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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Group empowers NC residents to advocate for sustainable future

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Thursday, February 22, 2024   

A North Carolina nonprofit focused on climate justice wants to help people advocate for their views about Duke Energy's proposed Carbon Plan.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission is seeking input from residents across the state on the plan, starting on April 9.

Brittany Griffin, advocacy manager for CleanAIRE NC, said public feedback will be crucial to help determine the effects of climate change, the transition to clean energy and its effects on public health, air quality and environmental protection.

"North Carolinians deserve to breathe clean and healthy air, and to be even more specific, fossil-fuel power plants are disproportionately located in or near lower-wealth or BIPOC communities," Griffin pointed out. "They pollute the air and cause serious health problems."

Duke's Carbon Plan includes proposals for more gas-powered plants and Griffin argued it raises questions about who will bear the financial burden. The Utilities Commission is set to hold five public hearings throughout April in Asheville, Charlotte, Durham and Wilmington, and one online.

Griffin noted CleanAIRE NC will host a webinar on March 13 for anyone who wants to participate in the hearings. She explained they will offer information and can assist in the sign-up process or show people how to submit comments.

Griffin added the goal is to empower people with a deeper understanding of the plan and help them advocate for their needs.

"For folks that are probably worried or maybe intimidated about speaking up or being present at the hearing, if you care about your health, your electric bill and/or environment, whatever concern you may have, you don't need to be a scientist, an engineer or any type of expert in this field to have your voice heard," Griffin stressed.

House Bill 951 outlines the targets the Carbon Plan must achieve, including a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in North Carolina's electric power sector by 2030, and complete carbon neutrality by 2050. The updated Carbon Plan is set to be released before the end of the year.

Disclosure: CleanAIRE NC contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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