Coastal parts of Virginia are already feeling the effects of climate change - flooding more often and losing land to erosion, but the state’s wooded areas are also in jeopardy, and this weekend worried tree lovers will meet in Charlottesville to talk about what’s coming and what can be done.
Plans for three new natural gas pipelines to run through southwest Virginia have sparked much discussion since they were announced. The companies behind them have held open houses to educate communities. Numerous protest groups have been formed to oppose them, and forums held, to examine arguments on both sides. The possibility of the pipelines is not only spurring discussion, it’s also reawakening the spirit of protest movements that have come before.
“No to fracking Pipe line, no to fracking period and no to politicians who support either one!"
Dominion Power is the focus of a new campaign from the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club. "The People Versus Dominion Power" seeks to make the utility accountable on multiple issues. Virginia Sierra Club Director Glen Bessa says they are recruiting people concerned about planned gas pipelines and plans for an additional North Anna nuclear reactor. Bessa says they're also reaching out to people concerned about Virginia's General Assembly giving the power giant relief from state regulation of some rates for 8 years:
If you think you’ve been seeing more solar panels on houses around Virginia, you’re right. Residential rooftop solar here grew at the same rate as the national average in 2014.
Solar electric power accounted for almost a third of the nation’s new energy generating capacity last year. More than wind and coal for the second year in a row, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. SEIA says residential continues to be the fastest growing market segment for solar in the U.S.
State Senator John Edwards drew applause at Monday’s Cabell Brand Center forum on gas pipelines with his assertion about property owners’ rights, but the case may not be as clear as some people in the audience seemed to believe.
“I think our senator, Senator Edwards, did a really great job today, clarifying about Virginia law about imminent domain. So that alone is worth its weight in gold.”