic-br...

Health officials say 2 adults die from flu in NC (AP) — State health officials say two adults have died from the flu in North Carolina, raising the state death toll during the flu season to four.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/health-officials-say-2-adults-die-flu-nc-2725921

Flu season starts in earnest in North Carolina; two more deaths reported (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The number of flu cases in North Carolina is up, and two new deaths are reported as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the vaccine may not be as effective as usual this year.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4377034/flu-season-starts-in-earnest-in.html

Review of Stokes Co. guardrail deaths continues (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State officials say a wreck in November that killed two half-sisters is the first in North Carolina since 2010 in which a guardrail penetrated the passenger compartment and killed someone.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4376407/review-of-stokes-co-guardrail.html

"Fayetteville" restored to convention bureau (AP) — The name "Fayetteville" has been restored to the name of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/fayetteville-restored-convention-bureau-2725509

Grenade launchers, rifles: Pentagon releases list of military gear given to NC (WRAL:-TV) -- North Carolina law enforcement agencies have received more than 9,500 pieces of tactical equipment totaling more than $15.5 million from the federal government.
http://www.wral.com/grenade-launchers-rifles-pentagon-releases-list-of-military-gear-given-to-nc/142...

Prison captain fired over inmate death wants job back (WRAL-TV) -- A corrections captain fired earlier this year after a mentally ill inmate died of thirst appeared in court this week to fight for his job.
http://www.wral.com/prison-captain-fired-over-inmate-death-wants-job-back/14246378/

Statesville councilman sentenced in fraud case (Charlotte Observer) -- An Iredell County judge has given Statesville Ward 3 Councilman Jarrod Phifer a six-month probationary sentence on charges of felony food stamp fraud and misdemeanor medical assistance fraud.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/04/5362137/statesville-councilman-sentenced.html

Southern Pines Teddy Bear Collector Sentenced for Role in Major Fraud Case (Southern Pines Pilot) -- A Southern Pines resident who is former owner of a professional hockey team and a collector of teddy bears has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to bilking investors out of more than half a billion dollars,
http://www.thepilot.com/news/southern-pines-resident-sentenced-for-role-in-major-fraud-case/article_...

US Attorney General nominee, N.C. native Loretta Lynch, in her own words (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney general nominee, was on Capitol Hill this week, meeting with senators. As the North Carolina native met with the political leaders who hold a key to her future, others parsed remarks from her past.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4376462/loretta-lynch-in-her-own-words.html

New Hanover manager pushes quarter-cent sales tax increase (Wilmington Star-News) -- Chris Coudriet says it would create a sustainable funding source for economic development.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20141204/ARTICLES/141209854&tc=email_newsletter

McCrory Appoints Horne to Superior Court (Voter Update Magazine) -- The office of Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday announced the appointment of Chief District Court Judge R. Gregory Horne to the Superior Court.
http://thevoterupdate.com/jones/?p=3002

New instant games launch this week (Jacksonville Daily News) -- The last launch of new instant games in 2014 features one with four chances to win $150,000 and another that lets you start 2015 early with 10 chances to win a $2,015 prize.
http://www.jdnews.com/jdnewstream/new-instant-games-launch-this-week-1.409395/

Education Lottery announces eight instant games to end (Jacksonville Daily News) --The N.C. Education Lottery is announcing the end of eight instant scratch-off games.
http://www.jdnews.com/jdnewstream/education-lottery-announces-eight-instant-games-to-end-1.409385/

Farmers may get big boost (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Pitt County farmers who serve up home-grown foods for the local market could get a big boost from the U.S. Agriculture Department Saturday while offering financially strapped county residents more access to healthy foods.
http://www.reflector.com/news/farmers-may-get-big-boost-2726189

GENERAL NEWS
Is Triangle pharma industry positioned to absorb GSK layoffs? (Triangle Business Journal) -- ​In the first half of next year, roughly 900 former GlaxoSmithKline workers will filter into the pharmaceutical workforce looking for jobs. How well they are absorbed could have ripple effects on the Triangle's biopharmaceutical industry for years.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2014/12/04/gsk-layoffs-rtp-nc-triangle-pharma-industry-abso...

