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 looking to loans for local flood resiliency efforts

By: - October 10, 2022

HAMPTON – The head of the Department of Conservation and Recreation said Virginia would begin using more loans rather than just relying on grants to fund local flood resiliency efforts. DCR Director Matt Wells told the Joint Subcommittee on Recurrent Flooding Thursday his agency is looking to tap into the new Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan […]

Youngkin’s energy plan calls for reevaluation of Clean Economy Act

By: - October 4, 2022

In his state energy plan, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is pushing for revisions to the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a 2020 Democratic-driven law that ordered the state’s electric utilities to decarbonize by midcentury, but he faces opposition from clean energy advocates who say the step would move Virginia backward. The four-year plan, unveiled in front […]

Va. regulators to rule on whether offshore wind performance requirement should stay

By: - October 3, 2022

Dominion Energy is not backing down from its request to remove a performance standard imposed by the State Corporation Commission on its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, citing “untenable” costs. The state’s largest publicly regulated electric utility on Thursday filed a 35-page response to filings from the Office of the Attorney General, several environmental groups […]

Flood Fund future uncertain as Youngkin pushes for carbon market withdrawal

By: - September 30, 2022

In January, strong winds led to high tides drowning parts of Hampton. Some roads were impassable, with water levels rising to near the top tread of the tires. Almost two years prior, stormwater had led to flooding severe enough to sweep parked cars down the roadways. With climate change driving sea levels up and altering […]

Regulators approve Dominion bill increase for rising fuel costs; Appalachian Power also seeking hike

By: - September 19, 2022

Dominion customers will see their monthly electricity bills increase as a result of rising fuel costs, with Appalachian Power Company seeking similar hikes on the same grounds. On Friday, the State Corporation Commission approved the increase for Dominion, which went into effect provisionally on July 1. According to estimates, the average residential customer, defined as […]

A hydrogen plant could rise near a former King George coal plant

By: - September 15, 2022

Efforts to convert the site of a former coal plant in King George County into a solar and storage facility are being rerouted to develop the parcels surrounding it for an emerging power source: a hydrogen plant. Clark Lemming, a Stafford-based land attorney representing Green Energy Ventures, LLC, told the Virginia Mercury Tuesday the company […]

Future of Virginia air board committee in question

By: - September 9, 2022

The future of a committee convened by the State Air Pollution Control Board to improve public engagement and transparency in environmental permitting is in doubt with new leadership on the panel. Board Chair James Patrick Guy said he was “not disposed to … continue the committee at this time.” “If there’s a need for it […]

Virginia lawmakers fail to reach deal on SCC pick

By: and - September 7, 2022

After taking no action Wednesday on the main piece of business that brought lawmakers back to Richmond, the Virginia General Assembly got into a new fight over how to leave town. The session ended — partially — without the legislature filling the third, final vacancy on the State Corporation Commission while limiting the powers of […]

Regulators question decision-making power for fossil fuel plant closures

By: - September 6, 2022

The State Corporation Commission is asking the General Assembly to consider granting it more power over decisions related to the retirement of fossil fuel plants, a move some environmental lawyers say isn’t a pressing priority. In an annual report to legislators,  the commission highlighted what it called its “lack of proactive authority, under current law, to […]

Youngkin administration outlines plan to withdraw Virginia from carbon market by regulation

By: - September 1, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration announced their newest plans for how they intend to withdraw Virginia from a regional carbon market Wednesday, a move critics say is not allowed by law, would drain important state programs of funding and would hurt the fight against climate change. Acting Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Travis Voyles said […]

UVA report sheds light on utility-scale solar farm decommissioning

By: - August 31, 2022

Guidance on how local governments can protect themselves when utility-scale solar farms reach the end of their life is now available with the release of a report from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. The 60-page report released Tuesday comes after an April survey found decommissioning solar facilities to be one […]

Virginia waters troubled by multiple harmful algal blooms

By: - August 30, 2022

Phenomena known as harmful algal blooms have led Virginia to add portions of Lake Anna and six other water bodies to its impaired waters list, an inventory of waterways that don’t meet state environmental standards. Other listed waterways include Mint Springs Lake in Albemarle County, Aquia Creek east of Stafford, Wilcox Lake south of Petersburg, […]