ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

Youngkin pledges to pull Virginia from carbon market by executive order

BY: - December 8, 2021

Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin is pledging to use executive action to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Alliance, a carbon market involving 10 other Mid-Atlantic and New England states.  “RGGI describes itself as a regional market for carbon, but it is really a carbon tax that is fully passed on to ratepayers. It’s a […]

EPA urges states to route water infrastructure funds to underserved communities

BY: - December 8, 2021

As Virginia prepares to receive more than $126 million in infrastructure funding for water projects next year, the Environmental Protection Agency is calling on governors, including Virginia’s, to prioritize the use of funds for underserved communities. “We know that economically stressed communities — small, large, rural, urban and suburban — often lack the financial, technical […]

COMMENTARY

DEQ is still failing to protect state waters from MVP 

BY: - December 8, 2021

By Freeda Cathcart The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is failing to protect our rivers, streams, wetlands and endangered species from harm caused by the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. Imagine that a driver accumulated multiple speeding and reckless driving tickets, clearly demonstrating a public safety threat. The driver is fined but retains his license. The […]

‘We can adapt’: Virginia releases coastal master plan

BY: - December 8, 2021

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration released Virginia’s inaugural Coastal Resilience Master Plan Tuesday, meeting a pledge earlier this year to complete the initiative before his term ends.  Developed over the past year with what the governor’s office said was input from 2,000 people, including residents, local government representatives, environmental groups, business leaders and others, the master […]

Environmental groups sue Henrico County over chronic sewage violations

BY: - December 6, 2021

Three environmental groups are suing Henrico County over what they say is a failure to fix chronic problems with its sewage collection system and treatment plant that has led to more than 66 million gallons of raw sewage being dumped into the James River and its tributaries since 2016.  In a suit filed in federal […]

Virginia reaps $228 million in first year of carbon market participation

BY: - December 6, 2021

Virginia took in $227.6 million for flood protection and low-income energy efficiency programs during its first year of participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon cap-and-invest market involving 10 other Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Results from RGGI’s last quarterly auction of 2021 published Friday morning show the largest chunk of carbon change […]

Virginia regulatory board denies Mountain Valley Pipeline compressor station permit

BY: - December 3, 2021

In a 6-1 vote, the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board on Friday voted to deny an air permit for a proposed compressor station in Pittsylvania that would be a key part of the Southgate extension of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline.  “I have concluded that when we equitably consider — not just consider, but […]

COMMENTARY

Dominion is abusing its monopoly. Time for a new model.

BY: - December 3, 2021

By John Hanger The power of voters and consumers to choose their representatives and suppliers of goods and services is the foundation of our government and economy. Indeed, in the marketplace, with the prominent exception of state-sanctioned utility monopolies, the single greatest consumer protection is the power of choice, the ability to take your business […]

A ferry passes the General Dynamic shipyard in Norfolk. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Gas pipeline upgrades planned to increase capacity to Hampton Roads 

BY: - December 3, 2021

Columbia Gas Transmission announced plans Wednesday to replace almost 50 miles of pipeline south of Petersburg and upgrade existing compressor stations to increase gas supply to the Hampton Roads region.  “The community has outlined the need for the replacement of an existing line built in the 1950s in order to bring greater natural gas reliability […]

Virginia air board adopts clean car regulations 

BY: - December 3, 2021

The Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board approved regulations Thursday that set up the framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles as part of a California program the General Assembly embraced during its winter 2021 session.  “That is a very significant regulation. It will have a very positive impact on Virginia’s environment,” Mike Dowd, […]

World’s largest oyster restoration completed on Piankatank River

BY: - November 30, 2021

‘Tis the season for champagne and oysters — and nowhere is more flush with the beloved bivalve than Virginia’s Piankatank River.  With more than 438 acres of restored oyster reef, the Piankatank is home to what Nature Conservancy Virginia Chesapeake Bay Program Director Andy Lacatell says is “the largest completed oyster restoration project on the […]

How does Virginia fit into a national effort to conserve 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030?

BY: - November 30, 2021

Is the pump primed for more federal funding of conservation initiatives in Virginia? President Joe Biden’s administration, in alignment with United Nations climate goals, set the bar high in its America the Beautiful initiative with a challenge to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030, but “it’s too early here to […]