Virginia

VIRGINIA

Virginia is located on the East Coast of the United States, midway between the southern tip of Florida and the northern coast of Maine. The state stretches almost 430 miles west to east and includes the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula on the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay. The coastal plain that occupies the eastern part of Virginia includes the nation’s largest coal export port. To the west, the flat coastal plain meets the rolling hills and basins of the Piedmont region along a boundary known as the Fall Line because it is characterized by rapids and waterfalls. However, most of the state’s hydroelectric power plants are further west, where the rolling hills of the Piedmont rise into the Blue Ridge Mountains. The valleys and ridges that occupy the western part of the state are parallel to the spine of the Appalachian Mountains and, along with the Appalachian Plateau, contain most of the state’s coal, the primary energy resource produced in Virginia. The Appalachian Plateau, which cuts across the southwestern corner of Virginia, also holds almost all the state’s crude oil and natural gas fields. Nearly two-thirds of Virginia is forested, and the state’s widely distributed forests hold abundant biomass resources. Virginia has offshore wind energy potential as well. Uranium, the source for nuclear fuel, has been discovered near the state’s southern border. The deposit, although not developed, may be one of the nation’s largest.

Natural gas fueled 60% of Virginia’s electricity generated in 2019 with nuclear supplying 30%, renewables 6% (which includes hydroelectric, biomass and a bit of solar).

Virginia’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed about one degree in the last century, and Virginia is one of seven states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to have record sweltering heat in July, 2020. Predictions are that by 2050, the typical number of heat days will increase from more than 10 days to nearly 60 days a year. Temperatures are not the only noteworthy statistic in Virginia. The sea is rising one to two inches every decade. Higher water levels are eroding beaches, submerging low lands, exacerbating coastal flooding, and increasing the salinity of estuaries and aquifers. And, in 2020 two Virginia cities experienced their wettest year on record. In the southwestern part of the state the city of Lynchburg picked up nearly 70 inches of rain, surpassing 2018 as the wettest on record.  It was also 0.1 degree shy of their warmest year on record. Things played out similarly in the city of Roanoke, which saw nearly 63 inches of rain beating the previous record from 2018.  Roanoke also tied 2012 and 2019 for the warmest year on record, with an average temperature of 59.5 degrees.

Any doubt about the state’s long-term commitment to renewable energy faded when Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act in April 2020. Not only does it require Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to be carbon-free by 2045 and 2050 respectively, but it also specifies that having a target of 16.7 gigawatts of solar power produced in Virginia would be in the “public interest.” Additionally, the bill promises to make the state a leader in offshore wind and in energy storage, to shutter nearly all of its coal-fired power plants,  and includes provisions to cap energy bills for low-income households. By August, the governor officially joined the Regional Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that places a limit on electricity sector emissions. Virginia is the first southern state to join.

The largest utility in Virginia, Dominion Energy began its response by divesting its natural gas holdings in November 2020 and then selling its Questar Pipeline subsidiary in October 2021. Dominion Chair, President and CEO Robert M. Blue said in a statement. “This transaction represents another significant step in our evolution as a company, allowing us to focus even more on fulfilling the energy needs of our utility customers and continuing growth of our clean-energy portfolio, including development of the largest offshore wind farm in North America.” Dominion also responded with solar and batteries, proposing 15 new energy projects and 32 third-party power purchase agreements, including 11 utility-scale solar projects, a standalone battery energy storage project, and a collaboration between Dominion and the Nature Conservancy to develop one of the first utility-scale solar projects on former surface mines in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.

Five years ago, there were no utility-scale solar facilities in Virginia. Since then, they have exploded. In 2020, more than 1.4 gigawatts of solar were installed, making Virginia 4th in the country (behind only California, Texas and Florida). With this growth has come a building friction between the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals and the desire of many rural communities to preserve productive farmland and, their agricultural heritage.

Virginia is one of twenty-four states, along with Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

Virginia Seeks Millions of Dollars in Federal Funds Aimed at Reducing Pollution and Electrifying Transportation and Buildings

By Jake Bolster 04/01/24
Virginia is seeking millions of dollars in federal funds this month for state and local government programs to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases. The state outlined its most urgent emissions-reduction strategies in a Priority Climate…
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Virginia wildfire map: See where fires are blazing as some areas deal with road closures

By Gabe Hauari 03/21/24
Wildfires broke out in northern and northwestern Virginia Wednesday, and the National Weather Service says Thursday's conditions could bring "increased fire danger" as well.
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Virginia Lawmakers Try to Use Budget to Rejoin RGGI – But Success Is Questionable

