Blue Ridge Briefs – January 2009

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Supreme Power
The Piedmont Environmental Council and three Virginia counties have appealed a recent Virginia State Corporation Commission decision to approve a new mega-transmission line that would prolong coal-fired power in the Mid-Atlantic for another 50 years. The Supreme Court will not hear any new evidence or testimony, but will review the basis of SCC’s decision.

A Cleaner Commonwealth
The Virginia Commission on Climate Change recommended that the state cut global warming pollution by 25% over the next 12 years, and more than 80% by 2050. However, environmental groups are concerned the commission’s action plan does not call for a minimum standard for energy production from renewable sources. Instead of recommending solar, wind, and geothermal energy production, the commission’s plan relies heavily on traditional coal-fired power.

America Opposes MTR

In a recent nationwide poll on mountaintop removal mining, commissioned by the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, 61% of Americans said they opposed mountaintop removal. Only 16% favored it.

By the Numbers: THE PROPOSED GRANDFATHER NATIONAL SCENIC AREA
25,000 acres – Size of the proposed Grandfather National Scenic Area in the High Country of North Carolina off the Blue Ridge Parkway
1.5 million – Number of additional visitors the federally designated national scenic area would bring to surrounding counties

724 – Number of new jobs the designation would create locally

$38.4 million – Additional annual revenue for counties surrounding the area

10% – Amount a national scenic area would increase High Country tourism revenue and jobs

Source: Economic study on the proposed Grandfather National Scenic Area

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