June 2020 Conservation Update

U.S. Supreme Court Allows the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to Be Built Underneath the Appalachian Trail The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will carry natural gas 604 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina. On June 15, 2020 the Supreme Court decided a challenge to the pipeline brought by a number of Virginia conservation groups and the Sierra […]

Climate Change Has Produced Longer Summers and Shorter Winters

A climate scientist has compared the 90 hottest and coldest days annually during the past two 30-year periods.  In the lower 48 states, what was a 90-day winter now lasts only 81.5 days, and what was a 90-day summer now lasts 96.4 days. Read more on The Washington Post or download the PDF»

Now a treasure, Monongahela Forest was a wasteland when created 100 years ago

Stretching across 921,000 acres in 10 West Virginia counties, the Monongahela National Forest encompasses the state’s highest peaks, cleanest streams, largest expanses of forest and most remote tracts of wilderness. Now the second-largest national forest in the Eastern United States, the Mon draws visitors from across the region to hike and bike its trails, fish […]

Solar Energy and the Legislature:  A Power Play in Charleston

For a state beholden to the coal and natural gas industries, solar energy generated a lot of heat the 2020 West Virginia legislative session. Two initiatives concerning alternative energy, including solar, were introduced. One survived and will become law. Unfortunately, the survivor is a timid effort to attract a specific hi-tech enterprise that will involve […]

Keystone XL Ruling Has ‘Sweeping’ Impacts for Other Projects

A federal court’s decision striking down a critical Keystone XL permit has broad implications beyond the embattled oil pipeline. The Wednesday ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana tossed a nationwide permit the Army Corps of Engineers uses to approve water crossings for projects all over the country, concluding the agency […]

Earth’s insect population shrinks 27 percent in 30 years

“Ongoing decline on land at this rate will be catastrophic for ecological systems and for humans,” said Michigan State University expert Nick Haddad. KENSINGTON, Maryland — The world has lost more than one quarter of its land-dwelling insects in the past 30 years, according to researchers whose big picture study of global bug decline paints […]

When Plastic Bags Get the Sack

Banned plastic bags hurt marine life but have smaller environmental footprint than more durable carriers Read more…    

Starbucks Tests New Cup That Is Easier to Recycle

Starbucks is testing out a new cup. It’s hoping you won’t notice. On Monday, the coffee chain started trialing a new recyclable and compostable cup in some locations in New York, San Fancisco, Seattle, London and Vancouver. The new version of the cup is still made from paper, and should look and feel the same […]

West Virginia’s Green Amendment

In early 2019, thirty-two West Virginia legislators introduced Resolution 25 in the West Virginia House of Delegates. The Resolution called for an amendment to the West Virginia Constitution creating a right to clean air, pure water, and the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic values of the environment. Modeled on a similar amendment in Pennsylvania, […]

Paper or Plastic?

Remember when grocery clerks would ask this question at the checkout counter? Now stores simply default to plastic bagging.  I have always assumed that plastic bags became the grocery industry’s packaging of choice because of the cost savings to the grocers. This is basically true. I have also assumed that paper bags were better for the […]