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Environmentalists Still Battling Fossil Fuels Despite Clean Economy Act

AP Photo / Ted Shaffrey

The Virginia Clean Economy Act has been law in Virginia for a year now. However, many environmental groups are still fighting against natural gas projects.

When Barb Adams found out about the proposed natural gas power plant in Charles City County -- just outside of Richmond -- she and other environmentalists went to work.

"Those of us who were concerned volunteered to go house to house, and I found that nobody knew about this plant," Adams explains. "So when we found some folks that were interested and offered an informational meeting to the community, the people that showed up were alarmed and pretty angry."

Now they're celebrating a major victory, because plans for that plant have been cancelled. But plans for another natural gas power plant nearby are still moving forward. Faith Harris at Virginia Interfaith Power and Light says many people don't want to live next to a fossil fuel power plant.

"If you live within a mile or if you live close to those kinds of construction, your whole way of life is changed and people [are concerned] about their property values," Harris says. "They have a number of good reasons for why they don't want that in their community."

Now, she says environmentalists can celebrate the decision to cancel one of the two natural gas power plants in Charles City County. But she adds there are still plans for that other plant and a pipeline -- plans she says environmentalists will continue to oppose.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.