COMMENTARY

Gov. Ralph Northam disappointed some members of his transition team and left environmental groups seething last year when he reappointed David Paylor to his longtime job as director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.Business interests, including the state's big utilities, chief among them Dominion Energy, like Paylor's light...
Let’s picture your child on the first day of classes next September. Now, let’s picture your child’s teacher.We’ll call her Ms. Becker, because it sounds like a good name for a teacher and because that was my high school homeroom teacher’s name.Now, picture Ms. Becker packing heat, say a...
There is no greater land conservation system in the world than the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System.And that system, always under-resourced, is now further imperiled by the ongoing government shutdown.Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and spanning 850 million acres of land and water, the refuge system...
Visiting the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction corridor in southwest Virginia was a promise I made to  local residents while I was a member of the State Water Control Board. It was a promise that wasn't kept until Jan. 2, when I toured many farms and residential lands impacted by...
Proving it still has some teeth left despite the General Assembly's best efforts, the State Corporation Commission has rejected billions in proposed spending by Dominion Energy it had sought permission to recover from its customers under the sweeping utility regulations signed into law last year.Though the commission did approve...
Clean energy and climate action are mainstream concepts with the public these days, but at Virginia’s General Assembly they have yet to gain much traction. Last year saw one renewable energy bill after another die in committee, along with legislation mandating lower energy use through energy efficiency and climate...
More than a year after Judge James Dimitri said he was stepping down from the State Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities, insurance, banking and other business interests, Republicans in the General Assembly muscled through a surprise pick to fill the last remaining year of his term in a single...
In an ideal world, we might expect agencies charged with protecting people and the environment to always do the right thing within the limits of the law regardless of who sits in the governor's mansion. But because we live in the real world, of course, political leadership matters a...
Adrian worked a full-time job and he received health insurance through Medicaid. As it turns out, that’s a pretty common story. For every 15 Americans on Medicaid, nine of them already have a job, according to the latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Two people have an illness or...
This week the State Corporation Commission  approved a request from Appalachian Power Company  to offer its more than 500,000 Virginia customers the option of buying electricity entirely from renewable sources. The sources will be primarily wind and hydro, with some solar to be added as it gets built.Participants who...