Energy & Environment

Farmer’s Harassment Claims Against Green Group to Get Airing

Martha Boneta on Liberty Farm, the subject of her ongoing dispute with a conservation group. (All photos courtesy of Martha Boneta)

Martha Boneta on Liberty Farm, the subject of her ongoing dispute with a conservation group. (All photos courtesy of Martha Boneta)

By Kevin Mooney | From The Daily Signal

Martha Boneta says a regional conservation group has trespassed repeatedly on her small farm in Paris, Va., about an hour outside Washington, D.C.

Boneta says the group, the Piedmont Environmental Council, has attempted to drive her off the farm through overzealous zoning enforcement, unwarranted and overly invasive inspections and an IRS audit she says was instigated by one of its board members.

The group argues that it has done nothing more than perform its duty to enforce a legal agreement with Boneta and decries the failure “to see eye-to-eye” with Boneta on how to do so. Continue reading


Landowners Fear Dominion Pipeline Will Threaten Property Rights

Travis Geary (far left) and his family have owned farmland in Augusta County since the 1970s.

Travis Geary (far left) and his family have owned farmland in Augusta County since the 1970s.

By Shelby Mertens | VirginiaFreeCitizen.com

Earlier this month Dominion Power announced its plans to construct a 550-mile natural gas pipeline that would run through parts of West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. While those in support of the pipeline say that it will create jobs, increase state tax revenue and lower energy prices, local landowners fear their property rights are at stake.

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the pipeline, Dominion will be legally allowed to use eminent domain or easements to acquire private properties that fall in the route of the pipeline, according to Travis Geary, co-chair of the Augusta County Alliance, a group of citizens who formed in opposition to the pipeline. Geary said his family’s farmland in Augusta County would be directly affected if the pipeline were built.

“It’s actually going to hit my parents farm, my uncle’s farm and my brother’s farm right down the road,” Geary said. Continue reading


1st Food Freedom Fest Held in Staunton

Banner1smlBy Bernadette Barber

The first Food Freedom Fest was held in Staunton, Va. on the weekend of Sept. 5 and 6. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund was the sponsor of the event. The purpose was to fundraise for all the work they do across the nation.  The Food Freedom Fest was held at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and followed up with a farm tour at Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm. I met so many of my Food Freedom heroes.  Some were speakers and others were attendees; if they all had a chance to speak, we’d have been there for more than a week. Continue reading


The Case against Climate Change Policies that Hurt the Poor

Climate Conscience: Over 140 Scientists, Economists, Philosophers, & Faith Leaders Make the Case against Climate Change Policies that Hurt the Poor

September 20, 2014, Burke, Va. – The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation today released a new declaration, “Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons to Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies,” in advance of President Obama’s address to the UN Climate Summit in New York.  The declaration is backed by Cornwall’s new scientific and economic study, A Call to Truth Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Change Policies Gets Stronger. Continue reading


Rural County Digs Deeper Hole For Family Farmers

FAMILY FARMS: Virginia is among the nation’s leaders in farmer’s markets, which are fed largely by family farms. AP file photo.

FAMILY FARMS: Virginia is among the nation’s leaders in farmer’s markets, which are fed largely by family farms. AP file photo.

By Kenric Ward | From Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

YORK, Va. – Thumbing its nose at Virginia’s Freedom-to-Farm law, a rural county moved to restrict commercial agriculture in one of its districts.

York County commissioners accepted a 160-name petition Tuesday calling for the zoning change. The panel did not vet the signatures, some of which came from people who live outside the area. Continue reading


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