ENERGY + ENVIRONMENT

COMMENTARY

The Northam regime’s abuse of power must stop

BY: - February 21, 2019

In siding with corporate interests against the better judgment of affected communities and citizens and ignoring key environmental issues, Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration has revealed a fact pattern in its efforts to suppress justice in the commonwealth. Actions taken by the Northam administration involving the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board vis-à-vis the Atlantic Coast […]

Civil rights leader, former vice president take aim at Northam, Dominion during visit to Buckingham County

BY: - February 20, 2019

BUCKINGHAM — John Laury missed his hometown when he lived in California. Union Hill was quiet and clean. Unlike the San Bernadino valley where he lived, smog and heavy air never settled over him, making it hard to breathe. In 2003, he and his wife, Ruby, went back home to Union Hill, a small community […]

‘A win for Virginia:’ Both chambers pass coal ash cleanup legislation

BY: - February 18, 2019

After years of effort from advocates and lawmakers alike, along with multiple studies on how to do it and the cost, both the House and Senate passed legislation last week outlining how and when Dominion Energy will clean up about 30 million tons of coal ash at four sites around the state. “This is a […]

Mountain Valley Pipeline acknowledges criminal investigation into alleged environmental violations

BY: - February 15, 2019

The company behind the Mountain Valley Pipeline says it’s the subject of a criminal investigation by the EPA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia into potential violations of the Clean Water Act and other federal statutes. EQM Midstream Partners made the disclosure in its 2018 annual report to investors, which […]

COMMENTARY

Growth in data centers overpowers Virginia’s renewable energy gains

BY: - February 15, 2019

Almost 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic passes through data centers in Loudoun County on a daily basis. More than 100 massive data centers, over 10 million square feet of building space, dot the Northern Virginia landscape around Dulles Airport in what is known as “Data Center Alley.” And the industry is growing fast. […]

Water Control Board sets meeting to reconsider Mountain Valley Pipeline water certification

BY: - February 15, 2019

More than two months after it voted to hold a hearing to consider revocation of a key certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, sued by the state over several hundred alleged environmental violations, the State Water Control Board has finally scheduled a meeting for March 1 on the topic. However, the March 1 meeting will […]

Virginia Dems blast Trump team’s moves towards offshore drilling

BY: - February 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — Virginia Democrats are calling on the Trump administration to reverse course on recent moves that could allow seismic airgun testing and offshore drilling off the East Coast. All nine Democrats in Virginia’s U.S. congressional delegation — two senators and seven representatives — wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Acting Interior […]

COMMENTARY

For job creation, solar is a winner: Virginia’s solar jobs rose nine percent in 2018

BY: - February 14, 2019

The Solar Foundation has released its National Solar Jobs Census for 2018, showing solar jobs in Virginia increased from 3,565 in 2017 to 3,890 in 2017, an increase of nine percent. That puts Virginia 20th in the nation for solar jobs, though only 34th if measured on a per capita basis. Nationwide, solar job numbers […]

Dominion Energy's downtown Richmond building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Dominion says it will cut methane emissions. Environmental group: What about that pipeline?

BY: - February 13, 2019

In a news release, Dominion Energy announced Tuesday its plans to reduce methane emissions by 50 percent over the next decade. Under its new initiative, the company will prevent more than 430,000 metric tons of methane, the primary component of natural gas, from entering the atmosphere, “the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the […]

COMMENTARY

Where’s the pipeline hearing you promised?

BY: - February 13, 2019

On Dec. 13, the State Water Control Board passed a motion requiring that a hearing be held to consider whether the water quality certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline  should be revoked. It is now more than eight weeks later and still no date for the hearing has been announced. Meanwhile, Mountain Valley Pipeline continues […]

COMMENTARY

As Virginia prepares to join carbon-trading states, arguments erupt over the price of admission

BY: - February 6, 2019

Virginia won’t enter the nine-state carbon emissions trading program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative until 2020 under regulations being finalized by the state, but debate about how much it might cost utility ratepayers is already heating up. Estimates range from little or no cost — or even a cost savings — to as […]

COMMENTARY

COMMENTARY: Will it get built? Atlantic Coast Pipeline, dogged by invalidated permits, faces mounting costs, longer timeline

BY: - February 4, 2019

Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, planned to run from West Virginia, through the heart of Virginia and into North Carolina, has seen its costs balloon by another $1 billion and won’t be fully in service until 2021, the company says. And some analysts are questioning whether it will get built at all. Utility Dive, […]