ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

Federal permits to allow Atlantic seismic testing, a preparatory step for future offshore drilling possibly off the coast of Virginia, were issued Friday despite widespread opposition from environmental groups, localities and other states along the east coast.The National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,...
Under fire from environmentalists, Gov. Ralph Northam said earlier this week he wouldn’t seat two new appointees to the State Air Pollution Control Board until after a critical vote next month on a pipeline compressor station.So what exactly does “seat” mean?The semantics, it turns out, could be important, because...
New monitoring data shows that air quality is improving in Virginia.The Department of Environmental Quality's ozone monitoring results for 2018 shows that levels of fine particulate pollution have decreased by more than 40 percent, while nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide levels have similarly, "dropped significantly," according to a DEQ...
Last week, environmental activists circulated a video of Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell leaving Gov. Ralph Northam’s office.The timing raised eyebrows, coming on the heels of Northam's much criticized decision to replace two members of the State Air Pollution Control Board, which was due to vote on a key permit...
Two massive companies have launched a new initiative to make the most of hog gas from dozens of operations in three states, including Virginia.Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods announced a joint venture Tuesday, dubbed Align Renewable Natural Gas, aimed at using methane from hog farms as a power source...
Amazon Web Services jump-started the utility solar industry in Virginia in 2015, when it announced plans for its first solar farm in Accomack County. Three years later, Amazon remains (for now) the biggest purchaser of solar in the commonwealth, allowing it to offset some of the enormous amount of...
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline hit another permitting snag Tuesday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended the 600-mile project's authorization to cross hundreds of waterways and wetlands."Following requests from Appalachian Mountain Advocates (Appalmad) attorneys, the Norfolk, Huntington, and Pittsburgh districts of the Army Corps of Engineers have each...
Steve Haner at Bacon's Rebellion has a good breakdown of a recent Dominion Energy earnings call in which CEO Tom Farrell said the company's Atlantic Coast Pipeline's cost estimates had ballooned to $6.5 to $7 billion.Per the transcript, Farrell blamed a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stop-work order and delays...
Dominion Energy's latest report on the costs and feasibility of recycling and landfilling of nearly 30 million tons of coal ash, instead of capping it in place, has shaved roughly a billion dollars from the upper end of estimates prepared last year.That, lawmakers and environmental groups say, is the...
Sadly, Gov. Ralph Northam's decision last week to replace two members of the State Air Pollution Control Board, even as the board considers a crucial permit that would allow a compressor station for Dominion Energy's Atlantic Coast Pipeline, is far from an anomaly.Between 2006 and 2010, during my second...