The Hon. Bernard McNamee, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
WILLIAMSBURG — “The environmentalists don’t want to admit when they’ve won, but they’ve already won.”
That line was delivered by Joseph A. Rosenthal, principal attorney at Connecticut’s Office of Consumer Counsel, during a discussion Thursday on the status electricity grid modernization efforts in his state and several others. It was a part of a day-and-a-half National Regulatory Conference and William and Mary’s law school which had several nominal topics but was really about carbon regulation. Continue reading
Watching the abortion issue being shoved into the coming Virginia elections by ideologues on both sides, it is fair to ask the question: Can the center hold? Are the many people who are fairly comfortable with the state of the law these last few decades going to be sorry with an outcome in either direction?
The point has been well-made that the debate over the less-restrictive third-trimester abortion rules, proposed in a failed bill during the 2019 General Assembly session, involved very few cases. As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch long ago, under the current law third-trimester abortions are not happening here. The bill in question might have changed that, but not much. Continue reading
Source: SCHEV. Degrees and certificates awarded in Virginia, cumulative through 2018, and projected through 2030.
Hiding the silver lining deep in a grey cloud, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia reported today that Virginia is meeting its educational attainment goals to date and is on track to meet its aggressive 2030 higher education target. Continue reading
Dominion’s Scott Solar Facility in Powhatan Co.
Some of Dominion Energy Virginia’s recent solar installations, despite using technology designed to track the moving sun, have turned in disappointing energy results, fueling skepticism at the State Corporation Commission toward the utility’s claims for future solar energy success. Continue reading
Two recent State Corporation Commission rulings on utility-sponsored energy efficiency and demand management programs produced contrary results for the applicants but a consistent theme of SCC skepticism in the absence of hard data and a demand for more data going forward.
The SCC last week approved all eleven new or continued programs proposed by Dominion Energy Virginia, which will cost its customers up to $226 million over five years. That May 2 opinion is here. But an April 30 opinion (here) rejected much of a similar request from Washington Gas and Light, citing a lack of specific results data from that company’s customers. Continue reading
Retiring state Senator Frank Wagner gets appointed to some job by Governor Ralph Northam Friday and the headline on Blue Virginia labels him a “Dominion tool.” But has the other legislator being rewarded with a full-time job, Delegate Mathew James, cast any votes against the state’s favorite political whipping boy? Continue reading
While it would have been a popular step with his political base, and one he was expected to take, Governor Ralph Northam may have been smart to pass on seeking to veto state budget language preventing Virginia membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Continue reading
Delegate Chris Peace
There’s no better example of how great Virginia Republicans are at forming circular firing squads than the disaster underway in the 97th House of Delegates district, where allies of the incumbent are seeking to change the rules and cancel a nominating convention he was about to lose.
Organic Carbon Capture Device
Wait. How many suspended licenses? Today’s Virginia Mercury has one of those stories that raises more questions than it answers, this one about the suspended driving license issue. My warning that there would be massive lines at DMV were groundless because, hey, these people still have their actual licenses. DMV never got them back or ordered them destroyed. Do you think that might have contributed to the decision so many debtors made to keep driving and blow off the collection efforts? Continue reading
Ratepayers of Dominion Energy Virginia will start in June to pay for construction and operation of two solar energy facilities in Surry County intended to meet Facebook’s renewable energy goals. The State Corporation Commission decided one issue created by the case in favor of consumers but punted on another that pit one group of customers against another. Continue reading
The Mountain Valley Pipeline route on Brush Mountain, July 18, 2018. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times)
The building season is here, but for developers of Virginia’s two hotly-contested natural gas pipelines, activity is back in the government agencies and courthouses. The construction sites remain largely silent, delays running up the ultimate cost of the projects, including the cost of failure.
Here is my (probably flawed) attempt at a status report. And you thought Game of Thrones is a complicated plot. Continue reading
Expansion tracking on the Virginia DMAS website. Click to expand, web version is here.
Virginia makes is easy to track the growth of Medicaid enrollment since the decision a year ago to expand coverage but tracking the tax dollars behind the scenes is another matter.
The new enrollment expansion dashboard on the Department of Medical Assistance Services website is updated every couple of weeks, with the April 4 report showing just under 260,000 people added to the program since late last year. The City of Salem has added the fewest, only 34 new recipients, while Fairfax County has added the most at 18,220. The advertised goal for expansion was 400,000 persons, so probably there are more to come. Continue reading
The Numbers on Interstate 81: Tax First, Explain Later
When you approve a major tax increase with amendments proposed just a few days before the General Assembly’s reconvened session, as happened last week, discussion is limited and there is almost no hard data on the financial impact available to the public. You tax first and explain later. Continue reading
Virginia 529’s Tuition Monster
It is premature to declare victory in the effort to restore sanity to tuition decisions at Virginia’s state colleges, but several factors seem to be coming together to give students and their families a break for the coming school term. Repeat: For the coming school term. Continue reading