By Hannah Chanatry 03/16/24
Closed-door negotiations during Virginia’s budget process may have undercut lawmakers’ plans to rejoin a regional emissions reduction program. State lawmakers on Saturday approved a $65.5 billion budget proposal that includes an amendment demanding state agencies…
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Teen plaintiffs ask Virginia Court of Appeals to allow climate change suit

By Brad Kutner 03/12/24
A group of Virginia teens argued for their right to a livable environment at the Virginia Court of Appeals Tuesday morning.
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Climate change education legislation in Virginia advances

02/16/24
Virginia's House Bill 1088, which would require the state board of education to aid local school boards with instructional materials on climate change and environmental literacy, passed the House of Delegates on a 53-46 vote…
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Virginia Lawmakers Show Historic Support for Critical Environmental Issues

02/15/24
Virginia state lawmakers marked the midpoint of their 60-day legislative session on February 13 with historic support for environmental issues.
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Dominion project gets final permitsDominion wind project gets final 2 permits

By Dave Ress Ricmond 01/31/24
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued its final approval of Dominion's construction and operations plan. This is a detailed plan for building and operating an offshore facility that the bureau reviews for its…
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2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project Gets Final Federal Go-Ahead to Begin Construction

By Adnan Memija 01/30/24
Dominion Energy has received the last two major federal approvals needed to begin construction of its 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach in the…
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Climate change education legislation in Virginia

01/12/24
Virginia's House Bill 1088, prefiled on January 10, 2024, by Betsy B. Carr (D-District 78), would, if enacted, require the state board of education to aid local school boards with instructional materials on climate change…
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Major Flooding Across Chesapeake Bay Watershed Highlights Need for Lasting Solutions From MD and VA Legislators

01/09/24
Today, communities across the Chesapeake Bay watershed are experiencing severe coastal flooding. Strong onshore flow, mixed with heavy rainfall and high winds, is resulting in significant flooding and erosion along the coast, streams, and creeks…
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Yes, this sinking island in Virginia is being threatened by climate change

By Kaitlyn McGrath 12/13/23
Tangier Island sits in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay between the Eastern Shore and the Northern Neck of Virginia, accessible only by boat or a small plane. Everyone knows everyone, cars are replaced by…
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The federal government released its latest climate report. Here’s what it says about Virginia.

By Eliza Noe 11/22/23
The federal government released its latest National Climate Assessment, the first since 2018. Scientists from across the country contributed, detailing the country’s current climate risks.
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Firefly Solar Announces Exciting Expansion into Virginia

03/13/24
Firefly Solar is elated to announce our expansion into Virginia, marking a new chapter in our mission to deliver renewable energy solutions. This growth reflects our ongoing success and the broadening of our service areas…

Grown Here at Home: Virginia Tech receives $80M grant to accelerate climate-smart agriculture

03/04/24
Virginia Tech has received a record $80 million grant to pilot the Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture program. It rewards producers for implementing climate-smart practices on their farms.

Renewable Energy Initiative Could Help More Virginia Farmers Implement Underutilized Technologies Like Wind Power

02/27/24
Agricultural producers in the commonwealth could soon benefit from a new initiative the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are launching today to help farmers cut costs and increase income…

Virginia outlines vision to decarbonize industries, move to clean energy

02/23/24
Virginia has outlined a sweeping new path forward to cut climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions and transition to renewable energy.

Wind Power Is Taking Over A West Virginia Coal Town. Will The Residents Embrace It?

02/21/24
Keyser, West Virginia, was once known for coal. But the jobs have been disappearing. First because of automation, then cheap natural gas. And now, the urgency to address climate change is one more pressure on…

Virginia lawmakers delay decision on Dominion Energy’s offshore wind monopoly

02/15/24
Renewable energy advocates have vowed to double down next year on legislation designed to enable competition with Dominion Energy on offshore wind projects serving Virginia.

Port of Virginia says it’s now using 100% clean energy

01/25/24
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of cargo move through the Port of Virginia each day, handled by massive pieces of equipment like cranes, forklifts and straddle carriers.

State would gain power to approve large solar and wind projects over local objections under proposed legislation

01/24/24
A pair of Virginia lawmakers want to give state regulators more authority to sign off on proposed large solar, wind and battery storage projects if such projects face certain local hurdles.

Virginia Climate Resiliency Efforts Advance in General Assembly

01/23/24
Multiple efforts progressing in the Virginia General Assembly would strengthen the state’s carbon emission reduction and adaption work. These proposals would lead to significant advancement in the Commonwealth’s resilience to climate change risks.

