ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

A Southwest Virginia utility is seeking another rate hike

BY: - October 15, 2021

Old Dominion Power, the state’s smallest investor-owned electric utility serving about 28,000 customers in Virginia’s southwestern tip, is again asking state regulators for a major rate increase, saying its current rates “do not permit it an opportunity to earn a fair rate of return.”  The utility, a subsidiary of Kentucky Utilities, is asking to increase […]

Resilience planning — and a few innovative ideas — top state’s first Flood Fund grants

BY: - October 14, 2021

Carbon auctions have given Virginia officials millions of dollars to play with.  But as the state begins pushing large amounts of that money toward local flood preparedness, the focus is largely on a staid and sober goal: resiliency planning. “It’s such a big, vast need, and it’s going to take an incredible amount of money […]

Dominion asks for state approval of plans to extend life of nuclear plants beyond 2050 

BY: - October 13, 2021

Dominion Energy is asking Virginia regulators to approve its plans to extend the federal licenses of its Surry and North Anna nuclear plants, as well as an estimated $3.9 billion in costs to keep the workhorse facilities running past 2050.  Nuclear energy currently produces about a third of the electricity used by Dominion’s Virginia customers […]

COMMENTARY

Electric regulators should reject fixed-charge increases

BY: - October 5, 2021

Okay, folks, the kids are back in school, so in their honor we are all going to do a word problem!  Bob Rich lives in a sprawling subdivision of large, single-family homes. Bob has a pool and a hot tub and outdoor lights he keeps on all night. Bob’s four children have loads of electronic […]

A 2020 law could decide whether Dominion customers get zero or $372 million in refunds

BY: - October 4, 2021

Dominion Energy’s Virginia customers could see as much as $372 million in refunds if state regulators agree with public utility commission staff and Virginia’s attorney general about how the utility’s hundreds of millions of dollars related to coal plant closures over the past four years should be handled.  The decision, which will be made by […]

Uranium mining ban upheld as Supreme Court of Va. declines to reopen lower court ruling

BY: - September 30, 2021

In a terse decision issued Thursday, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled it would not take up an appeal of a lower court’s decision to uphold the state’s uranium mining moratorium.  “The Court is of the opinion there is no reversible error in the judgment complained of,” SCOVA ruled. “Accordingly, the Court refuses the petition […]

‘Wildfire year’ meant record days at the highest preparedness level, Forest Service chief says

BY: - September 30, 2021

The U.S. Forest Service spent more consecutive days this summer at the agency’s highest level of preparedness for wildfires than in any previous year, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore told a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday. Moore’s comments reflected the growing danger from more intense and harder-to -control fires that have swept Western and Midwestern states […]

Mountain Valley Pipeline water permit arguments tread familiar ground

BY: - September 29, 2021

RADFORD — It could have been 2017 or 2021.  For three hours Tuesday night, a crowd of Southwest Virginia residents, pipeline workers and environmental activists batted back and forth the same arguments the State Water Control Board has been hearing for the past four years as the Mountain Valley Pipeline project has ground forward, stalled, […]

Led by Roanoke, Virginia cities and counties begin taxing plastic bags 

BY: - September 24, 2021

Less than a year after a 2020 Virginia law allowed local governments to impose a five-cent tax on certain disposable plastic bags, cities and counties are opting in to cut down on plastic waste.  “We’ve had a longstanding commitment to get rid of the bags,” said Nell Boyle, the sustainability outreach coordinator for the city […]

Proposed Chickahominy Pipeline map released; county officials complain about lack of information

BY: - September 24, 2021

A map of the proposed Chickahominy Pipeline through Louisa, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Charles City County was released this week, although officials from several counties complained they have been unable to obtain more details about the project.  “We have attempted to reach out to the company’s representatives to get no response, and the only […]

Tennessee lawmaker says Virginia needs to do more to fix Bristol landfill’s malodorous emissions

BY: - September 23, 2021

Not satisfied with how Virginia officials are handling the complaints, a Tennessee state senator wants his state agencies to investigate a Bristol, Virginia, landfill linked to air pollution and foul odors plaguing residents on both sides of the border. “In addition to the landfill causing odor nuisance issues, I believe it presents a health and […]

Strickler to step down as natural resources secretary

BY: - September 22, 2021

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler is stepping down from his post in the waning months of Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration.  A release from the governor’s office said Strickler, a former Democratic congressional policy adviser on natural resources and legislative assistant to then-Sen. Northam, will be “pursuing new opportunities.”  He will be replaced by […]