Participating Breweries are:
French Broad Brewing
French Broad Brewing
Continued Reliance on Fossil Fuels Troubling to the Region
Asheville, NC – In an announcement today, Duke Energy revealed a proposal to retire the Asheville Plant, a 414 MW nameplate capacity (376 MW operating capacity) coal-fired power plant located near Asheville, North Carolina. The announcement includes plans to replace coal-fired power at the plant with new, larger gas fired generation options. Additionally, Duke has committed to building a solar farm on the site of coal ash ponds near the plant. Today’s announcement marks the 190th coal plant announced for retirement since the beginning of the Beyond Coal campaign.
In Response to Today’s Announcement MountainTrue, Sierra Club, Southern Environmental Law Center and Waterkeeper Alliance issued the following joint statement:
“For the last three years the Asheville Beyond Coal Campaign and thousands of individuals have called on Duke Energy to transition our region off of coal. This has been a struggle to protect our health, our families and our communities. It has required tireless effort to pursue a brighter vision for Asheville. We can declare victory in securing closure of the plant, for it means an end is in sight for the air, water, and carbon pollution from this plant, but Duke’s announcement to build new gas is inconsistent with the clean energy vision we have called for.
“While we applaud Duke’s decision to retire the Asheville plant, Duke failed to hear what people wanted in its place. Folks want a bright future that supports clean energy, not a giant gas plant polluting Asheville for another 30 years. North Carolina has the opportunity to be a leader in clean energy generation through aggressive investments in solar power and energy efficiency, and Duke Energy must be a partner in that effort – but moves like this deeply undermine the ability to bring online clean, reliable 21st century energy options that will create good jobs right here at home.
“North Carolinians deserve clean water and home grown electricity options that invest in local communities and create jobs here in our community. North Carolina has some of the best potential in the nation to harvest the sun for our power needs but Duke Energy must be a partner in that investment if the state is ever to see the real benefits of clean energy. While the proposed solar farm is a step in the right direction, it falls far short of the investment needed to move the region to a clean energy future.
“Additionally, this announcement does nothing to address evidence of unsafe air pollution from the Asheville Plant; under Duke’s proposal, the plant could continue to emit sulfur dioxide at levels that threaten public health until the coal-burning units are retired.
“The retirement of the Asheville Plant is a step in the right direction, but it is a half measure, undermined by continuing reliance on an economically unpredictable and polluting source of power. Duke can do better, and our community deserves better. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight for clean energy solutions for Western North Carolina.”
The 2015 Rhythm and Brews season is shaping up to be another stellar series, with fantastic music, good food, fine drink and — best of all — good friends. And MountainTrue is proud to support this great community event!
The series will once again be in the Azalea parking lot, adjacent to King Street, between 3rd and 4th avenues in downtown Hendersonville. The shows are on the third Thursday of each month.
We also need volunteers! If you’re interested in volunteering at the MountainTrue tent or after the show, please click HERE to sign up. Volunteers should be finished less than an hour after the show ends.
The dates for this year’s shows are:
Shows start at 5 p.m., with a singer-songwriter showcase, followed by the opening act at 6 p.m. and headliners at 7 p.m. Click here for more information about the shows.
Rachel Maddow reports on the guilty plea by Duke Energy to nine criminal violations of the federal Clean Water Act, vindicating Riverkeeper activists who caught the North Carolina company in the act of illegal polluting.
During the last week of April, MountainTrue Board Chairman Peter Krull was in Washington, D.C., advocating for a number of environmental and climate change policies.
The trip was sponsored by E2, Environmental Entrepreneurs, which is part of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). MountainTrue has worked with E2 in the past to get entrepreneurs more involved with environmental policy.
While in D.C., Peter and his team met with members of the administration, including the Undersecretaries of Transportation and Agriculture, and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. They also had meetings with nine Senate offices, including staff from North Carolina Sens. Tillis and Burr. They met with five House offices, including staff from Rep. Mark Meadows’ office.
Peter’s group had multiple objectives for their meetings:
— To demonstrate to legislators and the administration the importance of marrying economic and environmental interests
— To establish relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle
And to discuss our policy agenda, which includes:
— The importance of incentives and renewable energy tax credits
— Clean energy financing opportunities
— Climate Change legislation and rules
— The EPA Clean Power Plan
— A Transportation Bill that is financially and environmentally sustainable
— Continued support for the military’s research into renewable energy
MountainTrue is very proud to have Peter on our team, advocating for our environment in Western North Carolina — and in the halls of Washington, D.C.