Climate Change in the EPA Mid-Atlantic Region

01/19/24
The impacts of climate change in the Mid-Atlantic Region have the potential to harm human health, disrupt livelihoods, and damage property, including the infrastructure and ecosystems that provide crucial services across the region. Recent news…

Virginia legislation aims to unleash competition to speed progress on clean electricity

01/19/24
Newly empowered Virginia Democrats are pushing legislation this session that would elevate the role of customers and private developers in meeting the state’s clean energy targets.

Siting Renewable Energy Projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia: Why State Law Implementation Remains Stalled at the Local Level

01/11/24
Compared to other regions, the Southeast’s vertically integrated utility business environment dampens project development interest from independent power producers. However, a binding renewable energy statute sends a market signal to developers that the state is…

Feds pitch Virginia on loan opportunities for renewable energy transition

12/11/23
The federal government is pitching Virginia on loan opportunities to help pay for the state’s transition to renewables, saying federal funding can reduce the financial burden passed on to ratepayers.

Driving Clean Transportation Forward in Virginia

12/06/23
NRDC's new national report, a snapshot of each state’s decisions on transportation-related policies and investments, ranks the Commonwealth 18th out of 50. The Scorecard ranks each U.S. state on a number of different metrics, including…

Sky NRG Solar Inc.: Pioneering Clean Energy Solutions in Reston, Virginia

06/16/23
Reston, Virginia, is home to a forward-thinking company at the forefront of the clean energy revolution—Sky NRG Solar Inc. With its commitment to sustainable solutions and cutting-edge solar technologies, Sky NRG Solar is reshaping the…

Dominion reviving plans to build a natural gas peaker plant in Chesterfield

06/14/23
Dominion is reviving pre-pandemic plans to build a natural gas peaker plant in Chesterfield County as part of its recently announced strategy to invest in more gas generation to meet growing grid demand in the…

HOW VIRGINIA TOOK ON DOMINION ENERGY

06/13/23
This is an old-fashioned story about monopoly power, dirty money, bipartisan corruption, consumer exploitation, and what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called “the curse of bigness.” It’s also the story of a recent victory over…

Virginia repurposes old mines for renewable development

06/07/23
State officials believe they can turn an epidemic of mine closures to their advantage by developing a growing number of abandoned properties into renewable energy hubs, leveraging millions of new funds to bring private developers…

Dominion Energy submits request to City of Richmond to withdraw from ‘clean energy park’ proposal

06/01/23
Dominion Energy has started the official process to cancel the “”Clean Energy Park” proposal for electric vehicle charging in downtown Richmond.

A backed-up grid threatens clean energy growth from Virginia to Illinois

05/30/23
Backlogged power grids could be the biggest barrier to meeting U.S. decarbonization goals — and the grid operators in charge of clearing those backlogs and expanding grid capacity for solar, wind and battery projects are…

Virginia community solar boosters hope state follows path of D.C., Maryland

05/16/23
Despite setbacks, community solar advocates in Virginia remain upbeat that recent policy breakthroughs in neighboring Maryland and the District of Columbia will benefit their case in the next legislative session.

Port of Virginia goes all in on renewable energy sources to fulfill green supply-chain demand, CEO says

04/28/23
At the behest of its suppliers and customers, the Virginia Port Authority is pushing ahead on a plan to go fully carbon-neutral by 2040. That means the group will purchase all of its power used…

Dominion’s renewable projects approved by regulators despite cost concerns

04/14/23
Dominion’s regulators on Friday approved a suite of renewable energy projects proposed by the utility in a move that goes against State Corporation Commission staff’s recommendation to deny two projects because of cost concerns.

Virginia enacts multiple laws aimed at developing SMRs

03/29/23
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed multiple bills into Virginia law in the last week intended to promote the development of small modular reactors (SMRs).

Solar farms in southwest and central Virginia cited for environmental violations

03/29/23
A company that built and is now operating seven solar farms across southwest and central Virginia has been cited for violating state regulations meant to control erosion and sedimentation.

Appalachian Power releases annual clean energy plan

03/24/23
Smith Mountain Lake is widely known as one of Virginia’s most popular recreation destinations, but it also serves another important purpose – providing electricity to thousands through its Appalachian Power hydroelectricity dam. Hydroelectric energy, or…

Virginia General Assembly split on whether to pursue nuclear power more aggressively

03/13/23
When Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin unveiled his energy plan this fall that pushed for the development of small modular nuclear reactors in the state within a decade, critics were quick to call the goal overambitious…

Dominion ‘on track’ with $9.8 bln Virginia offshore wind farm

02/09/23
Dominion Energy Inc (D.N) executives said on Wednesday that the electric utility's $9.8 billion offshore Virginia wind farm is on track and on budget, having recently entered a critical phase of the environmental review process.

