ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

Virginia deer hunting bill has no ‘path forward,’ says committee chair

BY: - January 30, 2023

A Southwest Virginia delegate’s shot at expanding the deer hunting season to year-round on private property appears to have missed the mark this session. On Jan. 18, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee failed to take any action on House Bill 1811 from Del. Marie March, R-Floyd. While March said Friday she is tweaking the bill, […]

COMMENTARY

Let’s keep the Shenandoah clean

BY: - January 27, 2023

By Mark Frondorf For years, herds of cattle wading and defecating in our rivers caused pollution and rendered the waters disgusting and, in some cases, dangerous for contact by those seeking recreation and drinking water. That’s why in 2020, Virginia passed legislation providing farmers with increased funding to fence herds of cattle out of streams […]

Virginia House votes to repeal Clean Cars law

BY: - January 26, 2023

Republicans in the House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday to repeal a law tying Virginia to California vehicle emissions standards that are set to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035.  Along party lines, the House of Delegates voted 52-48 to pass House Bill 1378, carried by Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham.  Wilt’s bill […]

COMMENTARY

These bills could bring more clean energy to your community

BY: - January 26, 2023

Solar schools, climate resiliency, energy efficiency: Local governments are now involved in energy planning – whether they feel ready for it or not. Some localities have adopted climate goals that require them to look for ways to lower carbon emissions; others just want to save money on high energy bills. Virginia has chipped away at […]

Va. lawmakers push bipartisan effort to reinvigorate electric utility commission

BY: - January 25, 2023

As Virginia lawmakers negotiate proposals to reform the laws regulating the state’s two largest electric utilities, a separate push is being made to reinvigorate a commission intended to allow more in-depth consideration of such issues outside the legislative session.  Senate Bill 1166 from Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, and House Bill 2275 from House Majority Leader […]

Senate bill to withdraw Virginia from carbon cap program voted down

BY: - January 24, 2023

The lone Republican attempt of the 2023 General Assembly session to repeal a law allowing Virginia’s participation in a regional carbon cap and invest program was killed in a Senate committee Tuesday. Senate Bill 1001 from Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Westmoreland, was voted down on a party-line vote in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources […]

Virginia bill seeks extension for farmers to fence cattle from streams

BY: - January 24, 2023

Despite a 2020 compromise, debate over the deadlines for farmers to install fences and craft plans to reduce nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay has been revived in this year’s General Assembly. House Bill 1485 from Del. Michael Webert, R-Fauquier, seeks to extend the deadline for farmers to voluntarily adopt such practices from 2026 to […]

Recycling oyster shells could net restaurants a tax credit under proposed legislation

BY: - January 24, 2023

Lawmakers voted to move forward with legislation to create a nonrefundable tax credit for oyster shell recycling this morning in subcommittee, citing a shared understanding that “oysters are good.” The House Finance subcommittee voted 6-2 in favor of a bill from Del. Tim Anderson, R-Virginia Beach, that would give restaurants a $4 credit for every […]

Enviro groups, Justice company reach settlement over cleanup of Wise County mines

BY: - January 19, 2023

Environmental groups announced Thursday they had reached a settlement with A&G Coal Corporation, a business owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family, over the cleanup of three coal mines in Virginia’s Wise County. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia by Southern Appalachian Mountain […]

House committee kills bill banning menhaden reduction fishery in Chesapeake Bay

BY: - January 19, 2023

Legislative attempts to put a two-year moratorium on the menhaden reduction fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and expand the time period during which state officials can change the fishery regulations died Wednesday in committee. The House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee unanimously voted to kill a bill from Del. Tim Anderson, R-Virginia Beach, that […]

Republicans say a Virginia blue catfish industry could help protect the Bay

BY: - January 18, 2023

Two Republican lawmakers are floating proposals to create a catfish industry to prevent depletion of other species in the Chesapeake Bay. Del. Keith Hodges, R-Middlesex, is proposing the creation of a Governor’s Blue Catfish Industries Development Fund to provide grants and loans to government bodies that support the creation or expansion of businesses involved with […]

COMMENTARY

Attacks on Virginia’s climate laws are front and center at the General Assembly

BY: - January 18, 2023

Every year I do a round-up of climate and energy bills at the start of the General Assembly session. This year, as expected, Republicans continue their assault on the hallmark legislation passed in 2020 and 2021 committing Virginia to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. In addition, this year features the usual assortment of bills doing […]