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INSTITUTE INDEX: Rethinking the South's electric utility monopolies

January 28, 2020 - With Southern states' monopoly electric utilities clinging to a business model that's worsening the climate crisis, polluting the environment, and costing consumers dearly, there's growing interest in opening markets to competition. While a ballot initiative to end Florida's electricity monopoly was recently rejected by the state Supreme Court, there are efforts underway to end Virginia's monopoly system and to study the question in the Carolinas.

Big Energy front group launches push for troubled Atlantic Coast Pipeline

December 6, 2019 - An industry lobby fronting as a pro-consumer group is undertaking a public advocacy campaign for a proposed pipeline stretching from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina. The Consumer Energy Alliance was created by an oil industry lobbyist who now chairs the N.C. Republican Party — and its members include major gas companies as well as Dominion Energy, the pipeline's lead partner.

Southern states take up fight for bold democracy reforms

December 6, 2019 - With reform blocked in Washington, voting rights advocates are shifting their attention to the states and are proposing far-reaching, pro-democracy agendas across the South. While the plans face an uphill battle, advocates see their efforts as a chance to be proactive after years of playing legal and political defense.

North Carolina courts grapple with slavery's legacy

December 5, 2019 - As the N.C. Supreme Court decides whether to move a prominent portrait of a slave-owning justice, lower courts are hearing lawsuits involving Confederate monuments. One judge recently signed a controversial settlement order in which UNC agreed to give a pro-Confederate group $2.5 million to care for a statue toppled by anti-racist protesters.