Virginia Senate passes competing energy legislation

02/08/23
The Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would adjust the way state regulators set and oversee Dominion Energy's electric rates and profitability.

Advocates, Dominion clash again over utility reform legislation in Virginia

01/30/23
Competing bills could help determine how much customers pay for Dominion Energy’s clean energy transition. <strong>Advocates, Dominion clash again over utility reform legislation in Virginia</strong> is an article from Energy News Network, a nonprofit news…

In Virginia, carbon emissions drop as data centers boom, thanks to RGGI pact

01/16/23
An environmental policy professor explains how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is helping Virginia lower its emissions amid a data center building spree that’s expected to drive a 38% increase in electricity use by 2035.…

Virginia approves 1 GW solar and energy storage expansion by Dominion Energy

03/17/22
The Virginia State Corporation Commission has given Dominion Energy the green light on a planned 1,000 MW renewable energy expansion, including what will become Dominion Energy Virginia’s largest solar-plus-storage project to date.

Va. to end ‘carbon tax’ as emissions reduced from cleaner power

03/17/22
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed Executive Order 9 on Jan. 15 to direct the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) to examine the impact of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and “start the process of…

Giant, turbine-installing ship is Dominion Energy’s $500M bet on U.S. offshore wind

03/08/22
Shipbuilders in the port city of Brownsville, Texas, are nearing the halfway mark on shaping 14,000 tons of steel into a vessel designed to ensure the country’s gamble on offshore wind is less dicey.

In Virginia, abandoned coal mines are transformed into solar farms

03/03/22
In 2019, the Nature Conservancy acquired 253,000 acres of forest in the central Appalachian Mountains that it calls the Cumberland Forest Project. It’s one small part of the group’s efforts in the mountain range, which…

RFP Alert: Appalachian Power seeks 150MW of West Virginia solar

02/17/22
West Virginia utility Appalachian Power released an RFP requesting 150MW of solar capacity in the state. Eligible projects must be at least 50MW in capacity, with the option to include a battery-energy storage system.

Virginia clean energy job training program climbs its own learning curve

01/25/22
The hands-on solar panel lesson for rookies at Sankofa Community Orchard in mid-January might have been a bust if student Mary Lewis hadn’t shown up with her A-game — and her F-150 pickup truck.

How to address climate locally? These 6 places have plans

01/05/22
While much of the nation’s attention to climate adaptation has focused on large coastal cities with outsize risks, some of the most forward-leaning climate policies are coming from less urbanized places such as Marina, Calif.;…

Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

12/21/21
As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.

Virginia adopts bold clean energy law

11/02/21
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act Saturday, enacting bold legislation that will require zero-carbon generation of all energy in the state by 2050. This landmark legislation, which SELC worked hard to…

Virginia Joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Finally

11/02/21
In a tweet this July, Governor Ralph Northam announced Virginia’s determination to tackle climate change by officially joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that places a…

Rural counties wrestle with solar power demands from Northern Virginia

10/11/21
The Fauquier County Planning Commission has rejected two proposals to build utility solar fields on farmland in the county. The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors voted down a plan to construct a solar field covering…

Dominion Energy to sell Questar Pipeline to Southwest Gas for $1.9B

10/05/21
Richmond-based Dominion Energy Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its Questar Pipeline subsidiary to Las Vegas-based Southwest Gas Holdings Inc. for $1.975 billion, the Fortune 500 utility announced Tuesday.

Utility Dominion continues push towards Virginia clean energy targets with solar and batteries

09/20/21
US utility company Dominion Energy Virginia has proposed 15 new energy projects and 32 third-party power purchase agreements (PPAs), totalling 1GW of power, which Dominion Energy claimed was the largest group of clean energy projects…

Dominion acquires 20MW Virginia battery

09/17/21
Dominion Energy Virginia has acquired the 20MW Dry Bridge energy storage project from East Point Energy for an undisclosed price.  

Dominion proposes 1 GW of new Virginia solar + storage by 2023

09/16/21
Dominion Energy Virginia, in its annual clean energy filing with state regulators, has proposed a 1 GW portfolio of new solar and energy storage projects in the state to make progress toward the goals of…

The Nature Conservancy, Dominion Energy Announce Innovative Collaboration for Solar Development on Former Coal Mine in Southwest Virginia

09/13/21
The Nature Conservancy and Dominion Energy Virginia today announced an innovative collaboration to develop one of the first utility-scale solar projects on former surface mines in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.

