The federal government has cleared the way for oil exploration and drilling off the coast of Virginia, but a public hearing period is underway, and citizens are invited to share their views before any land is leased or any permits issued.
The oil industry hasn’t been allowed to do studies off our coast for forty years, but at the Virginia Petroleum Council, Mike Ward claims there are a half billion barrels of oil and 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas buried below the ocean floor.
Virginia’s two big electric companies will escape state regulation of their base rates for up to eight years under a bill which caught opponents by surprise – a measure just approved by the Virginia House. Its sponsor promised a rate freeze for consumers, but your bill could still be going up.
President Obama’s budget revived a debate at the Capitol over energy policy and climate change.
As lawmakers like to say, “budgets embody values,” and on the Hill there’s no question over whether the president’s budget shows his values in regards to the nation’s energy sector. He wants to hike clean energy spending by seven percent and offer a myriad of states some four billion dollars if they clean up their air at a quicker pace. Virginia Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith says the budget would be another blow to his southwestern district.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would transport natural gas from West Virginia, may get a second change to its proposed path through the commonwealth.
Spokeswoman for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Natalie Cox, says it will be weeks to months before the LLC planning the venture, completes contacting landowners and localities to see if any potential changes to the pipeline’s route are feasible.
The Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline that’s being proposed to run through South Western Virginia made a U-Turn when it came to Floyd County. Last fall, the gas companies changed the original route, bypassing the rural county. Company officials have said the protest movement that sprang up in Floyd had nothing to do with their decision, but others believe it made a difference.
One of them is Mara Robbins, who founded the Preserve Floyd Movement last summer to fight the pipeline. Now, she’s been hired by an Environmental group to continue that work throughout the region.