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.

Dominion gets approval to charge customers again for carbon market participation

By: - July 26, 2023

Despite Virginia’s pending withdrawal from a regional carbon market, residential Dominion customers will see an additional fee of roughly $4.44 on their monthly electric bills beginning Sept. 1 to cover the utility’s costs of participating in the market between July 31, 2022 and the end of this year. The State Corporation Commission on July 12 […]

As temperatures rise in Va., researchers report sparsely located cooling centers

By: - July 19, 2023

Summertime heat has long been a characteristic of the Southeast, referenced in hundreds of films, reports and books. “Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932,” author Harper Lee wrote of the fictional Alabama town where the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” takes place. “Somehow, it was hotter then. Men’s stiff collars wilted by […]

Virginia offers wetland permit guidance following Supreme Court’s Sackett ruling

By: - July 14, 2023

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality released a memo last month detailing how it will approach reviews of applications for permits involving wetlands following a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sharply limits the number of wetlands subject to federal protection. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that wetlands must have a surface connection to […]

Youngkin completes review of new regs to pull Virginia out of carbon market by year’s end

By: - July 13, 2023

Virginia is closer to withdrawing from a regional carbon market at the end of the year following Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s completion of a review of new regulations aimed at removing the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Youngkin finished his review July 7 and submitted the proposed regulation to the Virginia Register this […]

Millions funneled into Virginia primaries reignite calls for campaign finance reform

By: - July 11, 2023

In this year’s primary elections, the biggest spenders were Dominion Energy and Clean Virginia, which contributed over $12 million combined to campaigns this election cycle. The $5.2 million in funding from the Clean Virginia Fund and $7 million from Dominion resulted in more primary wins for Clean Virginia-backed candidates than Dominion-backed candidates in competitive races […]

Omega Protein adds vessel to clean up net spills

By: - July 7, 2023

Menhaden fishing company Omega Protein has added a new vessel to its fleet in response to net spills last year that resulted in thousands of dead fish washing ashore on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This season, the reduction fishery company is using the new 85-foot vessel called the Hopeful Harvest and two 20-foot skimmers […]

Selenium discharges from Southwest Va. mine trigger debate over testing

By: - June 29, 2023

Environmental groups and a Southwest Virginia mining company are arguing over how Virginia regulators should measure water levels of selenium after the company released the chemical into waterways at levels exceeding state limits as far back as 2015. Clintwood JOD, LLC is asking the State Water Control Board to look at fish tissues rather than […]

Solar developers ask regulators to suspend Dominion interconnection rules

By: - June 26, 2023

Virginia solar developers are asking state regulators to suspend recent rules set by Dominion Energy to connect small-scale solar projects to the grid.  The group of solar developers and advocacy organizations who have filed the petition with the State Corporation Commission under the name Distributed Solar Alliance say the rules use a generation calculation that […]

Scientists study natural processes affecting Eastern Shore aquifers  

By: - June 22, 2023

For years, the Eastern Shore has had trouble sustaining its aquifers, underground water reservoirs used for public consumption, and for agricultural and industrial uses.  Data recently collected by the United States Geological Survey in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Quality found that natural processes are affecting surficial aquifers – water that pools above the […]

Virginia students are pushing for fossil fuel divestment. Universities say it’s complicated.

By: - June 19, 2023

As scientists continue to warn about the damaging impacts of climate change and how fossil fuel emissions are contributing to it, students at universities in Virginia have looked to their own campuses for action.  At the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, student-run groups have in recent years […]

Dominion reviving plans to build a natural gas peaker plant in Chesterfield

By: - June 14, 2023

Dominion is reviving pre-pandemic plans to build a natural gas peaker plant in Chesterfield County as part of its recently announced strategy to invest in more gas generation to meet growing grid demand in the coming years. Four natural gas combustion turbines will be proposed for the facility, which will be similar to one Dominion […]

Soil and water board asks for loosening of campaign finance rules for local directors

By: - June 13, 2023

The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board passed a resolution Monday asking the General Assembly to loosen campaign finance requirements for candidates running for director positions on local soil and water conservation district boards. “It’s a problem,” said board Vice Chair Adam Wilson. “We need to make some kind of statement.” The resolution passed after […]