Commentary

Gov. Ralph Northam

Northam’s struggle to explain air board move suggests it’s exactly what it appears to be

BY: - December 5, 2018

Can Gov. Ralph Northam’s decision to yank two members off the State Air Pollution Control Board as it weighs a permit for the compressor station Dominion Energy plans for Buckingham County be seen as anything other than what it appears to be: a clumsy attempt to tip the scale for the influential utility? In the […]

Let’s talk about guns

BY: - November 27, 2018

At last, the midterm elections are over. Let’s talk about guns. Last month, after a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh, no less an authority on gun violence than the president of the United States lamented that the synagogue didn’t have a security guard. (Four Pittsburgh police officers […]

Amazon will need even more energy in Virginia. Will they make it clean?

BY: - November 26, 2018

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 energy used by its data centers. […]

How hard a bargain did Virginia drive on Amazon? Secrecy pledge could make it tough to find out

BY: - November 21, 2018

Imagine if you were sitting down to dinner tonight and your spouse said she had something really important to talk with you about. You’re not totally surprised by this because she’s been gone a lot, taking whispered phone calls, sending late-night texts. But you still don’t really know what might come next. “SURPRISE!” she exclaims. […]

A governor meddles with the air board as it weighs a Dominion Energy permit and a former member gets déjà vu

BY: - November 19, 2018

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 term on the air board, […]

How can we help Virginia families thrive?

BY: - November 19, 2018

Imagine you are a stressed-out parent. Perhaps you’re juggling two jobs, struggling with depression or anxiety, worried about making ends meet, afraid of being evicted from your home. Your child is misbehaving, demanding, pushing your buttons. You have a moment when you think: “I just can’t take it anymore.” In that moment, who are you […]

Offshore wind: If it’s Dominion’s way or the highway, we have to do it Dominion’s way

BY: - November 5, 2018

The Virginia State Corporation Commission on Friday approved Dominion Energy Virginia’s proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, but not happily. A news release from the SCC complains about the “excessive costs” of the two turbines about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach and the way it is structured to make customers, rather than […]

The new Know Nothings: Trump’s vile brew of nativism and conspiracy theory

BY: - November 2, 2018

I have heard it a million times and the story still makes my sides split. My grandmother, an aspiring Boston nurse of Irish and English ancestry, who grew up in the nearby seaside town of Quincy, had started dating a Harvard medical student with a funny last name and was at last convinced to meet […]

Your right to know: Why a judge’s decision exempting the judiciary from FOIA matters

BY: - October 31, 2018

A judge in Richmond decided earlier this month that Virginia’s judiciary was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The ruling was the culmination of a more than three-year tug-of-war between an Eastern Shore sculptor and the court system’s administrators. Dr. William Turner has long believed that circuit court judges have been improperly using […]

The con at the heart of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

BY: - October 25, 2018

It can’t be said enough, and it’s something that’s easy to lose sight of amid the labyrinthine legal and permitting debates around the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which could be getting federal approval to start full construction in Virginia any minute now. The need for Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline is far from proven — […]

The Northam administration wants a ‘prominent role’ for Virginia in offshore wind. Can they pull it off?

BY: - October 22, 2018

Virginia is looking to assume a “prominent role” in the developing U.S. East Coast offshore wind industry, in large part by collaborating with neighboring states. That was the message Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Director John Warren brought to the two-day American Wind Energy Association offshore wind conference last week in Washington, D.C. […]

Atlantic Coast Pipeline gets final Virginia approvals

BY: - October 19, 2018

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has cleared the way for Dominion Energy’s 600-mile, deeply divisive Atlantic Coast Pipeline to begin construction here. The agency has signed off on plans for how workers will manage erosion, sediment and stormwater along the route, which will cross hundreds of waterways and some of Virginia’s steepest terrain, the […]