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Sun and Swine

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From clean energy to racial justice, the Carolinas are tackling environmental challenges.

Sweet Carolina, the good times never seemed so good! Let’s review:

  • Yesterday, the South Carolina House of Representatives sided with solar. It voted to bump the net metering cap from 2 to 4 percent. In English: More people with solar panels can be credited for extra electricity they create. It still has to get through the state Senate, but as Greentech Media reported, solar groups are calling it a preliminary victory.
  • North Carolina’s record on environmental justice is extremely poor, to say the least. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is trying to address that with a new Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board. ThinkProgress reports that a diverse group of 16 representatives will help bring more North Carolinians across race and class lines into the environmental regulation creation and enforcement process.
  • North Carolina’s pig-farming industry is the second-largest in the United States. North Carolina Public Radio reports that a new state project is trying to make it easier to transform pig waste into cleaner energy.
  • A major pork producer has to pay out $50 million to nearby residents of its North Carolina farm in settling a lawsuit. The state’s hog industry has been shown to be an issue of environmental racism, as communities of color living near hog farms suffer from the health impacts of things like toxic runoff.