If you have a news story to share, please email it to support@wenoca.org.
Friday, November 20th, 2015
Written by Deborah

Dec 6 – The People’s Pilgrimage

Show your support for a UN Climate Talk agreement that will effectively fight climate change by attending “People’s Pilgrimage for the Paris Climate Talks” on December 6, 2:00 PM, at the Carrier Park pavilion on Amboy Road. Walk two miles along the French Broad River to French Broad Park and stop along the way at significant sites to share in music, poetry and prayer. Sponsored by the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina. 
contact: janelaping@sbcglobal.net, 828-277-7342
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
Written by Deborah

UK complete coal phase out

WASHINGTON, DC — The United Kingdom has announced that it will completely phase out coal throughout the country over the next decade, representing the permanent retirement of over 20 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity.  

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“The United Kingdom’s commitment to get off coal completely is historic, unprecedented, and provides a major boost of momentum and leadership toward an international climate agreement just weeks before the world meets in December. This watershed moment in the United Kingdom, the home of the industrial revolution, demonstrates that moving beyond coal completely in the United States, and around the world, is not just possible but is actually inevitable.

In the United States, Sierra Club is proud that we have successfully worked to help retire over 200 dirty coal plants in our quest to achieve a 100% clean energy economy powered clean, renewable energy including wind, solar and energy efficiency.

This historic progress in the UK and the U.S. is just part of the momentum that has been building ahead of a global agreement, and comes in the wake of strong advocacy for global climate action by Pope Francis and other religious leaders as well as scores of major multinational corporations. Even more importantly, over 160 countries, including over 100 developing countries, have already submitted plans for cutting carbon pollution and boosting the global clean energy economy.”

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
Written by Deborah

Nov 29 – Vigils for Paris Climate Talks Light Up the Night

Come to “Light Up the Night: A Vigil for the Paris Climate Talks” on November 29, 5:00 PM, at  Grove Park on Charlotte Street across from St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, as we unite our hearts and longings for a good outcome for the Paris Climate Talks.  Join the Green Grannies in song as we hold candles and send our wishes to Paris in solidarity with events all over the world! Sponsored by 350Asheville and The Green Grannies.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Written by Deborah

Dec 2 – Sierra Club 6th Annual Holiday Party & Recognition Awards

All are warmly invited to WENOCA Sierra Club Group’s 6th Annual Holiday Party & Recognition Awards at 7 pm on Wed, Dec 2 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Asheville.  Last year about 60 folks ate, drank, and were merry.  Recognition awards were presented to community leaders.
Please bring a potluck dish to share, your own place settings, and a book to swap, as well as laughter and good cheer.
contact: judymattox@sbcglobal.net, 828-683-2176
Friday, November 13th, 2015
Written by Deborah

Alert: I-26 Public Hearing Nov 16 & comment period Dec 16

 Please attend & speak Mon, Nov 16 at the I-26 public hearing on I-26 at the Renaissance Hotel Grand Ballroom, 31 Woodfin St, Asheville 28801. Open house from 4-6 pm.  Presentation & public comments 7 pm.  
Talking points: you will be allowed to speak
1. Make I-26 where it crosses the river only 8 lanes instead of 12.
2. Leave I-240 through West Asheville as 4 lanes or widen it to only 6 instead of 10.
3. Minimize harm to the Burton St & Montford neighborhoods.
4. Leave Amboy Rd as a 2 lane road & add bike & pedestrian infrastructure.
5. Build more bike & pedestrian facilities
NC Department of Transportation’s plans for expanding I-26 through the heart of Asheville could cost upwards of $750 million, will require taking an average of 200 homes and businesses and will disrupt residential neighborhoods.                                                                                Visithttp://action.mountaintrue.org/page/speakout/i-26-expansion-comments at MountainTrue.org for further talking points and for help with comment/ email writing which will be sent under your name.  Submit comments to Drew Joyner,djoyner@ncdot.gov by Dec 16
Friday, November 13th, 2015
Written by Deborah

Alert: Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Revision Plan public meeting on Monday, Nov 16; email the Forest Service to advocate Wilderness & Wild & Scenic Rivers by Dec 15, 2015.

Nov 16 meeting from 6-8pm, Mountain View Room, Kimmel Arena, 1 University Heights, UNC-Asheville, NC 28801; questions allowed.
 Go to www.ncmountaintreasures.org/WIA-chart-for-public-comment/   on all areas & to help you make specific comments of “backcountry, ecological values, recreational areas, solitude, etc, for all areas and rivers, not just wilderness. For the rivers, go to: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article/view/articleid/32451/
Please advocate for the following 15 areas to be wilderness:  (Please add comments as to the suitability of the area for wilderness.) Please also make a generic statement of your desire for more Wilderness.
Black Mountains: including Bearwallow- old growth forest, virgin spruce-fir forest, next to Mt. Mitchell, UNESCO biosphere reserve
Craggy Mountains (Big Ivy): old growth & virgin forest, Nat. Heritage Areas, Walker Cove Natural Area
Ellicott Rock Extension: roadless, next to existing wilderness, close to Chattoga Wild & Scenic River corridor
Harper Creek: congressionally designated wilderness study area
Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Extensions: old growth forest next to established wilderness; connection bet. Nat. Parks
Linville Gorge Extensions: old growth forest next to Linville Gorge wilderness area
Lost Cove: congressionally designated wilderness study area
Mackey Mt: largest unbroken tract of old-growth forest in Pisgah National Forest
Middle Prong Extension: watershed & wildlife habitat sanctuary, migratory corridor, including for cerulean warbler
Overflow Creek (Blue Valley): congressionally designated wilderness study area, old growth forest
Shining Rock Extensions: Mt Treasure Area, Inventoried Roadless Area; includes Graveyard Fields, Art Loeb trail etc
Snowbird: most is congressionally designated wilderness study area
Southern Nantahala Extensions: old growth forest, rare high elevation mt. bog, animal corridor, diverse plants
Tusquitee Bald: old growth forest, Inventoried Roadless Area; Fire’s Creek’s watershed; animal sanctuary
Unicoi Mountains: old growth forest, special biological area; Inventoried Roadless Area; cultural/historic significance
Please email the US Forest Service at NCPlanRevision@fs.fed.us ,or mail USFS Supervisor’s Office, 160 Zillicoa St, Suite A, Asheville, NC 28801
contact: judymattox@sbcglobal.net, 828-683-2176
Sunday, November 8th, 2015
Written by Deborah

Nov 6, 11 & 13: Bioneers Conference

Lenoir-Rhyne University Bioneers Conference

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Written by Deborah

Solar tax credit extended to Jan 1, 2017 (with caveats)

Governor McCrory has extended the 35% state tax credit for existing solar projects that are at least 80 percent complete by January 1, 2017. This credit was set to expire on Dec 31, 2015, but Senate Bill 372 has pushed the expiration deadline back for small projects that are already underway by the end of this year. McCrory said that he will end incentives for the solar industry after that.

 This means you have five months left to sign a solar contract if you want to get 35% of the cost back from NC, as well as 30% back from the federal government. 

In order to use the extension, a $5,000 fee must be paid and the extension must be filed on or before October 1st of this year. In effect this makes the tax credit extension inconsequential for residential systems. Instead, the extension protects large developers like Duke Energy who are building at the utility scale. Read the full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2015/04/30/nc-gov-mccrory-extend-tax-credits-renewable-energy.html

Contact Katie Bray
, Director, 
Clean Energy for Us katie@cleanenergyfor.us if you have questions about your solar proposal or need help making an informed decision.