Current News

350.org "Do the Math" Tour followed by CCAN March to Whitehouse

Nov. 12, 2012
It’s simple math: we can burn 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re planning to burn it all. As part of a nationwide tour to build a movement that will change the math of the climate, Bill McKibben and 350.org will be holding a "Do the Math" tour event starting at 1:00 pm on Sunday, November 17th at the Warner Theater in Washington, DC.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance. Read more »

$76,000,000 Bonus to Dominion Power for Green Energy?

Sept. 28, 2012

On Monday, October 1st our sister organization the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) kicks off a week-long action at Dominion's headquarters in Richmond, to protest the energy provider's cashing in on a "Green Energy Program" which to date has produced not a watt of clean energy here in Virginia.

Consider the following:

  • There are zero utility scale wind or solar projects in Virginia
  • Dominion gets a $76 million reward from it's customers for buying predominantly out of state, decades old Renewable Energy Credits
  • Dominion's Green Power Program doesn't change their generation profile
  • Dominion's 15 year energy plan has no strategy for developing wind or solar power in Virginia
  • Dominion just brought online a brand new coal plant in Wise County

Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" 50th Anniversary Event

Sept. 21, 2012

Fifty years ago this month, the publication of Rachel Carson's seminal environmental work - Silent Spring -  warned of the dangers pesticides posed to the food chain.  Drawing on published scientific studies Ms. Carson clearly demonstrated how applying toxic chemicals such as DDT to kill bugs would then permeate the food chain at multiple levels, endangering fish, birds and eventually harming children.

Over the next several months following the publication of Silent Spring, Ms. Carson would be maligned by opponents and praised by supporters.  As a result of Ms. Carson's work, the John F. Kennedy President's Scientific Advisory Committee recommended phasing out persistent toxic chemicals, including DDT.  Read more »

Decades of Menhaden Overfishing Takes Toll

The menhaden is a diminutive fish that is rich in protein.  Each year tens of thousands of tons of this fish are harvested and processed in Reedville, Virginia, then turned into fish oil for human food supplements and food for livestock.

This small resident of the Chesapeake Bay plays an important role in the food chain that supports local wildlife including osprey and striped bass.  As industrial fishing practices continue to diminish the menhaden population, the health of the Bay ecosystem and those species that depend on the menhaden to survive are adversely affected. 

The question of what actions can be taken to preserve a fishery that is sustainable and healthy will be discussed at the Sandy Bottom Nature Park Nature Center starting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19th. Read more »

Power Company Suspends Effort to Build Coal Plant

August 8, 2012

As originally reported by Tom Pelton of Bay Daily

In what appears to be a major victory for clean air and water activists, the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) has announced that it has suspended its attempts to obtain permits for what would be the largest coal-fired power plant ever built in Virginia, the proposed Cypress Creek plant in Dendron.

“New regulations proposed by the U.S. EPA, as well as changes in market conditions, have led ODEC to suspend permitting activity for Cypress Creek for the time being,” Mary Howell, ODEC’s manager of public relations, wrote in a statement emailed today. “ODEC is presently evaluating alternative sources of power supply.” 

If, in fact, ODEC decides to drop the plans to build the 1,500 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Surry County, Virginia, that would mean cleaner water for the Chesapeake Bay, and cleaner air for the entire Mid-Atlantic region, including the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Read more »

Carbon Offsets at William & Mary offer Local Impact

W&M Carbon Offset Program Most of us want to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide someone else is putting into the atmosphere.  But when it comes to turning the spotlight on our own activities, it can become a little uncomfortable.  For example, do we give up a family reunion in California because, added to all of our other activities, it makes our carbon footprint look like that of a dinosaur?  One way to compensate is to use carbon offset programs.

Carbon Offset programs suggest a donation to create a positive action for the environment to counterbalance our actions which might negatively affect the environment – (like the carbon dioxide emitted by that airplane on our round trip flight to California). Read more »

A Coal Plant’s Drain on Health and Wealth

CBF Reports on ODEC Coal Plant Report by Chesapeake Bay Foundation, May 2011

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation usually issues reports on the health of the Bay, not on Coal Plants.  But the Surry Coal Plant proposed by the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, ODEC, would have a huge affect on the health of the Bay and on the health and economy of the entire Tidewater region.  This report documents the illnesses, premature deaths, health-related costs, and pollution that would arise from a 1500 megawatt coal-fired power plant in the Hampton Roads area.

The report concludes the following: Read more »

Dominion Converting 3 Coal Plants to Biomass

Courtesy of WY Daily
April 5, 2011 by Desiree Parker

Dominion Virginia Power recently announced two initiatives that will help green their power generation:  plans to convert 3 coal plants to biomass and a study on an underwater transmission line that would connect to future offshore wind turbines.

The power stations being considered for conversion are Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County, all of which are identical and went into operation in 1992, according to Dominion. Read more »