NASA’s Unmanned Orion Capsule Blasts Off On Maiden Voyage (AP) -- NASA successfully launches its unmanned Orion space craft on its first test flight 3,600 miles above Earth. The mission will test the capsule’s heat shield, electronics and parachutes
http://online.wsj.com/articles/orion-spacecraft-set-for-second-launch-attempt-1417771599?mod=WSJ_hpp...

Fast Food Workers Struggle to Pay for Health Insurance and Other Basics (N.C. Health News) -- Low-wage employees in Durham protesting Thursday for a $15 minimum wage said one of their biggest concerns is lack of access to health care
http://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2014/12/05/fast-food-workers-struggle-to-pay-for-health-insur...

NC customers have chance at refunds in Sirius XM Radio settlement (WRAL-TV) -- North Carolina customers who had contract problems with Sirius XM Radio may be entitled to a refund following a multistate settlement with the satellite radio provider, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Thursday. Under the terms of the settlement, Sirius XM will pay a total of $3.8 million to North Carolina, 43 other states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina will recover $101,429.41, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
http://www.wral.com/nc-customers-have-chance-at-refunds-in-sirius-xm-radio-settlement/14246318/

Vertex Rail CEO: ‘We can’t wait to be successful here’ (Port City Daily) -- If what Don Croteau is hearing proves true, more than 2,000 people, maybe 3,000, will converge on his company’s new home in Wilmington
http://portcitydaily.com/2014/12/05/vertex-rail-ceo-we-cant-wait-to-be-successful-here/

Nonprofit relocating to Charlotte from Greensboro, its home for 42 years (Charlotte Business Journal) -- In making the move, the N.C. Humanities Council's chair casts Charlotte as "the state’s most dynamic metropolitan market, increasingly cosmopolitan."
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/morning-edition/2014/12/nonprofit-relocating-to-charlotte-...

Abusing Chickens We Eat (New York Times) -- If you buy a Perdue chicken in the grocery store, you might think it had lived a comfortable avian middle-class existence. “Doing the right thing is things like treating your chickens humanely,” Jim Perdue, the company’s chairman, says in a promotional video. The company’s labels carry a seal of approval from the Department of Agriculture asserting that the bird was “raised cage free,” and sometimes “humanely raised,” although it says it is phasing that one out. Customers approve. Most of us are meat-eaters who still want animals treated humanely, and one survey found that 85 percent of consumers would prefer to buy chicken with a cage-free “humanely raised” label like Perdue’s. Enter Craig Watts, 48, a North Carolina farmer who says he raises about 720,000 chickens each year for Perdue. He watched the video of Jim Perdue and had an attack of conscience. “My jaw just dropped,” he said. “It couldn’t get any further from the truth.” So Watts opened his four chicken barns to show how a Perdue chicken lives. It’s a hellish sight. Watts invited an animal welfare group, Compassion, to document conditions, and it has spent months doing so. The organization has just released the resulting video on its website.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/opinion/nicholas-kristof-abusing-chickens-we-eat.html

K2 Looking at Layoffs as Military Contracts Expire (Southern Pines Pilot) -- K2 Solutions may have to lay off as many as 70 employees next month because the military is ending a series of contracts started in 2009 that enabled the Southern Pines company to train dogs to detect improvised bombs.
http://www.thepilot.com/news/k-looking-at-layoffs-as-military-contracts-expire/article_b6bb32e6-7bf4...

Hanesbrands to add dozens of jobs at Triad sock-knitting plant (Triad Business Journal) -- The jobs are needed to meet increasing demand.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2014/12/04/hanesbrands-to-add-dozens-of-jobs-at-triad-sock.html

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
State trails neighbors in community college salaries (Wilmington Star-News) -- Faculty members at public two-year institutions in North Carolina are among the lowest paid in the Southeast region
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20141204/ARTICLES/141209867/0/search

Union County schools vice chair Marcella Savage resigns from State Board of Ed (Charlotte Observer) -- Marcella Savage resigned from the State Board of Education last week, referring obliquely in an email to the controversy she’s facing in her home county of Union.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/04/5362107/union-county-school-board-vice.html

Winston-Salem State gets grant to help students (AP) — Winston-Salem State University has received a $275,000 grant to support a program that provides financial aid for Forsyth County students who are near graduation.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/winston-salem-state-gets-grant-to-help-students/ar...

