Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sixty Percent of NC's Electricity Is Generated Using Coal

In parts of eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky strip mining of coal via mountaintop removal blows off the tops of mountains with massive ammonium nitrate and fuel-oil blasts. In the past thirty years, an estimated 500 mountains have been destroyed by this mining technique; more than 1,200 miles of streams have been filled with mining waste and fill.

With nearly 60 percent of its electricity generated by coal-fired plants, North Carolina consumes over 15 million tons of coal stripped from mountaintop removal operations in central Appalachia. It ranks as the second-largest consumer of mountaintop removal-mined coal in the nation.

In 2007, state Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro took a historic step in introducing the Appalachian Mountains Preservation Act, which would prohibit the importation of mountaintop-removal coal into North Carolina. This was the first bill of its kind in the nation. (The News Observer, 4/18/09)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Nuclear Power Plants For North & South Carolina?

Duke Energy is considering the construction of the Lee nuclear plant near Gaffney, South Carolina. Duke has made no final decision to build the, which could cost up to $11 billion. One thing is very clear though, Duke needs to build more power plants to keep up with growing electricity demand. Due to the high cost of the Lee facility, Duke prefers to build it with partners to spread costs. Absent buidling a nuclear plant to meet future electricity needs, Duke could expand its Cliffside coal-fired plant.

Utilities commissions in both Carolinas have given Duke permission to spend millions in project development costs for Lee. Last year the South Carolina Public Service commission approved $230 million in expenses through 2009. North Carolina's Utilities Commission approved spending up to $160 million.

Raleigh-based Progress Energy is also considering the construction of a nuclear power plant.

The Center supports construction of the Duke and Progress Energy nuclear power plants. (, April 7, 2009)