A Community Conversation: WNC’s Future Energy Needs

energy-renewable(Press Release) UNC Asheville will present A Community Conversation: WNC’s Future Energy Needs, a breakfast panel discussion, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, in the Sherrill Center, Mission Health System Mountain View Conference Room.

The Community Conversation is presented in partnership by Leadership Asheville, Leadership Asheville Forum and UNC Asheville’s Office of Sustainability. Sonia Marcus, UNC Asheville director of sustainability and chair of the City of Asheville Sustainability Advisory Committee, will moderate.

The panelists include:

  • Glen Snider; director of integrated resource planning and analytics, Duke Energy
  • Jim Spencer; director of engineering, New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Joan Walker; campaign director, MountainTrue
  • Michael Youth; counsel and director of regulatory affairs, NC Sustainable Energy Association.

This ticketed event includes a hot breakfast. Tickets are $20; $15 for UNC Asheville employees; $10 for UNC Asheville students. For information and to reserve tickets, visit leadershipasheville.unca.edu.

Gas prices could drop toward $1 a gallon

635870792759974972-ap-cheap-oil-what-to-know(USA Today) In some gas stations around the country, the price of a gallon of regular has dropped below $1.42. AAA and GasBuddy, two organizations that follow gasoline prices, say that gasoline prices below $2 will not be unusual in most of the United States. As oil prices fall, and refinery capacity stays strong, the price of gas could reach $1 a gallon in some areas, a level last reached in 1999. As a matter of fact, the entire states of Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Caroline have gas prices that average at or below $1.75.

Gasoline prices are driven mostly by four factors: oil prices, proximity to refineries, refinery capacity and state taxes and levies. Oil prices have dropped below $33 a barrel and continue to collapse. The recent decision by Saudi Arabia to continue to keep its oil exports high essentially has dissolved the OPEC cartel.

Read the full report HERE>

Manatee Population Has Rebounded 500 Percent, No Longer Endangered

west-indian-manatee-cc-s_whitcraft-usfws-850px(Good News Network) Manatees have made a huge comeback as a result of significant improvements in habitat conditions and threat reduction. Only about 1,267 West Indian manatees could be found in Florida when surveys began in 1991. Since then, the population has increased 500 percent – to 6,300 in that state and 13,000 overall. Amidst this positive trend, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday announced its proposal to down-list the status of the manatee from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act– yet keep intact federal commitments to protection that will allow the population fully recover.

Read the full report HERE>

Asheville considers pay-as-you-throw trash collection

dscf4566-1100x825(Mountain XPress) It’s a motion we hardly have to think about: The arm swings back, then forward, and the discarded item arcs toward the trash bin. It’s almost as easy as breathing. But what if it cost more the more times we tossed? Would we start thinking twice before throwing something away? Despite exhortations to live sustainably, despite reuse, recycling and composting programs, Asheville sent 21,858 tons of solid waste to the Buncombe County landfill between June 30, 2014, and July 1, 2015, according to the city’s website.

In 2014, City Council approved a resolution that calls for reducing municipal solid waste by 50 percent by 2035, when the current landfill is projected to be full. Developing a new one will be expensive, and decisions with a long-term impact will have to be made at that point. To help meet this goal, Asheville is considering implementing a pay-as-you-throw system.

Read the full report HERE>

Carrie Fisher Has a Message for Ageist Haters

1051664-6-20151230095136-carrie-fisher-has-a-message-for-ageist-haters(Newser) Some moviegoers have been quick to point out that Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in The Force Awakensisn’t quite as dashing as she once was. “Carrie Fisher is this angry, loud mouth, fat woman now,” one viewer wrote on Twitter. “Princess Leia got fat,” said another. Guess what? “Youth and beauty are not accomplishments,” Fisher, 59, tweeted to the haters on Tuesday—more than three decades after her younger self appeared in a gold bikini in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, reports CNN. “They’re the temporary happy by-products of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either.” “My BODY hasn’t aged as well as I have,” she added. “My body is my brain bag, it hauls me around to those places and in front of faces where there’s something to say or see.”

Read the full story HERE>