U.S. solar developers see opportunity in America’s post-industrial lands

By Dan Rhys and Nichola Groom 06/23/21
 On a recent spring morning, coal mine operator Dale Murray stood atop a stretch of land in western Virginia that had been dozed flat by mountaintop strip mining, and he enjoyed the panoramic view it…

Appalachian Power contract with public authority customers to include renewable energy programs, other new services

By Chris Galford 06/22/21
Finalization of a new four-year contract between Appalachian Power and public authority customers, including schools and governments, was reached last week, ensuring access to renewable energy programs and other new services in Virginia.

Dominion Energy Virginia Customers to Benefit from a Stronger Grid, Expansion of Renewable Energy

06/22/21
Dominion Energy Virginia customers will continue to experience more reliable service, new tools to manage energy usage, and greater access to clean energy sources as efforts continue on the Company's ten-year plan to transform the…

What will it take to modernize Virginia’s public transit systems?

By Wayatt Gordon 06/15/21
A bus stop in a bucket is by no means representative of the average amenities provided by transit systems across the commonwealth, but the all-too-common sight is far from befitting 21st century public transportation.

Harnessing the wind: Historic offshore wind project now producing energy off Virginia Beach coast

By Andy Fox 06/14/21
Dominion Energy is investing billions of dollars to change the energy equation in Hampton Roads, Virginia and the United States as a whole.

Appalachian offers all-renewable electricity to its customers — for a price

By Laurence Hammack 06/05/21
Two years ago, Appalachian Power Co. offered a deal to its customers: For an extra $4.25 a month, all of their electricity would come from wind, water and sunlight.

HB 1965 State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program.

By Lamont Bagby 05/11/21
State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program. Directs the State Air Pollution Control Board to implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program for motor vehicles with a model year of 2025 and later.…

A Year After Clean Economy Act, VA Sees Renewable Jobs Expand

By Diane Bernard 05/04/21
One year after Virginia adopted its Clean Economy Act, workforce development and new jobs in clean energy are booming in the state, as its economy expands into renewable-energy industries.

McAuliffe releases plan to address climate change, secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035

By Chris Graham 03/25/21
Terry McAuliffe is back at it with bold plans, the latest promising to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2035, aligning Virginia with President Biden’s climate goals.

McAuliffe releases plan to address climate change, secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035

By Chris Graham 03/25/21
Terry McAuliffe is back at it with bold plans, the latest promising to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2035, aligning Virginia with President Biden’s climate goals. “Climate change is one of the greatest threats to…

HB 1965 State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program.

By Lamont Bagby 01/11/21
State Air Pollution Control Board; low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program. Directs the State Air Pollution Control Board to implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program for motor vehicles with a model year of 2025 and…

Preparing for Climate Change in Virginia

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Virginia is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Virginia enacts Clean Economy Act – Renewable Energy Standards and Carbon Free Future Achievable

By Duane Morris 08/20/20
On August 17, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (the “VCE Act”), which establishes mandatory energy efficiency standards and provides a pathway for new investments in solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, and energy storage.

Virginia’s Strategy for Safeguarding Species of Greatest Conservation Need from the Effects of Climate Change

04/11/19
From the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Conservation Network, and the National Wildlife Federation, this report is to be appended to Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan. It forms the basis for wildlife inventory…

Virginia Climate Change and Resilience Commission Report to the Governor

04/10/19
In December 2015, the Virginia Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission issued its report and final recommendations to then Governor Terry McAuliffe. The report identifies the Commission's top five recommendations for climate action in the…

KEY RESOURCES

Virginia State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/19/21
Virginia is located on the East Coast of the United States, midway between the southern tip of Florida and the northern coast of Maine. The state stretches almost 430 miles west to east and includes…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Virginia

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Virginia experienced three tropical cyclones, six severe storms, two winter storms, and one freeze. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Virginia

08/07/20
Virginia Climate and Energy Facts

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

02/28/20
Virginia’s diverse geography and abundant natural resources benefit agriculture, industry and commerce and provide a rich environment for people, plants and wildlife. To ensure the continued vitality of what the Commonwealth has to offer, the…

The Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance

02/28/20
Advancing renewable energy at all levels in Virginia through finding common ground and serving as an authoritative resource.