UNCG proposes 4 percent hike in basic costs (Greensboro News & Record) -- If approved by the Board of Governors, the increase will amount to $261 in 2015-16.
http://www.news-record.com/news/uncg-proposes-percent-hike-in-basic-costs/article_9cfa7d04-7c34-11e4...

NC could encourage history class lessons (AP) — The Department of Public Instruction may encourage North Carolina high school teachers to use material from an institute funded by the conservative Koch family.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-could-encourage-history-class-lessons-2725539

UNC system hopes for money to build new education buildings (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The UNC system board debated budget priorities, a student fee for campus safety and lower tuition for out-of-state students at two border campuses. UNC leaders also seek construction spending to address a backlog of repairs and to build new facilities for science and nursing programs.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4377164/unc-hopes-for-new-building-money.html

UNC tuition revenue up as state funding stays flat (Durham Herald-Sun) -- While state funding for the UNC system has stayed “about flat” since recessionary times, a staff member for the university system said Thursday that total tuition revenue has grown almost 60 percent.
http://www.heraldsun.com/archive/x761896711/UNC-tuition-revenue-up-as-state-funding-stays-flat

Good Cop, Bad Cop From White House (Inside Higher Ed) -- The summit underscores a tension in the Obama administration’s higher ed approach: how to promote colleges' and universities' successes while holding them more accountable.
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/12/05/second-higher-ed-summit-obama-administration-mixes-pr...

Local, state leaders gather Tuesday to discuss methods to prevent violence in schools (Kinston Free Press) -- Public forums planned
http://www.kinston.com/news/local/local-state-leaders-gather-tuesday-to-discuss-methods-to-prevent-v...

Some troubling trends in providing renewal for teachers (Charlotte Observer column) -- Gardner-Webb University colleagues and I recently studied the extent to which the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, a nearly three-decade old professional learning program for public school teachers, had remained faithful to its founders’ intent. We looked at hundreds of documents produced by, about, or for NCCAT and its stakeholders over the past three years, adhering to every standard of social-science inquiry, including peer review.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/04/5362214/some-troubling-trends-in-providing.html

Bennett College Students Participate in Black Lives Matter Campaign (TWCN-TV) -- Demonstrators said it is not just about the Ferguson or Garner decisions but preventing the death of another unarmed man in America.
http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/all_nc_news/714618/bennett-college-students-participate-in...

Two Fayetteville State students facing murder charges (Fayetteville Observer) -- Two Fayetteville State University students were charged Thursday morning in the shooting death of a Plymouth man last month,
http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/two-fayetteville-state-students-facing-murder-charges/article_...

THE SPILL
Conservation groups say Duke Energy plant leaks coal ash into river (LA Times) -- Three environmental groups said Thursday that they have discovered toxic coal ash leaks from a retired Duke Energy coal plant in North Carolina, allegedly polluting the Yadkin River nine months after a massive coal ash spill from a Duke plant fouled the nearby Dan River in February. The groups, which posted photos of the reported leaks, said the alleged discharges have not been disclosed by Duke Energy or by state environmental regulators. The leaks stretch for at least a quarter of a mile along the Yadkin River in central North Carolina, coating the river’s banks with orange sludge, the groups said. Coal ash stored in 33 ponds at 14 Duke Energy plants in North Carolina has been a volatile political issue since the Feb. 2 spill coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge from an ash storage pond at Duke’s Dan River plant. A Duke Energy spokesman said the utility regularly surveys all its coal ash sites for seeps, including the Yadkin river plant, and reports all findings to state environmental regulators. "Seeps occur at low flows and contain low levels of constituents, so the Yadkin River would be continue to be well protected and would not be influenced by these type of flows,’’ said the spokesman, Jeff Brooks. A spokesman for the state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources said the agency will visit the Yadkin River site to test water quality "to determine if there are any exceedances of water quality standards." The spokesman, Jamie Kritzer, said the agency would take "appropriate actions’’ based on the results.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-nc-coal-ash20141204-story.html

