Author

Charlie Paullin

Charlie Paullin

Charles Paullin covers energy and environment for the Mercury. He previously worked for Northern Virginia Daily in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and for the New Britain Herald in central Connecticut. An Alexandria native, Charles graduated from the University of Hartford initially wanting to cover sports. He's received several Virginia Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, local government and state politics. Catch him in nature experiencing all the outdoors has to offer, and contact him at [email protected]

Virginia deer hunting bill has no ‘path forward,’ says committee chair

By: - January 30, 2023

A Southwest Virginia delegate’s shot at expanding the deer hunting season to year-round on private property appears to have missed the mark this session. On Jan. 18, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee failed to take any action on House Bill 1811 from Del. Marie March, R-Floyd. While March said Friday she is tweaking the bill, […]

Virginia House votes to repeal Clean Cars law

By: - January 26, 2023

Republicans in the House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday to repeal a law tying Virginia to California vehicle emissions standards that are set to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035.  Along party lines, the House of Delegates voted 52-48 to pass House Bill 1378, carried by Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham.  Wilt’s bill […]

Va. lawmakers push bipartisan effort to reinvigorate electric utility commission

By: - January 25, 2023

As Virginia lawmakers negotiate proposals to reform the laws regulating the state’s two largest electric utilities, a separate push is being made to reinvigorate a commission intended to allow more in-depth consideration of such issues outside the legislative session.  Senate Bill 1166 from Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, and House Bill 2275 from House Majority Leader […]

Senate bill to withdraw Virginia from carbon cap program voted down

By: - January 24, 2023

The lone Republican attempt of the 2023 General Assembly session to repeal a law allowing Virginia’s participation in a regional carbon cap and invest program was killed in a Senate committee Tuesday. Senate Bill 1001 from Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Westmoreland, was voted down on a party-line vote in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources […]

Virginia bill seeks extension for farmers to fence cattle from streams

By: - January 24, 2023

Despite a 2020 compromise, debate over the deadlines for farmers to install fences and craft plans to reduce nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay has been revived in this year’s General Assembly. House Bill 1485 from Del. Michael Webert, R-Fauquier, seeks to extend the deadline for farmers to voluntarily adopt such practices from 2026 to […]

Enviro groups, Justice company reach settlement over cleanup of Wise County mines

By: - January 19, 2023

Environmental groups announced Thursday they had reached a settlement with A&G Coal Corporation, a business owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family, over the cleanup of three coal mines in Virginia’s Wise County. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia by Southern Appalachian Mountain […]

House committee kills bill banning menhaden reduction fishery in Chesapeake Bay

By: - January 19, 2023

Legislative attempts to put a two-year moratorium on the menhaden reduction fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and expand the time period during which state officials can change the fishery regulations died Wednesday in committee. The House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee unanimously voted to kill a bill from Del. Tim Anderson, R-Virginia Beach, that […]

Republicans say a Virginia blue catfish industry could help protect the Bay

By: - January 18, 2023

Two Republican lawmakers are floating proposals to create a catfish industry to prevent depletion of other species in the Chesapeake Bay. Del. Keith Hodges, R-Middlesex, is proposing the creation of a Governor’s Blue Catfish Industries Development Fund to provide grants and loans to government bodies that support the creation or expansion of businesses involved with […]

Democrats on Virginia Senate committee reject Clean Car standards repeal

By: - January 17, 2023

Along party lines, a Virginia Senate committee on Tuesday voted to kill a slate of Republican proposals to repeal the state’s adoption of California’s Clean Car standards, which set stricter vehicle emissions limits than the federal government imposes and mandate that all new vehicles sold be zero-emission starting in 2035. The Agriculture, Conservation and Natural […]

Republicans again attempt to roll back Democratic carbon reduction laws

By: - January 16, 2023

For a second year, Republicans are attempting to roll back sweeping Democratic legislation that tied Virginia to carbon emission reduction goals in the power and transportation sectors and created dedicated funding for flood resiliency and energy efficiency programs. Seven Republicans, including Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham, and Sen. Steve Newman, R-Bedford, have introduced bills to repeal […]

Electric utility rate reform back on General Assembly agenda

By: - January 10, 2023

As the 2023 legislative session looms, legislators have filed two competing electric rate reform bills, with one focused on giving state regulators greater power to lower rates and the other offering a broader overhaul of the state system backed by utilities. The simpler legislation is the bipartisan Affordable Energy Act, proposed by Dels. Rip Sullivan, […]

Chesapeake Bay still in poor health, blue crabs suffering, says State of the Bay report

By: - January 5, 2023

The health of the Chesapeake Bay remains unchanged from a D+ in 2020 and 2018, according to a biennial report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that showed mixed results from pollution control efforts. The State of the Bay report looks at 13 indicators across pollution, habitat and fisheries in the bay, comparing them to what […]