VIMS Initiative for Coastal Climate Change Research

02/13/20
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) of the College of William and Mary is committed to conducting state-of-the-art scientific research focused on marine and adjacent coastal components of the Earth system. Many of the Institute's research…

Climate Change and Virginia Forests

02/13/20
The world’s forests, including the forests of Virginia, play a large, positive role in the climate change issue. Reports estimate that forest tree growth in Virginia sequesters 6.42 million metric tons of carbon each year…

MORE NEWS

National Climate Assessment Finds West Virginia Lags Behind

By Mike Tony   11/16/23  
A new edition of what's considered the definitive document on how global warming affects the country has found West Virginia lagging behind most other states in actions addressing climate change impacts.
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How will climate change affect Virginia? Massive new report is a window into the future

By Katherine Hafner   11/15/23  
Climate change will likely bring more intense storms and higher temperatures year-round to Virginia and across the Southeast. But the region also has the potential to adapt, and some of that adaptation is already underway.
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Dominion’s Proposed Virginia Power Plant Casts Doubt on Its Commitments to Clean Energy

By Jake Bolster   11/10/23  
In 2020, the Virginia Assembly passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a law that required the state’s largest utility provider, Dominion Energy, to generate all of its power using only renewable energy by 2045.  But…
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Va. Democrats win big, denying GOP chance to undo climate policies

By Scott Waldman and Minho Kim   11/08/23  
Virginia voters delivered a sharp rebuke Tuesday of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and all but ended his push to roll back climate policies put in place by his Democratic predecessor.
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Virginia governor declares state of emergency as crews battle wildfires

By The Associated Press   11/07/23  
The Virginia governor, Glenn Youngkin, declared a state of emergency on Tuesday as firefighters responded to two wildfires amid dry conditions and high winds.
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Climate Change Threatens 400-Year-Old Jamestown and Its Buried Secrets

By Amanda Kolson Hurley   10/12/23  
David Givens, an archaeologist in Jamestown, Virginia, is peering into a pit on a hot, cloudless afternoon in July. A year earlier, his team had been excavating at this spot and chanced upon a circle…
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What’s at stake if RGGI disappears in Virginia?

By Jeremy Cox   10/10/23  
When temperatures dipped, her home heating oil bill would skyrocket. She was paying $500 every couple of months or so for more oil and not even completely filling the tank. Doing so, she said, would…
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Q&A: Dominion Energy, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Virginia’s Push Toward Renewables

By Jake Bolster   08/08/23  
On the last day of July, the Virginia registrar formalized Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s push to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions by the…
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Mountain Valley Pipeline Halted as Legal Wrangling Heats Up

By Coral Davenport   07/12/23  
A federal court in Richmond has halted construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, setting off a battle with Congress that could end up at the Supreme Court.
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Court Halts Section of Construction on Mountain Valley Pipeline

07/12/23  
A federal appeals court has ordered a halt to construction of a section of the Mountain Valley Pipeline that runs through the Jefferson National Forest, as it reviews a challenge by environmental groups. Last month’s…
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As smoke from Canada enters Virginia, research links climate change with more frequent wildfires

By Charlie Paullin   06/12/23  
Dan Salkovitz, a meteorologist with the Department of Environmental Quality, recalls being in North Carolina in 2002 standing on a deck, smoke filling the air and a fire engine whizzing around in search of the…
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Virginia regulators advance Youngkin plan to leave climate initiative he calls ineffective

By Sarah Rankin   06/08/23  
Virginia spent years under Democratic administrations moving toward participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which environmental advocates say is a proven tool to help reduce pollution and address climate change. But that has been…
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Virginia wants to break up with RGGI but in Pennsylvania, it’s complicated

By Maxine Joselow   06/08/23  
In today’s edition, we have an exclusive on Republicans pressing the Environmental Protection Agency on its power plant rules. We also have updates on the air pollution from Canadian wildfires blanketing the East Coast. But…
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Northern Virginia commission identifies $600M worth of climate-change projects

By Morgan Sweeney   06/08/23  
Utilizing a $1.5 million Department of Defense grant, multiple counties and municipal governments participated in the study, such as Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford counties, home to Joint Base Ft. Myer-Henderson Hall, Ft. Belvoir…
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Worsening Winds: New report highlights dangers of climate change to Coastal Virginia and Mid-Atlantic regions

By Alex Littlehales   05/24/23  
A new report details Coastal Virginia's risk and susceptibility to future hurricanes as a result of changing weather patterns due to climate change.
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Black neighborhood wary of long-awaited flood project in Virginia

By Jeremy Cox   05/09/23  
About an inch of rain had fallen the previous day. Carolyn White knew what to expect.
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Virginia cities work to update sewer systems in advance of climate change test

By Capital News Service   05/08/23  
It rained just over 1.5 inches in a two-hour span that day, according to historic weather data. The rainfall burdened the city’s combined sewer system and created a significant flooding event that canceled evening classes…
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Will the Chesapeake Bay Become a Dead Zone?

