Statewide environmental news roundup: 2023 General Assembly recap
This is a special edition of a regular series of contributed news roundups about statewide environmental and energy news. This piece highlights, with links to further coverage in various media outlets, some of the energy, transportation, and utility bills introduced during the recently-ended 2023 General Assembly (GA) session. Not all-inclusive, the bills noted include actions by area legislators (Delegates Avoli, Runion, Wilt; State Senators Hanger, Obenshain).
Statewide environmental news roundup – Feb. 2023
A public radio station story explored the effects of declining coal on electric bills in Virginia, where natural gas, nuclear power and renewables “now supply far more electricity.” The US Energy Information Administration provides extensive data on Virginia’s energy profile, including this: “In 2021, natural gas accounted for 57% of Virginia’s total electricity net generation, nuclear supplied 30%, renewables—mostly biomass and solar energy—provided 9%, and coal fueled less than 4%.”
Statewide environmental news roundup – October 2022 (Part II)
Virginia’s Governor issued his Energy Plan. A Southwest Virginia editor noted that the “plan shows the changing politics of energy [with] … the Republican governor of a coal-producing state who is not talking up coal.” A long-time follower of Virginia energy policy and laws expressed skepticism, asking “You call that an energy plan?
Statewide environmental news roundup – August 2022
The 2021 National Solar Jobs Census showed an overall increase of 9% nationwide, with increases in 47 states. Virginia is not among the top 10 states, but did have job growth in this sector in the 10-15% range.
Statewide environmental news roundup – July 2022
The just-issued, first‑of‑its‑kind Virginia Solar Survey aimed to collect data and information related to each county and city’s experience, readiness, efforts and needs related to solar development. This report contains a summary of results and preliminary analysis of key findings. The City of Charlottesville’s partnership with Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), a non-profit, hopes “to make the switch to solar energy easier and cheaper for city residents.”
Statewide environmental news roundup – April 2022
The 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act required the state’s utilities to move aggressively into the renewable energy arena. Virginia Business reports that “Virginia’s largest electric utilities [Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power] are deploying an array of technologies as they decarbonize, digitalize and decentralize their power grids to meet the state’s and their own clean energy goals.” An SCC hearing examiner will issue a decision on Appalachian Power’s proposals “pretty quickly.” The projected costs of the utilities’ plans are raising concerns.
A divided Capitol ‘forces you to the table, to be more reasonable and then negotiate’
With the Virginia General Assembly more than a week into its session, Republican Del. Tony Wilt said he’s hopeful divided government can yield legislative results and even some toned-down rhetoric. Wilt, who represents Harrisonburg in the House of Delegates, answered a range of questions in this in-depth Q and A.
Trails, trees and vaccination news mark 2021. What will 2022 bring?
If the list of The Citizen’s most-read stories of 2021 tells us anything about the last year, it’s that people were eager for information about the outdoors. Trails and trees were big attractions.