ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

COMMENTARY

With a federal windfall incoming, Virginia should require school districts to build to green standards

BY: - June 23, 2021

More than $4.3 billion in federal stimulus dollars will be flowing to Virginia this year as part of the American Rescue Plan, with cities and counties in line for another $2.7 billion. In a joint statement in May, Governor Northam and Democratic leaders laid out spending priorities that included rehabilitating and upgrading the infrastructure in […]

COMMENTARY

A 303-mile hole in claim new gas pipelines are critical to energy security

BY: - June 22, 2021

After the recent cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, fossil fuel industry advocates have redoubled their efforts to frame the completion of other U.S. pipeline projects as a critical energy security issue. However, there is a 42-inch wide, 303-mile long gaping hole in this line of argumentation: the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Originally slated to be […]

A quarter of Virginia’s waste continues to come from out of state

BY: - June 21, 2021

A quarter of all solid waste received in Virginia in 2020 came from out of state, the annual waste management report from the Department of Environmental Quality released last week shows.  Of the approximately 22.5 million tons of solid waste that facilities in the commonwealth handled during the calendar year, about 5.7 million tons came […]

New mapping tool aims to clarify Virginia environmental justice debates

BY: - June 16, 2021

Amid persistent conflicts over what communities should be considered “environmental justice” communities when state officials weigh whether to grant air, water or waste pollution permits, a new interactive map of Virginia aims to identify hotspots where residents are facing disproportionate pollution and socioeconomic burdens.  “Policymakers are not good at responding to what they see as […]

For Virginia, adapting to sea level rise starts with choosing a curve

BY: - June 15, 2021

In a warming world of rapidly rising waters, there are at least nine possibilities for what tomorrow will look like at Sewells Point in Norfolk.  All agree that by 2050 the sea will have overtaken more of the land than today. But by how much — half a foot, more than three feet or somewhere […]

New federal agreement aims to accelerate offshore wind in Virginia and N.C.

BY: - June 14, 2021

A new federal agreement that aims to speed up review of offshore wind projects in federal waters will initially focus on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project being developed by Dominion Energy off the coast of Virginia Beach and the Kitty Hawk project off North Carolina.  In a release from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office, Virginia […]

Despite lawmakers lifting caps on school and government solar, COVID-19 slowed growth

BY: - June 11, 2021

POWHATAN — More than a year after the dozens of solar panels that blanket the roofs of Powhatan Elementary and Powhatan Middle School hummed to life, state and county officials finally cut the ribbon on the project.  “In 2020, when the General Assembly passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, this is what we were forecasting,” […]

COMMENTARY

Protecting utility profits is the point

BY: - June 10, 2021

Four things happened after I wrote last week about Power for Tomorrow’s strange advertising campaign attacking Clean Virginia. The Fredericksburg Freelance-Star ran an op-ed from Power for Tomorrow’s executive director, Gary C. Meltz, opposing deregulation in the electric sector; the Virginia Mercury ran a response to my article from Mr. Meltz; another mailer arrived from […]

Frustrated local leaders urge Congress to move faster on regulating water contaminants

BY: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local officials and community leaders on Wednesday pushed Congress to designate toxic chemicals that are contaminating drinking water as hazardous materials, which would trigger federal cleanup standards. In addition, two Democratic senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, introduced legislation that would put additional obligations on the Pentagon to initiate cleanup at […]

New study estimates 485 Virginians died prematurely in 2016 as a result of transportation emissions

BY: - June 10, 2021

A study by researchers from the University of North Carolina and Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health released this week calculated that 485 premature deaths in Virginia in 2016 were due to ozone and fine particulate matter emitted by cars, trucks and buses within the region.  Of those deaths, the study estimates that […]

COMMENTARY

End wildlife killing contests

BY: - June 9, 2021

By Sydney Hearst I was lucky enough to learn early on what the phrase “Virginia is for lovers” truly means. Virginia has exquisite and diverse outdoor landscapes, and I started exploring them at a young age. My father’s family is based in the Virginia Beach area, so my earliest memories include seeing dolphins in the […]

As 2025 deadline for Chesapeake Bay cleanup looms, Virginia zeroes in on agriculture

BY: - June 8, 2021

On Holt Farm, the grass may literally be greener on the other side of the fence.  Woody Ward wasn’t expecting that. The farmer, who raises roughly 80 head of cattle as well as hay on his Albemarle County property, initially thought putting up fences around the three creeks that cut through his pastures would just […]