By Duy Linh Tu and Sebastian Tuinder   05/03/23  
The country’s largest estuary is under critical threat from pollution and climate change. The question is: Can it be saved? In the 4,500-square-mile Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary, nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater treatment…
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How Virginia communities are enduring frequent floods

By Keyris Manzanares   04/27/23  
Virginia communities have been deeply affected by flooding in the past and in recent years. The commonwealth has also seen an increase in risk for flash flooding and landslides. A study by researchers at Climate…
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‘A Large Portion of This Base Is Going to Be Underwater’: U.S. Military Hub Adapts to Climate

By Eric Niiler and Scott Calvert   04/25/23  
This low-lying waterfront city rests in the most vulnerable place along the East Coast to rising sea levels, prompting billions in climate-infrastructure projects that have sparked debate about how best to protect neighborhoods.
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Cleanup efforts prepare Chesapeake Bay for climate change

By Adrienne McGibbon   04/21/23  
Virginia will miss its 2025 goals to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, but experts say its efforts to address pollution will help prepare the nation’s largest estuary for the impact of climate change. VPM News…
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New Climate Change Center at George Mason University

By Angie Miles   04/20/23  
Penny Matthews says she and her husband have labored with love to restore and maintain their Accomack County home of nearly 50 years. But now there are problems like more backyard flooding and...
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Landslides, Climate Change And Gardening By The Signs, Inside Appalachia

Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Eric Douglas   04/17/23  
After last year’s flooding in Eastern Kentucky, some people had trouble getting insurance reimbursement. But it wasn’t just flood waters that destroyed homes. The rains also brought landslides.
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Virginia lawmakers kill Youngkin amendment to define nuclear energy as renewable

By Zack Budryk   04/14/23  
Virginia’s Democratic-controlled Senate rejected an amendment to an energy bill this week that would have allowed nuclear and hydrogen power to qualify as renewables.
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How We Work: Addressing Climate Change

04/05/23  
An unstable climate and rising seas threaten the things we care about most: the health of our lands and waters and the well-being and prosperity of our communities.
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Addressing Climate Change in Virginia

04/05/23  
An unstable climate and rising seas threaten the things we care about most: the health of our lands and waters and the well-being and prosperity of our communities.
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Maryland, Virginia Race to Save Dwindling Commercial Fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay – Inside Climate News

By Aman Azhar   03/17/23  
Alarmed by plummeting stocks of commercial fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay, officials in Maryland and Virginia are scrambling to control invasive fish species that are causing at least part of the problem.
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Partnership forms to lead climate resilience program in Virginia

By Jeremy Cox   03/16/23  
A Virginia university and an environmental nonprofit announced they are stepping up their efforts to help communities prepare for climate change. Old Dominion University and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have formed a Resilient and Adaptable…
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Warm winters, high pollen more common in Virginia’s changing climate

By Sean Sublette   03/09/23  
Despite the chill settling into Virginia this weekend and next week, the first two months of 2023 have been the warmest start to a year on record statewide. As a result, many trees are blooming,…
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More money for Chesapeake cleanup likely from Virginia General Assembly

By Timothy B. Wheeler   03/08/23  
The final curtain hasn’t fallen yet on Virginia’s 2023 General Assembly, but environmental advocates are celebrating likely increases in funding for cleaning up local waters and the Chesapeake Bay.
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Youngkin faces flood of opposition to withdrawal from climate agreement

By Jakob Cordes   03/03/23  
Governor Glenn Youngkin’s push to end the commonwealth’s participation in a regional climate compact is now open to public comment and has faced a flood of mostly negative feedback.
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Whale die-off raises stakes in Virginia offshore wind bid

By Jeremy Cox   03/01/23  
As Dominion Energy’s massive wind-energy project proposed off the coast of Virginia enters a critical new regulatory phase, it faces strengthening political headwinds.
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Cleanest Cities In America: Top 5 Pristine Places In The U.S., Per Experts

By Stephanie Vallette   02/28/23  
In the cleanest cities in America, smog is sorely lacking. Not every city can claim the infamy of dirtiest cities in America. Sure, clean cities don’t have air as thick as homemade gravy, they’re not…
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The Virginia Energy Plan is a start. Now we need lawmakers to support Virginia families and our communities

