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How Does Coal Fit Into Energy Policy In North Carolina And The US?

Coal fired power plant
eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons
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The state Department of Environmental Quality ordered Duke Energy to excavate six coal ash ponds last week. Duke wanted to leave the ash in place and cover it, which is a much cheaper solution. The energy company estimates it will cost an additional $4 to $5 billion to clean up these six sites.

Last week North Carolina House Democrats filed a bill to block Duke from passing this cost on to its customers. Host Frank Stasio talks to Elizabeth Ouzts about the coal ash cleanup and about the larger questions surrounding North Carolina’s coal ash ponds. Ouzts is a reporter for Southeast Energy News.

Stasio also talks with Steven Sexton about the role coal plays in U.S. energy policy. Sexton, an assistant professor of public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, discusses the costs and benefits of using coal, natural gas and renewable energy sources.

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Amanda Magnus is the editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She's also the lead producer for on-demand content at WUNC and has worked on "Tested" and "CREEP."
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.