The Power of Energy Efficiency — Building a Stronger Economy for Appalachia (Part 4)

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 | Posted by Rory McIlmoil | 1 Comment

mountain_electric This is the fourth installment in a five-part series illustrating the need for greater investments in residential energy efficiency as an economic driver in rural Appalachia. In this post, we explore the history and role of rural electric cooperatives, and explain why they should be doing more to help their members reduce their energy bills, and how they can overcome any barriers they face. [ More ]

Tennessee sprouting up as a leader in home energy efficiency

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Ann League | No Comments

bigstock-Energy-saving-with-green Summer has arrived in Tennessee. Gardens are starting to produce a bounty of flowers and veggies. The longing for home grown tomatoes will soon be satisfied, and energy efficiency prospects are springing up all across the volunteer state. It's exciting to see Tennessee sowing the seeds of a sustainable energy efficiency program, and we couldn't be prouder to be part of this effort. [ More ]

The Power of Energy Efficiency — Building a Stronger Economy for Appalachia (Part 3)

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 | Posted by Rory McIlmoil | No Comments

EE_seriesEnergy efficiency is merely one strategy that local governments, economic development agencies working with the rural electric co-op or municipal utilities might employ with the goal of diversifying the local economy. But the proven benefits of energy efficiency investments suggest it should be a key focus in any plan for local economic diversification. [ More ]

Tennessee mountains are at risk, here’s what you can do

Monday, May 5th, 2014 | Posted by Ann League | 1 Comment

TennesseeThe Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is conducting a public hearing tomorrow on a proposed surface mine in Claiborne County, Tenn. If the permit for the Clear Fork mine is approved, Kopper Glo Fuel, Inc., would discharge its pollution into surrounding creeks that feed the Cumberland River, many of which are already impaired by surface mining. Here's what you can do. [ More ]

What’s Happening in Tennessee on Mountaintop Removal Today?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

TN_mtr_flyover Two important legislative efforts in Tennessee face hurdles in the form of a legislative hearing and committee vote today. Both efforts pertain to coal mining and mountaintop removal. One promotes the health of Tennessee’s mountains and mountain communities, the other would harm them. [ More ]

Ann League: Coordinating to Protect Tennessee’s Mountains

Thursday, January 30th, 2014 | Posted by Ann League | No Comments

ann_league_sm I started working to protect Tennessee's mountains from mountaintop removal coal mining more than 10 years ago because it was personal for me. And I plan to continue fighting mountaintop removal because the mountains of Tennessee will always be in my heart, which is why I am so excited to join Appalachian Voices to coordinate the organization's Tennessee campaign. [ More ]

Choose Your Own [Historical] Adventure: An Appalachian Travel Guide

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Ellen Simon | No Comments

From left to right: The Lost Sea; Burke's Gardens; Pocahontas Exhibition Mine.

From L to R: The Lost Sea of Sweetwater, Tenn.; Burke’s Gardens; Pocahontas Exhibition Mine.

When my editor first asked me to compile a list of “Historical Hidden Treasures,” I imagined my words guiding readers to ancient, geological wonders; down fossil-riddled hiking trails through former sea basins; deep into old growth forests squirming with endemic salamanders and a host of yet-undiscovered species. My brave readers would venture into the unknown to chart the unseen, name the unnamed, describe the unsung – all while practicing “leave no trace” trail ethics!

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Energy Efficiency Programs Survive the Government Shutdown

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 | Posted by Rory McIlmoil | No Comments

Despite the government shutdown, energy efficiency programs offered by federally-owned TVA and its partner utilities are helping businesses across the Southeast.

Despite the government shutdown, energy efficiency programs offered by federally-owned TVA and its partner utilities are helping businesses across the Southeast grow and thrive.

Although TVA is a government-owned electric utility, the ongoing government shutdown has not affected its operations. As a result, businesses across the Southeast are able to continue saving money and energy thanks to TVA’s Energy Right Solutions for Industry program.

For instance, on Oct. 8, TVA representatives and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant handed a $2 million check to steelmaker Severstal Columbus as a reward for reducing its energy consumption by nearly 26 million kilowatt-hours — approximately half of the plant’s total energy consumption — through investments in equipment upgrades.

