Author

Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah is the Mercury's environment and energy reporter, covering everything from utility regulation to sea level rise. Originally from McLean, she has spent over a decade in journalism and academic publishing and previously worked as a staff reporter for Chesapeake Bay Journal, the Progress-Index and the Caroline Progress. She is the recipient of a first place award for explanatory reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists and has twice been honored by the Virginia Press Association as "Best in Show" for online writing. She was chosen for the 2020 cohort of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact her at [email protected]

Feds seize 145 dogs and puppies from Cumberland beagle breeding facility

By: and - May 20, 2022

Federal agents have seized 145 dogs and puppies found to be “in acute distress” from a controversial Cumberland County beagle breeding facility operated by global biotechnology company Envigo.  “Envigo has employed a paltry number of employees and elected to euthanize beagles or allowed beagles to die from malnutrition, treatable and preventable conditions, and injuries resulting […]

At Dominion wind hearings, continued disputes over ratepayer protections

By: - May 20, 2022

After two and a half days of testimony in Richmond, consumer protection advocates continue to disagree with Dominion Energy over whether regulators should require further safeguards for ratepayers as the utility seeks approval for its plans to build a massive wind farm off the coast of Virginia Beach.  “There is no blank check for this […]

Eight Virginia groups join request for Federal Trade Commission to investigate electric utility industry

By: - May 19, 2022

Eight Virginia organizations have joined more than 230 consumer, environmental and public interest groups in asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate electric industry practices that they say “impede renewable energy competition and harm consumer protection.”  “Today, abusive utility practices are leading to increased electricity rates, obstruction of clean energy competitors in the face of […]

Virginia receives a big boost in federal funds for brownfields work

By: - May 19, 2022

Virginia has been awarded a record amount of federal dollars to lay the groundwork for the cleanup of contaminated or potentially contaminated sites known as brownfields in the cities of Emporia and Newport News and the towns of Appalachia and Blackstone.  This month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality […]

Youngkin announces slate of environmental board appointments

By: - May 16, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced a slate of appointments to Virginia’s citizen environmental boards Friday, including four picks for the seven-person Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board that will be charged with approving the administration’s efforts to pull Virginia out of a regional carbon market.  Youngkin’s air board appointments include:  James Patrick Guy II, general counsel […]

What’s ‘reasonable and prudent’ when it comes to Dominion offshore wind project’s costs?

By: - May 16, 2022

Dominion Energy is seeking approval to build what will be the largest offshore wind power project in the United States off the coast of Virginia Beach, pitched by the company, some lawmakers and business groups as key to positioning Virginia as a hub for an industry on the cusp of a boom. But with hearings […]

Shareholders ask Dominion for report on risk of stranded natural gas assets

By: - May 11, 2022

NORFOLK — After a shareholder vote Wednesday, Dominion Energy will issue a report on how it is responding to the risk of stranded natural gas assets as the global response to climate change intensifies.  “The risks are very high right now when it comes to climate change,” said Freeda Cathcart, the Virginia shareholder who put […]

Groups say they’ll sue Justice coal company over cleanup failures at Wise County mines

By: - May 11, 2022

Three environmental groups announced Tuesday that they plan to sue one of the coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice over its failure to clean up three mines in Wise County.  On May 10, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club sent Justice notification that his A&G Coal Corporation “is […]

Amid global energy price spikes, Dominion customers’ bills could rise between 12 and 20 percent

By: - May 10, 2022

Dominion customers could see their monthly bill rise by between 12 and 20 percent due to rising fuel costs linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to company filings with the State Corporation Commission Thursday.  The electric utility, Virginia’s largest, is asking state regulators to approve an increase in […]

Dominion asks to halt ratepayer charge for carbon market

By: - May 6, 2022

Dominion Energy is asking state regulators to stop charging customers on their monthly bill for the utility’s participation in a carbon market in anticipation of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plans to withdraw Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  Suspending the charge, known as Rider RGGI, “will provide an immediate, material reduction to customer bills,” the […]

The asphalt plant next door 

By: - May 4, 2022

LOUISA — Alberta and Theresa Coffey are the last people living on a swath of land in Louisa County between Interstate 64 and the newest addition to the neighborhood: the Boxley asphalt plant. When Alberta Coffey, now 83, and her husband Harold first bought the roughly one-acre property just east of Zion Crossroads in 1962, […]

Some Virginia sturgeon traveled over 500 miles last year

By: - May 3, 2022

It’s not just the Proclaimers who want to go 500 miles to end up at your door. A handful of Atlantic sturgeon in the James River are also willing and eager to cover large distances for their heart’s desire. Data collected by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Rivers Center, an environmental field research station in Charles […]