Fracking has produced massive amounts of natural gas in West Virginia. North Carolina and Virginia want some.
Now, Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas have announced they would team up with AGL and Richmond-based Dominion to make that possible -- building a pipeline through Virginia. The news provoked an outcry from the environmental community and grassroots groups.
Analyzing water is a complicated business. It can contain any number of pollutants and require a variety of regulations to clean it up, but the state of Virginia is using a simpler approach – letting nature determine water quality, and asking citizens to help.
On a sunny weekday afternoon, four people arrive at a one-lane bridge northeast of Charlottesville, unpacking a car loaded with mysterious gear – nets, gloves and waders, a table and chairs. They could easily be mistaken for picnickers. In fact, they’re on a more serious mission.
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.
For some parts of the state, this week brought a respite from the heat, but temperatures have still reached into the 80’s, and people aren’t the only ones suffering. The city of Richmond has issued a call for help.
Richmond’s Department of Public Works says young trees are in jeopardy because of hot, dry weather. Occasional thunderstorms have not done enough to keep roots watered, so the city is asking residents to help out by refilling gator bags.
When people hear about the “Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine” in Floyd County, they sometimes look surprised and ask, “What’s that doing here? Not only is it serving a local clientele, it’s also working to create a network of farmers raising certified traditional Chinese herbs to supply a growing sector in health care.