Sierra Club

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Duke Energy Corp. will pay a $156,000 penalty for polluting ground and surface waters with potentially toxic coal-ash waste around three power plants, an amount one critic compared Friday to a couple of days salary for the company's CEO.

The penalty is less than a slap on the wrist for the country's No. 2 electricity company, which generated $23 billion in revenue and reported paying CEO Lynn Good $21.4 million last year, the Sierra Club's David Rogers said.

Duke Energy has agreed to pay at least $1 million to settle a federal lawsuit by environmental groups over water pollution near a now-retired coal-fired power plant in Wilmington. 

Budgets are supposed to be focused on taxes and spending. But the North Carolina Senate has a reputation for sliding major policy changes into its spending plan. This year is no exception. It contains a plan for a major overhaul to a key water quality regulation. 

Sec. Van Der Vaart Defends Oft-Criticized DEQ

Feb 4, 2016
Youtube

The state agency tasked with protecting the environment has been under scathing, near-constant criticism from environmentalists during the tenure of Governor Pat McCrory.  The state saw a dramatic political shift with McCrory's 2012 election and the subsequent election of Republican super-majorities to the House and Senate.  Since then, lawmakers have rolled back environmental regulations and McCrory redirected what was then known as DENR, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in a way that emphasized "customer service," or what critics perceive as a business-friendly approac

In Their Words: Rep. Chuck McGrady

Apr 28, 2015
The News & Observer of Raleigh

We’ve been talking with area legislators over the past few weeks.  It’s part of an effort to bring you their views, in their words.  Today the focus is on Representative Chuck McGrady, Republican of Henderson County.  On a day when McGrady was preparing for a busy week known as "crossover" - in which most bills have to pass one chamber and "cross over" in order to be considered still alive this session - he took the time to speak with us about issues ranging from taxes, politics, the environment, social issues, and more.  The full conversation is above.  Below are some parts of the intervie

Some lawmakers in the Carolinas say drilling for oil and natural gas offshore will be boost the states' economies and help the nation toward energy independence.

But conservation groups warn such drilling could endanger coastal tourism with the possibility of oil spills onCarolinas beaches.

The Obama administration on Tuesday included an area off the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia in its draft proposal of tracts on the Outer Continental Shelf that could be leased between 2017 and 2022.