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Sue Sturgis

Editorial Director

Sue joined the Institute in November 2005 as director of Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a project to document and investigate the post-Katrina recovery. A former staff writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Independent Weekly in Durham, North Carolina, Sue directs and writes for the Institute's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. She was the first journalist to be awarded the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters' Catalyst Award for her commitment to educating the public about important environmental issues.

Sue has authored or co-authored numerous Institute reports, including "Life After BP" (2011), "Faith in the Gulf" (2008), "Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement" (2008) and "Blueprint for Gulf Renewal" (2007). Her work has also appeared in other publications including The American Prospect, The Progressive, and Salon. Sue holds a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's in social work from Penn State.

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Articles by Sue

Libel case over North Carolina voter fraud lies moves forward

October 15, 2021 - The N.C. Court of Appeals recently rejected a request from the Pat McCrory Committee Defense Fund and the law firm Holtzman Vogel to throw out a libel suit filed against them for falsely accusing voters of committing fraud in the 2016 election. After the former Republican governor narrowly lost to Democrat Roy Cooper that year, McCrory's campaign and its legal agents worked to sow doubt about the election's integrity — a strategy taken to new levels by Donald Trump following his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Entergy thwarted energy resilience in Louisiana

September 10, 2021 - Hurricane Ida's devastation of Louisiana's electric grid and the deadly power outages that resulted show the risk that highly centralized generation systems present in an era of increasingly destructive climate change-driven weather events. Yet Entergy — a Fortune 500 company that's the main power provider for the hard-hit southeastern part of the state, including New Orleans — has fought plans to move toward cleaner community-based generation. Will Ida mark a turning point?

INSTITUTE INDEX: Remembering West Virginia's Battle of Blair Mountain at 100

August 27, 2021 - This Labor Day weekend, people will gather in West Virginia to mark the centennial of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in U.S. history. We look at what led to the bloody battle — when 10,000 Black, white, and immigrant coal miners joined together to fight for union rights against coal companies allied with corrupt law enforcement — and how it's being commemorated.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Southern utilities fiddle with inadequate emissions cuts as Earth burns

August 18, 2021 - Warning that human activity continues to intensify global warming, the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also says the most dangerous effects can still be avoided if we act now. But the South's two worst climate-polluting electric utilities — Duke Energy and Southern Company — are dragging their feet with transition plans that don't do nearly enough to curb heat-trapping emissions.

INSTITUTE INDEX: The money behind disinformation attacks on NC voting machines

July 23, 2021 - Taking a cue from controversial efforts in other states like Arizona and Georgia, North Carolina's far-right House Freedom Caucus — repeating the Big Lie about "rigged elections" — wants to be allowed to open up the state's voting machines and peer inside, but state elections officials say that presents an unacceptable security risk. We look at who's funding the caucus leaders' campaigns.

How Art Pope's money shaped UNC's toxic debate over Nikole Hannah-Jones

July 16, 2021 - Long before journalist Hannah-Jones' tenure fight with the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, the influential conservative policy network built and funded by millionaire businessman and GOP power broker Art Pope had turned its attention to her reporting on racism with attacks and distortions reminiscent of its dishonest treatment of climate science. Pope denied direct involvement in the tenure controversy, but his organizations' messaging carries weight in a UNC system where he's a major donor and serves on the powerful Board of Governors thanks to the Republican legislature he helped elect.