Energy & Environment

Virginia Farmer Hopes to Get Conservation Group Off Her Back

By Kevin Mooney | From The Daily Signal

Virginia farmer Martha Boneta’s desire to have an environmental conservation group replaced as overseer of her property has moved a step closer to reality.

Officials of the Piedmont Environmental Council have agreed to a meeting Friday to talk about ending a bitter standoff with Boneta by handing off enforcement duties for a conservation easement on Boneta’s farm to another environmental organization in Virginia.

Simply persuading the Piedmont Environmental Council to agree to the meeting marks a “major victory for property rights,” says Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based group that champions those rights. DeWeese adds: Continue reading


‘Green’ Lobby Pushes to Extend Lucrative Tax Breaks

Kenric Ward | from Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

Green Lobby

AP file photo
POLITICAL POWER: The world’s largest solar array is in Nevada, Sen. Harry Reid’s home state. Solar projects receive the biggest federal tax subsidies per megawatt of any form of energy.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the lame-duck Congress limps to the finish line, billions of dollars in dubious federal energy subsidies remain in limbo.

The perennial procrastination has solar- and wind-power lobbyists scrambling for renewal of their industries’ expiring tax credits.

If past is prologue, lawmakers will keep the money flowing via “tax extenders,” says Matt Mitchell, a policy analyst at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

Mitchell says the legislative stall is by design. Continue reading


Breakthrough Eyed in Farmer’s Property Rights Dispute With Green Group

All photos courtesy of Martha Boneta.

All photos courtesy of Martha Boneta.

By Kevin Mooney | From The Daily Signal

Martha Boneta’s years of struggle with a powerful conservation group could come to the beginning of an end this week.

Boneta owns the 64-acre Liberty Farm in the Paris area of Fauquier County, Va. Almost since her family bought the property in 2006, she has been embroiled in a series of disputes with the Piedmont Environmental Council.

At issue:  the conservation organization’s enforcement of an agreement that limits development of the land. Continue reading


EPA’s “Energy Requiem for the Common Man”

Charles Battig, M.D.

Aaron Copland’s 1942 concert piece “Fanfare for the Common Man” brings forth images of the nobility of the ordinary citizen. Recent actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and environmental extremists bring forth images of an “Energy Requiem for the Common Man.”

In the January 17, 2008 interview during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was not concerned to see the coal industry go bankrupt. Referencing a government-run, cap-and-trade emissions bargaining scheme he stated: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted … Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Continue reading


Property Rights Rally, Hearing for Martha Boneta Case on Nov. 6

Martha Boneta

Martha Boneta, whose property is under a conservation easement with the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, claims PEC has harassed and intimidated her for eight years.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation will be holding a hearing for Fauquier County farmer Martha Boneta’s claims against the Piedmont Environmental Council, an environmental conservation group Boneta says has trespassed on her property and harassed her for years.

Boneta, who owns Liberty Farm in Paris, Va., claims PEC has continually performed exceedingly intensive and demanding inspections of her farm, which Boneta believes is intended to intimidate her. PEC claims they are simply enforcing their legal agreement with Boneta.

PEC is a non-profit organization that was established in 1972 to protect the Piedmont region of Virginia’s rural land, resources, history and beauty, according to its website. Boneta bought the 64-acre plot located off Gap Run Road from PEC in 2006. PEC sells portions of land to both public and private landowners that are subject to conservation easements, which is the case for Boneta’s property. Continue reading


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