Contaminated seeps found near Duke Energy plant (Charlotte Observer) --Environmental advocates said Thursday that they found contaminated seepage into the Yadkin River from ash ponds at Duke Energy’s Buck power plant in Rowan County.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/04/5362290/contaminated-seeps-found-near.html

Researcher: Spill tab $295M (Greensboro News & Record) -- A researcher from Wake Forest University unveiled a study recently suggesting that Duke Energy’s coal ash spill into the Dan River caused more than $295 million in environmental, recreational and other damage. But the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources released some of its own research last week that hinted that things aren’t all that bad in the potentially contaminated waters downstream from the spill. Meanwhile, a group of federal and state trustees is working to develop its own estimate of the spill’s impact in ways ranging from lost recreation to degraded wildlife habitat. The ultimate goal: a plan to fix, or at least offset, the damage done.
http://www.news-record.com/news/researcher-spill-tab-m/article_ec64d236-7c2a-11e4-8564-3bd47020fefa....

Duke Energy may find shortage of contractors to move coal ash (Charlotte Observer) -- The North Carolina legislature’s order that Duke Energy close ponds holding more than 100 million tons of coal ash could run into a shortage of contractors to do the work.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/04/5362324/duke-energy-may-find-shortage.html

'60 Minutes' to spotlight coal ash, Duke Energy on Sunday (Charlotte Business Journal) -- CBS news program 60 Minutes will run a segment on coal ash Sunday focusing on Duke Energy and developments in North Carolina, including interviews with CEO Lynn Good and environmental critics of the company. CBS crews were in North Carolina in September, filming interviews with Good and others. Leslie Stahl will be the reporter for the segment, which is timed in advance of new coal-waste disposal guidelines expected from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before Christmas. The television crews went to sites including the Sutton Steam Electric Plant near Wilmington and talked to representatives of the Waterkeeper Alliance and other local environmental groups.
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/energy/2014/12/duke-energy-ceo-lynn-good-talks-coal-ash-on...

Duke CEO Lynn Good on ‘60 Minutes’ Sunday (Charlotte Observer) -- Duke Energy’s CEO Lynn Good is scheduled to appear on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday to explain how the nation’s largest utility is dealing with the coal-ash disposal problem.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/04/5362129/duke-ceo-lynn-good-on-60-minutes.html

Legislators say coal-ash law likely to need revisions (Charlotte Business Journal) -- Two key N.C. House members told engineers and experts Thursday to expect the General Assembly to revisit the state's new law on coal ash over the next few years as more data comes in and additional issues arise. "I think we have to recognize we didn't get it right entirely," said Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Hendersonville), one of the bill's authors on the House side. "I think we will come back and deal with some things we intentionally left aside for now and some things we did not anticipate." Rep. Mike Hager (R-Rutherfordton), the new House Majority Leader and co-chair of the Environmental Review Commission, agreed. "It is just not an easy problem," he said. "I think you can expect a phase one, phase two and phase three."
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/energy/2014/12/n-c-legislators-say-coal-ash-law-likely-to-...

Lee County wants fees for allowing the burying of coal ash there (Raleigh News & Observer editorial) -- Well, here’s a new twist to the coal ash story. Lee County officials say their county is due fees, perhaps millions of dollars of fees, to be paid by Duke Energy and a partner planning to bury coal ash in open-pit clay mines there. Charah Inc. is the Kentucky-based company that’s doing the project, and it says the mines could hold 20 million tons of coal ash. Duke has to do something about ponds holding coal ash after a now-infamous spill into the Dan River from a Duke pond early this year spotlighted the hazards of the coal ash ponds. Now the state has new regulations, but disposal clearly is going to be a challenge.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4376860_lee-county-wants-fees-for-allowing.html