“When we can offset building new buildings with energy efficiency, everyone wins because our fuel and purchase power goes down for all consumers in the valley,” TVA’s Energy Efficiency Director Cindy Herron said, describing the benefits of such investments. “This upgrade will help lower production costs and help Severstal stay competitive, in turn, helping the entire community.”

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Tenn Tuesday: SEJ, CAPP Coal Decline, Record Hydro!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 | Posted by JW Randolph | No Comments

Now, with even *more* Chattanooga!

Happy Tuesday! A whole mess of Appalachian Voices’ staff spent most of last week and the weekend at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in one of the greatest cities in America — Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Scenic City, has the world’s fastest internet, the first LEED-Platinum certified factory at the award-winning Volkswagen plant, an aggressive energy efficiency plan for metro facilities and ranks as one of Outside Magazine’s “ best places to live.”

We’re the only city with our own crowd-sourced typeface, home of the world’s second longest pedestrian bridge, two great aquariums, a zoo, some fantastic art museums, great restaurants, and pretty soon, a downtown trampoline park.

This weekend, Chattanooga concurrently hosted the SEJ conference, the excellent Three Sisters Bluegrass festival, and the “River Rocks” festival. You can catch the block party finale on October 12. Did I mention I watched Michael Jordan play baseball against the Chattanooga Lookouts at historic Engel Stadium? Anyway, the point is that Chattanooga is incredible, and we were honored to play such an integral role in the conference.

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Tenn. Tuesday: Football! Trampolines!! Technology!!!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 | Posted by JW Randolph | 2 Comments

Fall is right around the corner and football season is upon us, so let’s get rolling!

Now this is just the kind of headline every Tennessean wants to see: Chattanooga; America’s Next High-Tech Hub?

Here’s what Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has to brag about my hometown’s technological literacy and phenomenally fast internet:

In the past, we’ve called ourselves the ‘Boulder of the South.’ Then, the next Austin. All kinds of comparisons. My mantra has been: Now is our time. Let’s not worry about what others are doing. Let’s be proud of where we are and take advantage of all of our opportunities.

As if it wasn’t already cool enough that Chattanooga was opening its own trampoline park. C’mon guys, this isn’t even fair anymore.

Now, some bad news that bears repeating. Appolo Fuels is applying for an 804-acre surface mining permit in Claiborne County. But you can help stop this monstrosity of a permit. How?

A joint public meeting is being held on Tuesday, September 24 as part of the local interagency working agreement. This is a new process in which all the relevant regulatory agencies are working together to issues mining and water pollution permits. You can find much, much more on the proposed mountaintop removal mine here.

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Tenn. Tuesday – Compromise is Not a Condition

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

The Tea Party measures Senator Lamar Alexander's congressional competence. Or is he being fitted for a hat?

The Tea Party measures Senator Lamar Alexander’s congressional competence. Or is he being fitted for a hat?

We’ll kick off this Tennessee Tuesday post with what seemed like a small story in the big world of Tennessee politics. Last week, the New York Times editorial page blog offered some extra thoughts on a Tea Party letter to Tenn. Senator Lamar Alexander, in which the Tea Party compelled Alexander to retire from office because “our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous.”

Here’s what the NYT had to say in response:

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Tenn. Tuesday – A Bright Day, Welcoming The Newest Tennessean

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

Appalachian Voices Tenn. Director welcomed his second daughter this week, and we added our name to the long list supporting the Tennessee Wilderness Act.

Appalachian Voices Tenn. Director welcomed his second daughter – the newest Tennessean – to the world this week, and we’re proud to join the long list supporting the Tennessee Wilderness Act.

Appalachian Voices’ resident Tennessean, and a proud one at that, is celebrating the birth of his second daughter, who for at least a little while yesterday morning was the newest resident of the great state of Tennessee. Congratulations JW, Elizabeth and Emma, we know Isla James will be as proud of her home as y’all are.

Staying with that wonderful news, Appalachian Voices has joined a long list of businesses and organizations supporting Tennessee Wild, a group dedicated to protecting the Cherokee National Forest for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. The group is also a leading force in efforts to pass the Tennessee Wilderness Act, which would designate 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest as wilderness, the highest form of protection on public lands, including the first new wilderness area in the Volunteer State in more than two decades. In July, the bill was introduced for a third time by Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

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