Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Ignoring the pleas of residents of the historic African American community of Union Hill in Richmond, the Virginia state air pollution control board voted unanimously to approve a natural gas compressor station there. 

Why This Matters:  The large and powerful fossil fuel industry always seems to have the upper hand — in DC and in state capitals around the country.  The ruling probably does not matter because the pipeline is mired in more serious federal court litigation.  But environmental groups were disappointed that Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, replaced two skeptical air pollution control board commissioners whose terms had run out, with two pro-pipeline commissioners.  Governor Northam, according to The Post, attended a political fundraiser with Dominion executives in recent days.  Yup.  It’s all about the money.  

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Defense Think Tank Wades into Ocean Sustainability Fight

Defense Think Tank Wades into Ocean Sustainability Fight

A new “front” opened yesterday in the fight to ensure that the world’s ocean resources are used sustainably, with the launch of the Stephenson Ocean Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  The Project’s web site explains its objective — to raise awareness about the ways that competition for marine resources contributes to instability and geopolitical risk for the United States.

Why This Matters:  Full disclosure — I (Monica) have had a long standing interest in the issue of ocean resources and national security, and have been working to help CSIS get the ball rolling on the project.  I believe that if you substituted the word “oil” for “fish” in the paragraphs above, no one would even blink at the national security implications and environmental significance of this work. Fish in my view could be even more important than oil to a larger segment of the public globally — those in the developing world who don’t have cars but do eat fish. The resources available at the Department of Defense (both technical and financial) could be a game changer for efforts to ensure ocean sustainability into the future.  

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One Wondrous Thing: Free Digit!

One Wondrous Thing: Free Digit!

One of the biggest threats to whales across the globe is getting fatally ensnared in derelict fishing gear.  National Geographic last week told the story of a leading sperm whale researcher working in Dominica in 2015 who spied a familiar juvenile whale named “Digit” with fishing rope tangled on her tail and midsection, which kept her […]

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Balloon bans to follow plastic bags and straws?

Balloon bans to follow plastic bags and straws?

If 2018 was the year of the plastic straw ban then 2019 might shape out to be the year of balloon bans in coastal areas. Before you rush to judgment and say to yourself “these bans are going too far” just consider the fact that balloons filled with helium which are released into the air […]

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Celestial events not to miss in 2019

Celestial events not to miss in 2019


While the new year just began, Mother Nature already has an entire year’s worth of celestial events to behold. The first major event will be a Super Blood Wolf Moon (say that 3X fast) which will occur on January 20th at 11 PM as the full lunar eclipse will begin around 11:41 PM.

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California looks to more distributed solar

California looks to more distributed solar

We wrote recently that after the massively destructive wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018, the state’s largest electric utility, PG&E, was facing criticisms that large utilities have become an obsolete way to provide power to people in a state prone to wildfires. The argument is that PG&E is incapable of managing risk and its response […]

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