E&E News tells the story about energy policy in politically charged times in the eBook “Turning Carolina Red: Reports from the Front of an Energy Culture War” (2014). E&E examines the stark political changes that took place in North Carolina and the impact on energy and environmental policy there – and its implications for the rest of the country.
Combining vivid on-the-ground reporting in North Carolina with trenchant political and policy analysis, the book opens with the calamitous February 2014 spill of 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River outside of Eden, N.C. – and the way that disaster instantly affected the political dynamic in a state that was already in the throes of major ideological change. The book introduces some of the major players in the debates that followed – the politicians, the business leaders, the regulators and the activists – placing the fight over what to do with other coal ash dumps around the state in the broader context of the political warfare that has jolted the state since Republicans seized control of the Legislature in 2010.
From there, the book visits different corners of the state to tell the story of what the changes Republican rule has meant on the environment and energy policy front: New obstacles for advocates of solar power; state-run center on biofuels research shuttered; popular transit projects in jeopardy of seeing their funding dry up; the possible dismantling of an air monitor across the road from a contentious proposed cement plant, and more. Finally, the book looks at the brewing controversy over the potential of hydraulic fracturing coming to North Carolina – and postulates that the debate over fracking is really just a precursor to a bigger fight to come: Over the possibility of offshore drilling in the future.
Through all these political storms, “Turning Carolina Red” also tells a tale about the power of money in politics – and the brute force used by the state’s new Republican majority to get its way. The political battles in North Carolina have gotten their share of national attention over the past year – but no media outlet has told the story in quite the way that E&E News does with this book.
DANIEL BUSH is an energy and politics reporter for Greenwire and E&E Daily.
JEREMY P. JACOBS covers courts and legal issues for Greenwire and E&E Daily.
NICK JULIANO is the principal energy policy reporter for Greenwire and E&E Daily.
JOSH KURTZ is editor of E&E Daily.
HANNAH NORTHEY covers the utility industry and nuclear energy for Greenwire and E&E Daily.
AMANDA PETERKA covers air pollution issues and biofuels for Greenwire and E&E Daily.
MANUEL QUINONES is the mining reporter for Greenwire and E&E Daily.
SEAN REILLY covers transportation and infrastructure for Greenwire and E&E Daily.
ELANA SCHOR is a former E&E reporter now working for POLITICO.
NOELLE STRAUB is deputy editor of Greenwire and E&E Daily.