40 acres and then some

BY: - August 21, 2023

On a scorching August day in Southside Richmond, beneath a wooden pergola at Sankofa Community Orchard, Duron Chavis finds a bit of shade and respite from decades of figurative mountain moving in the name of food and social justice, climate resilience and Black liberation.  “This is a place of peace and a healing space,” Chavis […]

The State Corporation Commission

Virginia regulators to weigh Appalachian Power Company rate increase

BY: - August 21, 2023

Appalachian Power Company, Virginia’s second-largest electric utility, is asking regulators for a big rate increase, citing inadequate revenues over the past three years and rising costs. If the State Corporation Commission agrees to the rate hike, it would increase the average monthly residential bill by about $20. Because of how much the company says it […]


Why are ratepayers footing the bill for Virginia’s data center buildout?

BY: - August 16, 2023

Virginia’s embrace of the data center industry produced new fallout this spring when Dominion Energy Virginia released its latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). With data center growth the “key driver,” Dominion projects a massive increase in the demand for electricity. As a result, the utility claims the state-mandated transition to clean energy is now impossible […]

Utility regulator recommends suspension of Dominion’s rules for connecting new solar to grid

BY: - August 16, 2023

A Virginia utility regulator is recommending that rules set by Dominion Energy for how new generation sources can connect to the grid should be paused after solar developers argued they are throttling the development of new solar projects around the state. State Corporation Commission Hearing Examiner Mary Beth Adams recommended July 31 that the interconnection […]

Virginia regulators considering fall crabbing season extension

BY: - August 15, 2023

Virginia’s Crab Management Advisory Committee recommended earlier this month that regulators consider extending Virginia’s fall crabbing season and loosening catch limits, allowing crabbers to catch more of the crustaceans.  Currently, the fall crabbing season runs July 5 to Nov. 30, with lower catch limits imposed beginning Oct. 1. The advisory committee is suggesting the season […]

New silica exposure rules aim to protect miners, but critics say they lack needed enforcement 

BY: - August 14, 2023

Proposed federal rules to bring the amount of silica to which coal and mineral miners can be exposed on the job in line with standards for other occupations are poised to provide protections for workers after years of urging by medical and black lung organizations.  But while those groups have hailed the change as a […]

4th Circuit dismisses remaining two Mountain Valley Pipeline cases

BY: - August 11, 2023

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed two long-standing legal challenges against the Mountain Valley Pipeline Friday, citing its lack of authority to hear the cases following the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act earlier this year. The dismissals mean the project, which was temporarily halted by the latest legal challenges, can continue. “Here, […]

USDA’s climate grants for farms and forests run into Republican buzzsaw

BY: - August 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is spending more than $3 billion to cultivate more American farmers and forest landowners as partners to mitigate climate change — even while some Republicans on Capitol Hill try to stop the program entirely. The administration launched a new farm program, Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities, this year. It is […]

Four takeaways from Southwest Virginia’s critical mineral investigation

BY: - August 8, 2023

Nearly a dozen researchers struck an optimistic tone in West Virginia last week when presenting the results of almost two years of study on whether Central Appalachia could develop industries around the extraction and processing of critical minerals and rare earth elements. Critical minerals and rare earth elements are substances like lithium, nickel and cobalt […]

Regional fisheries regulators extend emergency striped bass limits

BY: - August 3, 2023

Regional fishery regulators are extending emergency protections for striped bass they instituted in May through October 2024. On Wednesday, the Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to extend through Oct. 28, 2024 an emergency action that forbids the recreational catching of striped bass longer than 31 inches in […]


I’m a climate alarmist (and you should be too), but we aren’t dead yet

BY: - August 3, 2023

Until this summer, climate change was a threat most Virginians could ignore most of the time. It was like being hopelessly in debt: too upsetting to think about, so you may as well ignore it. But then smoke kept drifting down from Canadian wildfires and the planet experienced its hottest days on record. People are […]

Local Audubon Society asks Va. regulators to suspend use of fishing nets in Bay over osprey worries

BY: - August 3, 2023

In the Chesapeake Bay, osprey are the region’s top avian predator, but recent research found many of their young aren’t surviving. In light of the research, the Richmond Audubon Society asked state fisheries regulators at the end of July to temporarily suspend the use of large fishing nets in the Chesapeake Bay for 30 days […]