After Dominion’s big overhaul, how much oversight do regulators retain over utility spending?
It’s no secret that the State Corporation Commission didn’t like this year’s big energy bill, the Grid Transformation and Security Act. SCC staff testified against SB 966 in committee, and their objections played a major role in amendments removing the “double dip” provision that would have let Dominion Energy Virginia get paid twice for infrastructure […]
Endless outrage is exhausting
These times are so uncertain There’s a yearning undefined And people filled with rage – Don Henley Reporters have always lived on outrage. They discover, or stumble upon, or hear about some egregious behavior that really gets their blood up and they go after it. Sometimes it’s a government official abusing his position or maybe […]
Are state utility regulators at last ready to embrace customer-owned solar?
Almost four years ago, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission approved a request from Appalachian Power to impose “standby charges” on grid-connected homeowners who installed solar arrays between 10 and 20 kilowatts. The approval came not long after the SCC had given the same authority to Dominion Power (now Dominion Energy Virginia). The standby charges, dubbed a […]
Hey environmentalists, maybe he’s just not that into you
Two weeks ago, Gov. Ralph Northam’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice sent him the final version of a letter long in the works — the latest in a lengthy series of attempts to push Northam’s administration somewhere it steadfastly refuses to go. The council had telegraphed its recommendations months ago on the ultra contentious Atlantic […]
Advanced energy: Thousands of Virginia jobs rely on it
Think about how many people work at your local supermarket. There is a manager, likely a butcher or two, a green grocer, half a dozen stock clerks, a dozen cashiers, maybe a baker or even a pharmacist. Multiply that across your town, county, the commonwealth as a whole and you get a big workforce. Big […]
Fixing a ‘tarnished relationship’ between police and communities
Ever since I was a small boy I have always admired police officers. Due to the senseless civil war that plagued my country for more than a decade, my family was victimized by a home invasion by the rebels who invaded the capital city of Sierra Leone. They entered our home and violated our space […]
Two visions in conflict
If you step on it, you can drive from the Atlantic Ocean to Nelson County, Va., in about three hours. In the not-too-distant future, you could be able to make the trip in a lot less time. That’s not because we’ll have flying cars or frictionless roads, or because Great Birnam Wood is moving to […]
Virginia’s high court passes on chance to stand up to Dominion for conflicts of interest on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Many Virginia leaders seem to have the notion that if our environment is being polluted and ordinary people are having their land destroyed, that must be good for business. And as a corollary, if a business wants to pollute the environment and destroy private land, that must be good for Virginia. So maybe it shouldn’t […]
Trust me, I’m a reporter
Years ago, I worked at an afternoon newspaper called The Richmond News Leader. It was a great place to work, populated by reporters and editors who ground it out every day, against the odds, hitting very tight deadlines. As the police reporter, I started my workday at 6 a.m. and my first deadline was, as […]
With pipeline projects halted, there’s a golden chance for the state to require more review. Northam doesn’t seem likely to take it.
Since before he took office in January, opponents of the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines, including a list of lawmakers and officials from his own party, have begged and cajoled Gov. Ralph Northam to get tougher on the contentious natural gas projects. Work on both pipelines is now at least temporarily stalled amid court […]
What is it about Lee anyway?
One of the more entertaining exchanges I ever heard concerning Robert E. Lee went like this. It was after a public hearing attended largely by African-Americans and largely ignored by white people. ‘”The white folks didn’t come down because they knew the fix was in, and they didn’t have to come down,” said Official A. […]
On the heels of its big legislative win, what kind of grid does Dominion want to build for us?
Imagine that you have hired a builder to design and build you a three-story house. He brings you the plans for the first floor and proposes to start work right away. “These look okay,” you say, “but I need to see the plans for the whole house.” “Don’t you worry about that,” says the builder. […]