Author

Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah is Editor-in-Chief of the Mercury and previously its environment and energy reporter. She has worked for multiple Virginia and regional publications, including Chesapeake Bay Journal, The Progress-Index and The Caroline Progress. Her reporting has won awards from groups such as the Society of Environmental Journalists and Virginia Press Association, and she is an alumna of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative and Metcalf Institute Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact her at [email protected]

Appalachian Power rates will rise after Supreme Court of Virginia ruling

By: - August 19, 2022

Electricity rates for Appalachian Power Company customers are poised to go up after the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed part of a decision by state regulators that was key to keeping the utility’s rates unchanged.  “Customers can expect a rate increase, but the amount and timing are undetermined at this time,” said Appalachian Power spokeswoman […]

ACLU of Virginia sues Department of Corrections over earned sentence credits

By: - August 16, 2022

The ACLU of Virginia is suing the director of the Virginia Department of Corrections and a state prison warden to try to force the release of an inmate, arguing the agency incorrectly blocked him from being let out early for good behavior in response to a last-minute change in the state budget that rolled back […]

Coal miners urge passage of permanent funding for federal black lung benefits 

By: - August 12, 2022

With the Inflation Reduction Act poised to pass the U.S. House, coal miners, including those in Virginia, could finally secure permanent funding for a federal trust fund that pays for medical treatment of miners suffering from black lung if the responsible coal company doesn’t pay.  “This is real important to us and to every coal […]

Thousands of low-income Virginians set to get access to shared solar

By: - August 11, 2022

Over 4,500 low- and moderate-income families in Virginia that were previously unable to source their electricity from solar panels will soon have access to the technology.  On Tuesday, Dimension Renewable Energy and Community Housing Partners announced they are partnering to offer shared solar to residents of the housing nonprofit’s more than 70 affordable apartment communities […]

Potential overdoses, death at privately run Lawrenceville prison spur state investigation

By: - August 10, 2022

The Virginia Department of Corrections is investigating a rash of potential overdoses and a death at the privately run Lawrenceville Correctional Center in Brunswick County.  Christopher Ferreira, a spokesperson for The GEO Group, the prison operator, confirmed Wednesday that one inmate died Aug. 6 after prison staff “observed several inmates who appeared to be lethargic […]

Regulators approve Dominion offshore wind project

By: - August 5, 2022

State regulators on Friday approved plans by Dominion Energy to construct the nation’s largest offshore wind farm in waters off Virginia Beach but imposed several conditions intended to protect ratepayers, including reporting requirements for cost overruns and a performance guarantee.  The hotly anticipated ruling from the Virginia State Corporation Commission gives Dominion the state’s go-ahead […]

Potomac River Generating Station/Mirant power plant

Appalachian Voices sues state over release of carbon market document

By: - August 4, 2022

Nonprofit Appalachian Voices is suing Virginia to force the release of a document that allegedly contains an opinion from the attorney general’s office that Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin cannot pull the state out of a regional carbon market.  The suit, filed in Charlottesville Circuit Court, claims that the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board, Virginia Department […]

Federal climate deal could force completion of Mountain Valley Pipeline

By: - August 2, 2022

A deal between Democratic congressional leadership and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III over sweeping federal climate legislation could force the completion of Mountain Valley Pipeline, according to a one-page summary of the agreement’s provisions obtained by The Washington Post.  The final item on the summary reads: “Complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline.” Since the surprise […]

Warner says he’s in ‘active conversations’ about siting semiconductor plants in Virginia

By: - July 28, 2022

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said Wednesday he is “in active conversations” about locating semiconductor chip manufacturing facilities in Virginia. “My hope is that with my work on this we can secure one of those factories in Virginia,” he said during a press call touting federal legislation, passed by the Senate later in the day, that […]

Mountain Valley Pipeline wants another four years to finish work. Virginians remain split. 

By: - July 27, 2022

As Mountain Valley Pipeline seeks a four-year extension to finish building the long-delayed project, intended to carry natural gas from the Marcellus shale fields into Virginia, Virginians remain as divided as ever on the pipeline’s fate.  Initially expected to be completed by 2018, Mountain Valley has faced staunch opposition from environmental groups and some landowners […]

COMMENTARY
The Virginia State Capitol.. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

A new chapter for the Mercury

By: - July 26, 2022

It’s a strange moment to be a journalist.  Since the 1970s, trust in the media has dropped dramatically. The results of a Gallup poll released earlier this month found only 16% of U.S. adults now have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers. For trust in television news, the figure is […]

Pennsylvania money could be ‘turning point’ in regional Bay cleanup efforts

By: - July 21, 2022

Pennsylvania’s commitment of $220 million to a new fund dedicated to reducing pollution flowing into state waterways could prove “a remarkable turning point” in Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts, a senior official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.  “We’re going to see a new trajectory now in the restoration of the Bay,” said Adam […]