The world is watching as political leaders meet in France, seeking ways to address climate change.  In Virginia, Appalachian Power, which services just under a million people here, has announced its plan for fuel sources going forward.  For the first time, it includes solar power.  While clean energy advocates applaud the change, they’re concerned it doesn’t go far enough.

Dominion Power is starting a new project… one that will make its power lines safer to large birds. Crews have begun an effort across the state to slowly change the way power lines are structured.

About 25 times a year, a large bird, like an eagle,owl, or osprey, will perch on the cross-arms of an electrical pole and spread their long wing-span out…. touching one tip of each wing to an electrical wire.

“If one wing touches one and one the other that’s a potential for an electrocution right there. It’s more than likely going to be a fatal event to the bird.”

AP Photo/Ralph Wilson

Opponents to natural gas pipelines in Virginia are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of all four of the proposed projects. 

Thirty organizations in Virginia are calling on FERC to take a bird’s eye view of the natural gas infrastructure to determine if 4 new pipelines, currently in the planning stages, are really necessary. The pipelines would bring fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina. Opponents say they are a threat to the region’s water, scenic beauty and public safety.

The decline of the coal industry is poised to have a big impact for decades to come. In regions where it once dominated local economies, for many, things will never be quite the same.  But with great change also comes opportunity. 

Blacksburg is joining the list of southwestern Virginia Towns with high speed chargers for Electric Vehicles or EVs.  Virginia Clean Cities  has already put twenty of them in places like Richmond, Hampton Rhodes, and Charlottesville.

Many of these “DC Fast Chargers” around the state are free to use. It's part of plan to help create an infrastructure for plug in cars.  Matt Wade is Deputy Director of Virginia Clean Cities. He says it’s a ‘chicken and egg’ situation they’re trying to address.