North Carolina


North Carolina hog CAFO in Hurricane Florence floodwaters, September 18, 2018. Photo: Larry Baldwin, Crystal Coast Waterkeeper/Waterkeeper Alliance

In a Warming World, Carolina CAFOs Are a Disaster for Farmers, Animals, and Public Health

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I’ve joined millions who’ve watched with horror as the Carolinas have been inundated with floodwaters and worried about the various hazards those waters can contain. We’ve seen heavy metal-laden coal ash spills, a nuclear plant go on alert (thankfully without incident), and sewage treatment plants get swamped. But the biggest and most widely reported hazard associated with Florence appears to be the hog waste that is spilling from many of the state’s thousands of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), and which threatens lasting havoc on public health and the local economy.

And while the state’s pork industry was already under fire for its day-to-day impacts on the health and quality of life of nearby residents, Florence has laid bare the lie that millions of animals and their copious waste can be safely concentrated in flood-prone coastal areas like southeastern North Carolina. Read more >

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Plate of the Union—a 2016 Campaign for a Better Food and Farming System

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

I don’t need to tell you that 2016 hasn’t exactly been the presidential campaign year my colleagues and I imagined when we launched our “Plate of the Union” initiative last fall. The national conversation has taken a few detours (ahem) that have made it challenging to maintain a focus on issues that really matter to American families, like what’s for dinner and how it gets there. Read more >

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Renewable Electricity Standards Deliver the Goods

, director of state policy & analysis, Clean Energy

Recent efforts to repeal renewable electricity standards (RES) by fossil-fuel backed opponents have been thwarted in Kansas and North Carolina. The reason? As a newly released review of state RES policies by the Union of Concerned Scientists report clearly shows, these popular, bipartisan policies are working effectively all over the country; affordably driving new renewable energy development and delivering substantial economic benefits to states and local communities in the process. Simply put, the facts on the ground are proving difficult to overcome for those seeking to roll back progress toward a clean energy economy. Read more >

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Nuclear vs. Solar: Corporate Profits and Public Risk

, senior energy analyst, Climate & Energy Program

In the Sunshine State (Florida) and nearby states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, proposals for new nuclear power plants stand in stark contrast to lower risk, less expensive energy alternatives. Consumers in these states have already donated $6 Billion to the utilities’ nuclear ambitions. Read more >

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Sandy’s Punch Proves Truth Will Out

, sr. Washington rep., Center for Science & Democracy

Sometimes it’s really difficult to accept that we’re still evolving. In the far distant past, our ancient ancestors could look about them and observe the planets and the stars and the tides. They would experience flood and drought and watch for signs of impending disasters. They might believe that the disasters were caused by angry gods, and their strategies for avoiding calamity may have been limited by their belief systems. Nevertheless, they were guided at least, in part, by what their eyes and senses told them, and relied on their powers of observation to predict what would happen. Read more >

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