By Scott Seaton   02/10/23  
In the Virginia 2022 Energy Plan, leaders in the Commonwealth outlined a data-driven roadmap to transform Virginia’s energy future that considers all energy sources to maximize affordability, reliability, competitiveness, innovation, and job creation. The plan…
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Senate bill to withdraw Virginia from carbon cap program voted down

By Charlie Paullin   01/24/23  
The lone Republican attempt of the 2023 General Assembly session to repeal a law allowing Virginia’s participation in a regional carbon cap and invest program was killed in a Senate committee Tuesday.
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Attacks on Virginia’s climate laws are front and center at the General Assembly

By Ivy Main   01/18/23  
Every year I do a round-up of climate and energy bills at the start of the General Assembly session. This year, as expected, Republicans continue their assault on the hallmark legislation passed in 2020 and…
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Youngkin says he blocked Ford battery plant on China concerns

By Gregory S. Schneider   01/13/23  
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said this week that he had rejected efforts by Ford Motor Co. to consider locating an electric battery plant in Virginia over concerns that the automaker’s partnership with China created a…
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Youngkin inches closer to pulling Virginia from regional climate program

By Maxine Joselow and Others   12/08/22  
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Thanks to everyone who sent us suggestions for alternatives to “permitting reform” in response to our request yesterday. Our favorite might be “paw-mitting reform.” 😻
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Virginia begins official withdrawal from regional carbon market

By Charlie Paullin   12/07/22  
Virginia’s State Air Pollution Control Board officially began the process of withdrawing Virginia from a regional carbon market by regulation following guidance from the attorney general’s office, but critics maintain the move isn’t legal.
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On the edge of retreat

By Chris Mooney and Others   11/28/22  
A century ago, about 250 people lived on Hog Island, a seven-mile expanse off the Virginia coast. They raised livestock and gathered oysters. They lived in a town called Broadwater, worked at the lighthouse and…
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Soaring West Virginia Electricity Prices Trigger Standoff Over the State’s Devotion to Coal Power

By Marianne Lavelle   11/20/22  
West Virginia regulators accuse American Electric Power of driving up costs with skimpy use of its coal plants. Others say the high costs of those aging plants are a growing burden to citizens in one…
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Virginia is changing the way it teaches history, social studies. Here’s how

By Hannah Natanson   11/16/22  
Over the weekend, the Virginia Department of Education released new standards of learning that, if approved next year, will radically reshape what and how students in the state learn in history and social studies lessons.
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There’s Something in the Water in Virginia. Before You Say ‘Yuck,’ Wait.

By Elena Shao   10/20/22  
Virginia doesn’t have a megadrought like some parts of the United States, but it has water problems all the same: Homes and businesses in the Hampton Roads region, in the southeastern corner of the state,…
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Kids’ climate change lawsuit tossed by Virginia judge

By Clark Mindock   09/20/22  
A Virginia state judge has tossed a lawsuit filed on behalf of 13 young people who claim a state law that promotes fossil fuel development violates their constitutional rights, finding the government is immune to…
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State judge dismisses youth climate suit; due process questions raised

By Patrick Larsen   09/16/22  
A lawsuit brought by 13 young people against the state of Virginia for past and ongoing permitting of fossil fuel projects was dismissed by Richmond Circuit Court Judge Clarence N. Jenkins on Friday.
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California’s 2035 ban on new gas-powered cars set to apply to Virginia

By Sarah Vogelsong   08/26/22  
California’s decision to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars beginning in 2035 will also halt the sale of such vehicles in Virginia due to a 2021 law linking the commonwealth to the western state’s…
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Jamestown races to protect colony from climate change

07/13/22  
Rising sea levels are threatening to wash away America's early history. Jamestown, Virginia, is listed among the nation's most endangered historic sites. Kris Van Cleaves takes a look at the mounting threat.
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Virginia could lose 42 percent of its tidal wetlands by 2100 due to sea level rise, study finds

By Alejandra O' Connell - Domenech   06/13/22  
Tidal wetlands provide numerous environmental benefits like providing a habitat for fisheries, capturing and storing carbon dioxide and acting as a defense against coastal storms and erosion. But many tidal wetlands are at risk of…
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Another delay and cost increase announced for Mountain Valley Pipeline

By Laurence Hammack   05/03/22  
Mountain Valley Pipeline will again seek new permits that have twice been cast aside by the courts, delaying completion to the second half of 2023 and boosting the project’s cost to $6.6 billion.
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Virginia church ‘leading by example’ on climate action through solar, efficiency

By Elizabeth McGowan   03/23/22  
When the choir at Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ complained about overheating while harmonizing under incandescent lights more than 15 years ago, congregant John Overholt didn’t just empathize.
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