Dumping fees could be sticking point on coal ash (Fayetteville Observer Editorial) -- Duke Energy's plans to bury much of its coal-ash waste in a Lee County clay pit may have hit a major speed bump. If landfill fees apply, Duke could pay millions extra to dispose of the waste now housed in unlined storage ponds. Officials with Charah, the Kentucky-based contractor Duke hired to handle the project, point to wording in the law that describes "structure fill." They say that isn't the same as "landfill," to which fees would apply. Of course they would say that. Sen. Ronald Rabin says there was no such distinction intended. The Harnett County Republican, who also represents Lee County, says host fees didn't come up one way or the other during the debate. Rabin's call for the issue to be revisited when legislators convene next year makes sense. They should safeguard the interests of taxpayers in places where ash will be dumped, while also ensuring that Duke follows through on removing the mess it and its constituent companies created.
http://www.fayobserver.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-dumping-fees-could-be-sticking-point-on-coal/...

Two North Carolina Counties Want To Get Paid To Take Coal Ash (WUNC-FM) -- Duke Energy’s plan to dispose of coal ash in abandoned clay mines in two North Carolina counties may hit a snag. If coal waste was trash from your kitchen trash can, and ended up in a private landfill, the owners of that landfill would be required to pay a host fee of $2 per ton of trash. Duke Energy’s plan to dispose of 20 million tons of coal ash in abandoned clay mines in Lee and Chatham counties should come under the same rules, say officials in Lee County.
http://wunc.org/post/two-north-carolina-counties-want-get-paid-take-coal-ash

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Report: Offshore Wind Electricity Poised For Growth In NC (WUNC-FM) -- A new report from advocacy group Environment North Carolina says the state is under-utilizing its capacity to produce electricity from wind power. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, North Carolina has the most offshore wind potential of any Atlantic state. If tapped, the report says offshore wind resources in the state could grow to power 2.5 million homes by 2030. “We actually have the potential if we were to fully develop the resource to power the entire state from offshore wind,” says Dave Rogers with Environment NC. The advocacy group cites growth in wind-generated power overseas, and hails its zero-carbon output. But infrastructure and North Carolina’s sparse coastal population would be challenges for the wind industry to grow.
http://wunc.org/post/report-offshore-wind-electricity-poised-growth-nc

Siemens, Duke Energy Show Low-Cost Smart Charging for EVs (Next Gen. Transportation) -- Siemens' energy management division has teamed up with Duke Energy to demonstrate the results of an 18-month effort to reduce the cost of and expand electric vehicle (EV) charging technologies. Held at the Duke Energy Envision Center in Erlanger, Ky., and using a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, Siemens provided what it says is the first Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-approved residential EV supply equipment (EVSE) to demonstrate the ability to monitor status, report energy use and be controlled from the local area network and the cloud. Siemens’ EVSE was shown to be accessible by Web-connected computers, smartphones and tablets - allowing the EV owner to better monitor the status of the EV charging and schedule future charge events, as well as determine the total kilowatt hours consumed and the cost of charging. The demonstration was funded as part of a grant received from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) office of electricity delivery and energy reliability (OE).
http://www.ngtnews.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.10268#.VIEm0dLF9vk

A better light bulb: Transition begins for Wilmington's streetlights (Port City Daily) -- The amber-orange hue that illuminates many of Wilmington’s streets at night is slowly beginning to fade. Streetlights powered by two types of bulbs—high-pressure sodium lights, which create that amber color, and mercury vapor lights, which give off a bluer hue—are beginning to be replaced in Wilmington in favor of light-emitting diode bulbs, otherwise known as LED lights. Duke Energy has begun a year-long process to replace approximately 18,000 lights in the city with the more energy-efficient, clearer-colored lights, which have already changed the twilight look of downtown’s Third Street corridor. Brighter and whiter than older city lights, LEDs were installed there as part of a street enhancement project completed last year.
http://portcitydaily.com/2014/12/04/a-better-light-bulb-transition-begins-for-citys-streetlights/

Congressman-Elect Shares Plan to Protect Coastal Resources (TWCN-TV) -- US Congressman-elect David Rouzer paid a visit to the coast a month before taking office. Thursday, the soon-to-be District Seven representative toured a dredging project in Topsail Beach.
http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/all_nc_news/714614/congressman-elect-shares-plan-to-protec...

