Natural Resources

Marine Mammals and Fish Befriend Offshore Turbines

Aug 13, 2015

Conditions off the coast of Virginia are ideal for construction of offshore wind turbines, but scientists see a limited role for marine energy – power generated from waves, currents and tides. 

That’s because prevailing winds on the planet blow from west to east, creating bigger waves on the west coast of continents.  Still there is some potential here, and experts say turbines can likely be placed off our shores with minimal risk to wildlife.

West Coast Waves Promise Clean Power

Aug 12, 2015

This month, the U.S. Department of Energy will choose twenty semi-finalists in a contest to design devices that can harvest the power of ocean waves. Ninety-two teams of inventors have applied for more than $2 million, and four of them are from Virginia.

When it comes to wave power, Oregon’s coast is a hot spot.  Belinda Batten directs the Northwest National Marine Renewables Center in Corvallis.

“The waves are always bigger on the west coast of continents, because the waves are created by the wind, and they’re flowing from the west to the east.” 

Wave Power for Virginia? Scotland Shows the Way.

Aug 12, 2015

This week, we’re reporting on marine energy – power generated from waves, currents and tides.  As a state with 112 miles of coastline, Virginia should be a prime candidate for development of this resource, but so far there’s no sign of an industry.  To understand why, reporter Sandy Hausman traveled to Scotland – ground zero for efforts to exploit marine energy in Europe.

Carbon vs. Mercury: EPA's Clean Power Plan

Aug 7, 2015
(AP Photo/John Locher)

President Obama recently unveiled a new rule to combat climate change by forcing state’s like Virginia to cut their carbon pollution. But this summer the Supreme Court shot down a new EPA rule aimed at limiting mercury pollution, which has conservatives calling for the new rule to be halted.

VA Company Sues State to Mine Uranium

Aug 7, 2015
AP Photo/Steve Helber

For more than 30 years, Virginia has banned mining of uranium.  Now, the owner of a large uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County has filed suit, hoping to overturn that law.

Virginia Uranium, Inc. has tried for years to persuade the legislature that it can safely mine a large deposit of the radioactive ore.  The company has given nearly $370,000 to legislative campaigns since 2008, but when Governor Terry McAuliffe said he would veto any attempt to lift the ban on mining, Virginia Uranium filed suit in U.S. District Court.