The Future of Carbon Capture

Carbon capture is a term used to describe a group of technologies that either remove carbon directly from the air or scrub it from waste gas as fossil fuels are burned.  In either case, the carbon “captured” is buried or used in the manufacture of other products.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change includes carbon […]

What is Karst, and Why Should We Care?

When I was a first-year student at the University of Virginia I was required to take a science course. The choices were physics, chemistry, biology or geology.  “Rocks” is what the students called geology and it was reputed to be the least rigorous, so that’s what I took. It was a good choice.  We learned […]

West Virginia Legislature Ignores the Environment (Almost)

Every year at this time, those of us interested in environmental preservation and conservation take stock of what the West Virginia Legislature has done for, or to, the environment.  Sadly this process usually results in the same conclusion.  We made very little progress.  During the 2021 regular session just ended, the most notable environmental victory […]

Consent Decree Requires Verso to Clean Up Potomac River Pollution from Luke MD Paper Mill

In 2019 a fisherman noticed black seepage from Verso’s paper mill at Luke Maryland into the North Branch of the Potomac River.  The seepage turned out to be “black liquor” from the papermaking process coming from several sources along the river bank, including an old storage tank and a coal ash lagoon.  A lawsuit was […]

House Committee Advances Bill Deregulating Storage Tanks to House

The House Health and Human Services Committee on Friday, March 4 sent a bill exempting above-ground storage tanks from regulation even though located on the banks of rivers and streams close to public water intakes. The vote by 13 Republicans on the Committee overruled the vote of 6 Democrats and the objections of the Department […]

Higher Registration Fees For Hybrid Vehicles – What’s Up With That?

Awhile back, a good friend of mine spent half an hour complaining to me about having to pay an additional $100 when he registered his Prius hybrid vehicle. That caused me to wonder why West Virginia would want to discourage the ownership of these vehicles with a whopping big tax.  Hybrids consume lots less gasoline […]

Industry To West Virginia: We Can’t Be Bothered

They’re at it again. Under the cover of the Covid pandemic, when citizens can’t rally in numbers, the West Virginia legislature is poised to gut one of the key protections of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act enacted after the 2014 water crisis. Remember the crisis? When 300,000 Mountain Staters had no access to safe water? […]

Purchase Power Agreement Bills Introduced in Legislature

Bipartisan support seems to be gathering around the idea of authorizing purchase power agreements (PPAs) in West Virginia.  A PPA would allow a solar installation, or other alternative generation project, to be built on a customer’s property and owned by a third-party.   Power from the installation would be purchased by the customer at lower rates […]

Harold Ward Appointed New DEP Secretary

Governor Justice recently appointed longtime Division of Environmental Protection official Harold Ward to be Secretary of the agency. Ward had been serving as the DEP’s deputy secretary of Operations and director of the Division of Mining and Reclamation, where he oversaw all operational components of the WVDEP, as well as the agency’s mining regulatory program. […]

America’s Newest National Park Is West Virginia’s First

Tucked into the omnibus spending bill that passed Congress at the end of 2020 was a measure creating the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. This is the sixty-third national park, but the first one in West Virginia. To achieve this was not just a simple matter of changing the name of the New […]