Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]

Last pieces of mega Spotsylvania solar project approved

By: - April 15, 2019

The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors has approved the final permits for what will be the largest solar facility in Virginia and among the biggest in the nation. “I feel confident the Board of Supervisors has addressed all the issues involving this project and that it is safe,” said Supervisor Greg Benton in a statement […]


Who’s right in fight over carbon compliance costs?

By: - April 9, 2019

The House of Delegates, on a party line vote last week, rejected amendments by Gov. Ralph Northam aimed at undoing budget language that would bar Virginia from linking to a network of carbon-trading states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, without approval from the General Assembly. The outcome leaves the Democratic governor with the option of vetoing […]

Draft bay plan calls for ‘accelerated’ action on cutting pollution

By: - April 5, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration has released a draft of a new Chesapeake Bay restoration plan along with a commitment for Virginia to achieve its pollution reduction goals by 2025. “The commonwealth has made significant progress in reducing pollution, and the bay’s living resources are responding. Cleaner waters are supporting more fish and oysters and underwater […]

Bill establishes Virginia African-American Advisory Board

By: - March 22, 2019

From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary. Gov. Ralph Northam has signed legislation creating a 21-member African-American advisory board aimed at building a “more accessible, inclusive and equitable commonwealth.” The bill, sponsored by Del. Lamont Bagby, a Henrico Democrat and chairman […]


Can we make our politics less vicious and dumb? Or has the horse left the barn?

By: - March 22, 2019

What’s even a low blow or cheap shot anymore in this begrimed age of Trump? Have we all sunken permanently into the mud of a new, no-holds-barred normal, where apologizing is anathema, facts are irrelevant and trying to score points is all that matters? Politics has always been vicious, angry and often dumb, but spend […]


Virginia could use a lot more sunshine

By: - March 15, 2019

My first job at a daily newspaper, which I started 12 years ago this month in the swamps of south Louisiana, may have spoiled me as far as what to expect from public records laws. Louisiana, where I worked for five years and a place I dearly love, might not often be mistaken for a […]


Citizen oversight of Virginia’s environmental regulations increasingly looks like a farce

By: - March 5, 2019

Even after more than two years of being steadily bludgeoned into subservience by the Department of Environmental Quality and the Attorney General’s office over the regulation of a pair of contentious natural gas pipeline projects, Friday’s meeting of the Virginia State Water Control Board was a new low point. The meeting, mostly conducted behind closed […]

Claws come out on House floor over immigration bill

By: - February 19, 2019

Tempers flared on the House floor Tuesday as delegates sparred over a bill by Sen. Dick Black, R-Loudoun, that would prohibit localities from adopting policies or ordinances that restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws. “Here we go again,” said Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, son of a Venezuelan immigrant. Lopez said the bill “ignores the complicated […]


If only: Northam’s missed chances to lead on race as governor

By: - February 12, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam is in full-fledged image rehabilitation mode, appearing in a nationally televised interview on CBS Sunday night and pledging himself to racial reconciliation in the wake of the furor over a racist photo that appeared on his medical school yearbook page. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday night that Northam will attend a forum […]

A turbulent weekend in Virginia politics got even rougher Monday

By: and - February 4, 2019

A weekend that had much of Richmond waiting to see if Gov. Ralph Northam would resign after a racist image from his medical school yearbook surfaced last week took a new tumultuous turn early Monday morning involving the man waiting in the wings to replace him if he steps down: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. The […]


COMMENTARY: Will it get built? Atlantic Coast Pipeline, dogged by invalidated permits, faces mounting costs, longer timeline

By: - February 4, 2019

Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, planned to run from West Virginia, through the heart of Virginia and into North Carolina, has seen its costs balloon by another $1 billion and won’t be fully in service until 2021, the company says. And some analysts are questioning whether it will get built at all. Utility Dive, […]


At surreal press conference, Northam struggled with the one question that mattered most

By: - February 2, 2019

For all the theater of the absurd on display Saturday during Gov. Ralph Northam’s bumbling, stumbling news conference — Michael Jackson, moonwalking and shoe polish are just some of the cringeworthy moments — the whole thing really came down to one question. If, as Northam says, he’s not either of the people in the racist […]