Leaders of Virginia’s largest organization representing farmers say they were “startled” when state Attorney General Mark Herring filed an amicus brief supporting the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan that’s being challenged in federal court. The American Farm Bureau Federation had challenged the multi-state agreement, saying the federal Clean Water Act gives individual states—NOT the Environmental Protection Agency—the authority to determine how to curtail pollutants and clean up the water. A U.S. District court has upheld the plan, which is estimated to cost residents 15-billion dollars.
If you ask people if they would like to save energy, the majority says yes. But if you ask them what they’re actually doing about it, the majority says “not much”. A contest among cities and towns across the country, to see which can cut the most electricity and natural gas usage, is aimed at finding ways to change that.
With all the electronic devices, most of us use, which have to be plugged in and recharged, you’d think energy use in this country would be on the rise.
"If you look at total energy usage in the whole country it’s been flat.”
In 2013, the Solar Energy Industries Association says installations were up 41% nationwide, with North Carolina ranking third for installed solar capacity and Maryland 16th, but neighboring Virginia was far down the list at number 26.
Thirty states, including West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, have land-based wind farms, but Virginia has none.
Virginia is blessed with wind – in the mountains and along its shores, so you might expect this state to jump quickly into the business of generating electricity from turbines.
Likewise, there’s plenty of sunshine, but Dominion Virginia Power’s preferred plan for 2027 shows just four percent of our electricity coming from renewable sources. Appalachian Power will be at 9% by 2020, but most of that energy will come from existing hydro-electric dams.
Despite concerns about climate change, Virginia’s largest electric utility still generates more than half of its electricity from fossil fuels, and by 2027 Dominion Power expects to get nearly 60% of its power from coal and gas.
The state’s other electric utility, Appalachian Power, is also big on carbon-based fuel. By 2020, parent company AEP says 79% of its power will come from burning coal and gas.