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.

As session nears end, negotiations on Dominion rate review bill continue

By: - February 23, 2023

With only three days left in the General Assembly session, negotiations continue on two bills that would change how much Virginia’s two largest electric utilities are allowed to profit. A version from Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, passed the House of Delegates Tuesday on a near-party-line vote, with most Republicans voting in favor of […]

Legislation to restore regulators’ authority to set electric rates headed to Youngkin

By: - February 21, 2023

Following weeks of debate on electric utility regulation this legislative session, a bill that will explicitly give state regulators discretion to set future electric rates as they see fit is on its way to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk. The legislation, carried by Sens. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, and Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, as well as Dels. Lee […]

Virginians feeling the heat of high utility bills this winter

By: - February 20, 2023

On Christmas Eve 2022, temperatures in central Virginia hit a low of 8 degrees, 17 degrees below the record in 2021, according to the National Weather Service. That and several other arctic blasts this winter came amid global conflicts like war in Ukraine that have strained natural gas supply in the U.S. At the same […]

Deal reached over extension for Va. farmers to adopt pollution reduction practices

By: - February 16, 2023

Environmental and agricultural groups reached a compromise over legislation seeking to push back the deadline for farmers to voluntarily implement practices that aim to reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering Chesapeake Bay waters. Bills from Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, and Del. Michael Webert, R-Fauquier, initially sought to extend the current 2026 deadline to 2030 […]

electric vehicle charging station Henrico

Senate Democrats defeat remaining bill seeking to repeal Clean Car standards

By: - February 14, 2023

The last surviving bill from Republicans aimed at rolling back a Virginia law tying the state to emissions standards set by California that will ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035 reached the end of the road Tuesday. The Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee voted 8-7 along party lines to […]

Bill to require study of menhaden in Chesapeake Bay scaled back

By: - February 13, 2023

A proposal to study the menhaden population in the Chesapeake Bay was scaled back in the House Monday. An earlier version of the bill from Sen. Lynwood Lewis, D-Accomack, asked the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to study the ecology, fishery impacts and economic importance of menhaden within the Chesapeake Bay over a two-year period. […]

Bill to ban use of cyanide in Virginia for mining fails despite early support

By: - February 9, 2023

A bill that would have banned the use of cyanide in mining and processing operations in Virginia was killed at the last minute Monday. House Bill 1722 from Del. Shelly Simonds, D-Newport News, was sent back to committee the day before crossover, the deadline by which a chamber must pass a bill in order for […]

The Virginia General Assembly's 2023 session is a work in progress. (Graham Moomaw/Virginia Mercury)

Mid-session update: what’s still alive and what’s dead (or on the way there)

By: , , , and - February 8, 2023

Virginia lawmakers aren’t agreeing on much these days, but 93 of 100 members of the House of Delegates could at least find common ground on which Virginia pony is the best pony. “It is time the Commonwealth pony up, and give Chincoteague heritage the recognition it deserves,” Del. Rob Bloxom, R-Accomack, said last week. He […]

The State Corporation Commission

Virginia legislature weighing novel proposal to fill State Corporation Commission vacancies

By: - February 6, 2023

Lawmakers in both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly are seeking to temporarily reconfigure the State Corporation Commission to break a months-long dispute over who should be appointed to the powerful regulatory body. House Bill 2463, carried by Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford, is on its way to clear the House Tuesday. Senate Bill 1482, carried by […]

Virginia electric utility regulation bill takes different form in House

By: - February 3, 2023

A House version of a bill Dominion Energy is backing this General Assembly session made it out of committee Thursday without a controversial provision aimed at raising the company’s profit margin, but with a new section that critics say weakens the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The House Commerce and Energy Committee voted Thursday along party […]

Despite negotiation impasse, Dominion rate reform bill advances to Senate

By: - February 1, 2023

Longtime political powerhouse Dominion Energy is facing pushback on a bill the utility says will allow it to raise more capital but opponents say would unnecessarily increase its profit margin. On Monday, the Dominion-backed Senate Bill 1265, patroned by Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, advanced out of committee to the Senate floor. A similar […]

Va. regulators propose easing emission limits for data centers over power transmission concerns

By: and - January 31, 2023

With Dominion Energy anticipating possible problems supplying electricity to data centers in parts of Northern Virginia this spring, the state Department of Environmental Quality is proposing to ease certain air emissions rules for facilities in the zone to allow them to get extra power from generators. In a statement announcing the proposal Thursday, DEQ Director […]