The Mills River Partnership is pleased to hold its second annual “Mills River Day” from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, hosted by North River Farms.
MountainTrue will take part in this free celebration, with a kids’ activity featuring macro-invertebrates, and our Water Quality Administrator Evan Parker will do kick-net demonstrations.
This year’s theme is “The River Connects Us,” to show the many aspects that join the Mills River community and watershed to the greater Hendersonville/Asheville area through the use of the river’s resources.
Mills River Day aims to educate participants about the river and water quality issues, help build a stronger sense of community and raise awareness of local agriculture. This family-friendly event will feature a bounce house, farm animals, wagon rides, farm equipment demonstrations and displays, fire safety house and fire truck demonstration.
Ice cream and BBQ vendors will be at the farm, and live music will be provided by the Lonesome Road Band.
In addition, local author Marci Spencer will be on site to sign her newest book, “Pisgah National Forest: a History.”
The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine.
WE NEED YOU! MountainTrue needs volunteers for this event to help with tasks such as greeting participants, directing parking, supervising the bounce house and wagon ride, and helping us at our MountainTrue booth.
Join us from 11 a.m – 1 p.m. May 13 on Halifax Mall in Raleigh to call for the state of North Carolina to take urgent action to help communities living with pollution and impacts from industrial swine and poultry production.
Most North Carolina residents, except those living in “hog country” and near poultry operations, are unaware of how much environmental damage and human pain and suffering industrial meat production inflicts on people and their environment. For too long, industrial meat operations in North Carolina and across the country have been disproportionately located in communities of color where residents are forced to endure the smell, water quality impacts and the embarrassment associated with the facilities operating near their homes. Meanwhile, State officials have turned a blind eye to the impacts on local communities while catering to the interests of multinational corporations that dictate industry practices.
This past September, Waterkeeper Alliance, North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help, represented by Earthjustice and the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights, filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights alleging that lax regulation of hog waste disposal by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) discriminates against minority communities in eastern North Carolina. And in February, the U.S. EPA determined that an investigation is warranted.
Esteemed leaders of the environmental and civil rights movements will gather in downtown Raleigh to urge the State of North Carolina to take much-needed action to set things right and call on citizens to demand clean water and healthy air for ALL communities.
Join us at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12 at the UNC Asheville Botanical Gardens for an emerald ash borer beetle awareness workshop.
MountainTrue is hosting Paul Merten, an entomologist from the Southern Research Station, who will teach us about the beetle and ash trees, and also discuss current research about how these exotic insects could affect these beloved forests.
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 12
Where: UNCA Botanical Gardens (151 W.T. Weaver Blvd., Asheville)
What to expect: An indoor presentation about emerald ash borer beetle followed by a walk around the Botanical Gardens to practice ash tree identification.
Everyone is welcome!
(Note: Commenting below will not reserve a space for you at this workshop. You must click the link above. Thanks!)
Join us as one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals comes back to Western North Carolina.
For nearly a decade, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival has been touring the country and it’s coming back this summer to make its fourth annual appearance in Western North Carolina, and first in Macon County. We invite you to join us for these exciting events.
The beautiful cinematography illustrates the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. It will leave you with a sense of wonder, a deep appreciation for the natural word and inspire you to take action.
This year’s lineup features films juried by the South Yuba River Citizens League which showcase the theme “A Wild Life.”
Festival-goers can expect to themes of wildlife and nature; land preservation; water and fish conservation; energy & climate change; and adventure with a purpose intermingled with charming, child-friendly short films. Bring the whole family for great films, food and drink.
For more information, contact MountainTrue’s AmeriCorps Education & Outings Coordinator Rachel Stevens at (828) 258-8737, ext. 215 or Rachel@mountaintrue.org.
The Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency will hold a public hearing on the draft air pollution permit for the Asheville coal plant. New reports demonstrate that the plant’s operations have been causing sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution at levels considered unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency for the past several years. An air modeling study by Air Resource Specialists shows that concentrations of SO2 in the air near people’s homes downwind of the Asheville plant are up to 3.5 times higher than what EPA has determined to be safe. Pollution from the plant has caused exceedences of these minimum public health standards approximately one out of every three to four days since 2010.
Make your voice heard at the public hearing, as well as submitting comments online.
Event: WNC Regional Air Quality Agency Public Hearigh: Asheville coal plant air permit
Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Location: Erwin High School auditorium, 60 Lees Creek Rd. Asheville 28804
Check out our tips for giving public testimony here
For more information, check out our Take Action Page or contact Joan Walker: Joan@mountaintrue.org, 828-258-8737 ext. 207