End of an Era

Sad news, folks: After two-and-a-half years of supporting Bacon’s Rebellion by funding our Road to Ruin project, the Piedmont Environmental Council is letting its sponsorship expire. With financial backing from the Prince Charitable Trusts and the Agua Funds, the PEC had given Bacon’s Rebellion free reign to write about critical issues facing Virginia, especially those related to transportation and land use, that the Mainstream Media lacked the resources or inclination to cover.

It was a great ride while it lasted. Thanks to the PEC, we were able to assign our veteran reporters Peter Galuszka and Robert Burke to dig up the stories that no one else was writing about, while I edited, wrote columns and blogged daily. All told, we generated 69 original news stories and analysis pieces — see the list — and blog posts too numerous to mention.

It was the ideal sponsorship: The PEC never told us what to write, and it never called us on the carpet for expressing a point of view that varied from the Council’s party line. I’m sure I gave President Chris Miller heartburn more than once with my barbs against the environmental community’s Global Warming orthodoxy, not to mention my support of nuclear power. But Miller valued our ability to articulate issues of importance to the PEC — not just the need for transportation and land use reform, but the imperative to think differently about energy and the environment — in a way that no one else was doing, and in our ability to reach out to an audience beyond the conservationists of the northern Virginia piedmont.

Alas, PEC resources are tight, and the organization is locked in a death grip with Dominion over the high-voltage transmission line that the power company wants to build through PEC territory. I haven’t been told this, but I am assuming that Bacon’s Rebellion wasn’t as core to the PEC mission as fighting the transmission line. While I took a skeptical view of the transmission line and argued for a Distributed Grid electric system, I never made the PEC’s battle my battle. The PEC needs every dime it can muster to carry on the fight. It’s hard to blame the organization. I would have made the same call.

So, what’s next for Bacon’s Rebellion? I will continue publishing the e-zine, with its columns, and I will continue blogging, though not as intensely as in the past. I’ve got to make an honest living now!

Among my options, I’ll probably seek another sponsor, or sponsors. Bacon’s Rebellion is the leading non-partisan, public policy e-zine and blog in Virginia. There are several first-rate political blogs, to be sure. But their focus is primarily on the mechanics and dramatic personae of the political process, not public policy, and most have partisan affiliations. Bacon’s Rebellion is unique in that:

  • We focus on public policy issues exclusively
  • We create a forum where all political persuasions can interact civilly
  • We do not endorse candidates for office or government position
  • We have no party affiliation

If there’s anyone out there who would like to discuss how we can raise the visibility of the issues that matter to you, please give me a call at (804) 873-1543.

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3 responses to “End of an Era”

  1. Not Ed Risse Avatar
    Not Ed Risse

    Now you tell us.

    A bunch of rich guys who don’t want their view spoiled by the masses seeking more affordable housing have been funding a not so subtle (in Risse’s case) propaganda blog.

    Does this mean the Trilo-G is now a dust biting Trilobite?

    However, I have enjoyed the debate.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I’m not sure I understand what will change but I suspect this is not particularly good news though many blogs manage to muddle along on a shoestring.

    The “added value” to BR for myself is the very excellent Zine articles and the contributions of some who are “in the know” in Va government and affairs…

    I had little understanding that significant expense was involved so sorry to not have appreciated it when I should have…

    I particularly am interested in and appreciative for the diverse views on growth, development and transportation and how these things “work” with respect to Va public policy.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    I second Larry’s comments. In an age of 30-second sound bites, BR has been a welcome change of pace where one can generally find intelligent discussion based on facts.


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