Proposed natural gas pipelines that would carry fuel from West Virginia to North Carolina have raised protest all over the state. In Floyd, residents are seeing unmarked trucks with unidentified drivers showing up on their land asking to do a site survey, presumably for siting of the pipeline. The town is calling upon the power companies behind to explain their intentions.
It has the feel of a stealth operation. Power companies Next Era Energy and EQT have still not contacted town leaders but surveyors have visited landowners who own property along the proposed route.
Fracking has produced a glut of oil and gas in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Energy companies are desperate to get those products to market, and utilities are anxious to make the switch from coal to clean-burning gas.
There is, however, something standing in the way – people who want nothing to do with pipelines in their communities. In Nelson County, three groups have already formed to fight a pipeline that would also pass through Buckingham, Dinwiddie and Brunswick counties en route to North Carolina.
When it comes to offshore wind energy development, some environmental organizations say Virginia leaders are on the right track, but they need to greatly pick up the pace. An alliance that includes Environment Virginia and the Virginia Conservation Network says other East Coast states are eyeing wind-turbine dominance. The groups say the slow-moving Commonwealth could lose out on many of the benefits associated with its development.
Charlottesville, Richmond and Roanoke are following Blacksburg’s lead in launching campaigns to promote solar power on residential rooftops. By purchasing panels in bulk, organizers can offer substantial discounts. It’s a strategy that one University of Virginia graduate is using to persuade the nation that renewable is do-able.
Summer was, historically, a time for itinerant preachers to travel the country, saving souls at tent revivals. Today, a not-for-profit called Appalachian Voices is following that tradition, putting a fourth generation coal miner on the road to preach the gospel of green energy. Here's a look at Nick Mullins’ crusade.