ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

COMMENTARY

A tale of two realities

BY: - September 7, 2022

It was the best of summers, it was the worst of summers. It was the summer the United Nations declared a healthy environment a universal human right, and a summer that shattered heat records across the globe. The U.S. enacted a historic climate bill not long after the Supreme Court struck down the Environmental Protection […]

U.S. House members raise doubts about Manchin environmental permitting deal

BY: - September 7, 2022

More than 50 U.S. House members are objecting to a push to revise federal environmental permitting requirements for energy projects — part of a deal Democratic leaders struck with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III to win passage of their climate, health and taxes bill that passed last month. The House members signed onto a letter […]

Regulators question decision-making power for fossil fuel plant closures

BY: - September 6, 2022

The State Corporation Commission is asking the General Assembly to consider granting it more power over decisions related to the retirement of fossil fuel plants, a move some environmental lawyers say isn’t a pressing priority. In an annual report to legislators,  the commission highlighted what it called its “lack of proactive authority, under current law, to […]

COMMENTARY

There has never been a better time to fence cattle out of streams

BY: - September 1, 2022

By Bobby Whitescarver My wife and I are beef cattle farmers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Two years ago, we enrolled in Virginia’s Agricultural Best Management Practice Cost-Share Program. We used this state funding to fence our cattle out of the streams and develop a rotational grazing system. The program opened a huge door […]

Youngkin administration outlines plan to withdraw Virginia from carbon market by regulation

BY: - September 1, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration announced their newest plans for how they intend to withdraw Virginia from a regional carbon market Wednesday, a move critics say is not allowed by law, would drain important state programs of funding and would hurt the fight against climate change. Acting Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Travis Voyles said […]

The 21st century’s canary in the coal mine is a robotic dog named Spot

BY: - September 1, 2022

GLEN ALLEN — Coal miners had their canaries to sniff out deadly carbon monoxide before the gas could overcome them.  Now, with coal on its way out, nuclear plants are turning to a 21st-century warning system to shield workers from radiation: a robotic dog named Spot.  “You can’t see radiation,” said Joshua Bell, a nuclear […]

UVA report sheds light on utility-scale solar farm decommissioning

BY: - August 31, 2022

Guidance on how local governments can protect themselves when utility-scale solar farms reach the end of their life is now available with the release of a report from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. The 60-page report released Tuesday comes after an April survey found decommissioning solar facilities to be one […]

Vilsack: America’s voluntary approach to agriculture is better than Europe’s mandates

BY: - August 30, 2022

BOONE, Iowa — The more than $1 billion the federal government is devoting to voluntary efforts to reduce agriculture’s adverse effects on the environment is a better long-term strategy than mandating new rules for farmers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. While state and federal officials in the United States have tended to […]

Virginia waters troubled by multiple harmful algal blooms

BY: - August 30, 2022

Phenomena known as harmful algal blooms have led Virginia to add portions of Lake Anna and six other water bodies to its impaired waters list, an inventory of waterways that don’t meet state environmental standards. Other listed waterways include Mint Springs Lake in Albemarle County, Aquia Creek east of Stafford, Wilcox Lake south of Petersburg, […]

California’s 2035 ban on new gas-powered cars set to apply to Virginia

BY: - August 26, 2022

California’s decision to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars beginning in 2035 will also halt the sale of such vehicles in Virginia due to a 2021 law linking the commonwealth to the western state’s vehicle emissions standards, state attorneys have concluded.  In a Thursday email obtained by the Mercury, Assistant Attorney General Michael Jagels […]

Federal regulators grant Mountain Valley Pipeline four-year extension

BY: - August 25, 2022

The federal government granted Mountain Valley Pipeline a four-year extension to complete work Tuesday, with regulators labeling the approval an administrative decision and environmental groups expressing their dissatisfaction. “Granting a request for an extension of time to complete an approved action does not constitute the substantial changes to the proposed action envisioned in the NEPA […]

COMMENTARY

RGGI funds have been a game-changer for many low-income homes

BY: - August 25, 2022

By Chelsea Harnish As Congress passes historic climate legislation for the first time in decades, Virginia has already been combating climate change via the commonwealth’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based carbon-reduction program. RGGI auctions provide vital funds for flood resiliency and low-income energy efficiency programs, improving the health and safety […]