Second Annual Christmas Gift Guide (Coastal Review) -- From an island getaway overlooking Bogue Inlet to a killer stand-up paddleboard, our staff has come up with an array of suggestions for our second Coastal Christmas Gift Guide.
http://nccoast.org/Article.aspx?k=daef9fef-dda2-4c08-8c39-f954a01bc0e4

Congress takes step to allow driving on Outer Banks beaches (McClatchy Newspapers) -- Congress took another step toward making it possible for people to do more driving on the beaches of the Outer Banks. The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that contains Sen. Richard Burr's "Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act." It would set rules that the National Park Service would have to abide by when it limits where off-road vehicles can go on the beaches.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4377054/congress-takes-step-to-allow-driving.html

EDITORIALS
North Carolina doesn't need payday lending (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- To lump payday lending in the same breath as loan sharks is an insult to Jaws. North Carolina wisely banned their notorious practices in 2006. There is no good reason for the N.C. General Assembly, under new leadership, to consider inviting the lenders back to reopen their businesses. Yet, that would appear to be one of the New Year’s wishes of the payday lending industry. Some 20 registered lobbyists pleaded their case to North Carolina legislators in the last long session. With a new N.C. House speaker waiting in the wings to succeed Thom Tillis, who will be sworn into the U.S. Senate in January, the loan industry might hope for a change of tone in Raleigh.
http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/opinion/our-views/north-carolina-doesn8217t-need-payday-lending-27...

Duke study shows steep tilt in NC redistricting maps (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Duke researchers redrew NC's congressional districts 100 different ways. Almost all versions gave a better result for Democrats than the GOP-drawn districts.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/04/4376861/duke-study-shows-steep-tilt-in.html

Bob Orr & Clyde Fitzgerald: Congress can help farmers and the needy (Winston-Salem Journal column) -- As we begin to celebrate the holiday season and our nation’s bountiful harvest, it is important to remember the challenges faced by farmers producing our food and the struggles of many families to put food on their tables. With one vote during the current session of this Congress, the U.S. Senate can help farmers improve their bottom line and assist those in need of food. In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan America Gives More Act. North Carolina senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan should urge their leadership to bring the bill to the Senate floor immediately. … Both Sen. Burr and Sen. Hagan have supported similar legislation in the past. Building on the call for bipartisanship after the elections, we hope they will press the Senate leadership during the final days of the 113th Congress to pass the America Gives More Act or similar legislation. The bill’s passage would be a welcome Christmas present for our farmers and those in need.
http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/bob-orr-and-clyde-fitzgerald-congress-can-help-farmers-...

Cities and towns see limited revenue options (Wilmington Star-News) -- Starving its cities will not propel North Carolina to economic success.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20141204/ARTICLES/141209856/1108?Title=Editorial-Cities-and-to...

That’s a wrap (Greensboro News & Record) -- Scaling back incentives for film productions will hurt the state’s ability to compete in the movie and TV industry.
http://www.news-record.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/that-s-a-wrap/article_6038d630-7bea-11e4-837c-...

How to understand the state's health care premiums (Wilmington Star-News column) -- In North Carolina, as elsewhere, average health care premiums are likely to moderately increase both in 2015 and 2016.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20141204/ARTICLES/141209862/-1/opinion04?Title=Stephen-Parente...

Tags: 

Comments

Corporations keep saying,

Corporations keep saying, Trust us--we'll do the right thing! But almost every time, they let us down. Then they wonder why the response to their next proposal is met with skepticism and push-back.

Trust us! The Keystone pipeline won't leak or spill!

Trust us!

Fracking will be done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner! We won't leave behind contaminated wells, polluted air, torn up roads and toxins in the ground!

-------------------------------------------------------
"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014