COMMENTARY

By Beth RoachServing as the vice chair of Gov. Ralph Northam’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice has given me a unique perspective on equity and environmental justice in the face of the Northam scandal. This Earth Month, I have been reflecting on my childhood growing up in Surry County,...
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is seeking a consultant to perform an environmental justice study for the agency aimed at recommending regulatory and statutory changes "to promote equity in environmental decision making."In a request for proposals Tuesday that closes on May 10, the DEQ says "there exists an...
It seems like every time some organization publishes a ranking of states according to their green energy achievements, Virginia gets listed as an also-ran.We’re 26th in energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The U.S. Department of Energy lists us 37th for renewable energy. Our...
By Emily SatterwhiteIn May 2018, Mountain Valley Pipeline confessed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that its plan for stream crossings along its proposed 303-mile fracked gas pipeline had been based on “theoretical desktop analysis” that “did not take site specific constructability issues (elevations, terrain and workspace) into account.”From...
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...
By Matthew ConoverJust this month, I helped care for a man who passed away peacefully in the night.It should have been a time of solemn mourning and perhaps relief for the family, who had seen their loved one suffer for weeks. But shortly after stepping out the room where...
By Richard Eggeling and Bill Johnson The Rappahannock Group of the Sierra Club has taken awhile in arriving at our position on sPower's proposed Spotsylvania solar farm because we wanted to complete our own analysis of the issues.On the one hand, it is critical that we stop spewing greenhouse gases...
Gov. Ralph Northam's administration is finalizing regulations to reduce the carbon pollution from Virginia power plants by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030.The Department of Environmental Quality estimates the move will cost consumers only about a dollar per month while accelerating the transition to clean energy. (Virginia's State...
In the weeks since Gov. Ralph Northam was condemned for the racist activities he engaged in in the past, I’ve not been happy, nor comfortable.I’ve struggled to find the way to say what I need to say without alienating the people I want to work with.I’ve walked a rhetorical...
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...