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.

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 […]

Virginia awards $52 million for additional flood resilience projects

By: - January 5, 2023

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation announced Friday additional recipients of $52 million in state flood resilience grants, including projects that will protect individual properties on the Middle Peninsula. Also included among the awards was $25 million to the city of Norfolk for its floodwall and about $15 million for projects in Fairfax County. […]

Energy innovation lab eyes new types of economic development for previously mined lands

By: - December 22, 2022

Southwest Virginia’s efforts to reclaim its status as a U.S. energy capital intensified with the announcement this fall of a new energy technology testbed initiative. The Energy Discovery, Education, Learning & Technology Accelerator, or DELTA, Lab began earlier this year with its first location in Wise County. As the name suggests, the lab is a […]

Legislative commission objects to withdrawal from regional carbon market

By: - December 20, 2022

A legislative oversight commission voted 5-4 Monday to object to actions taken by Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration earlier this month to repeal regulations governing Virginia’s participation in a regional carbon market. All Democrats on the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules voted in favor of the objection, while all Republicans voted against it.  The commission is […]

State work group on solar development achieves little consensus on new regulations

By: - December 20, 2022

A work group convened by highly debated 2022 legislation to hammer out the details of new regulations for the siting of solar projects on farm and forest lands failed to reach consensus on most of what it was brought together to debate. The regulatory advisory panel created by House Bill 206 delivered its report to […]