Virginia panel approves bill to halt construction of fossil fuel power plants after 2020
Virginia’s House Commerce and Labor Committee narrowly approved a bill that will halt the construction of power plants that use fossil fuels and pipelines that carry the fuels after 2020. The bill also requires Virginia to develop a plan to rely totally on renewable energy for generating electricity by 2036, including all electricity sold by public utilities. The sponsor of the bill, Del. Sam Rosoul, D-Roanoke, says that there are more than 97,000 jobs in renewable energy industries in Virginia and the bill will create more jobs and boost the economy while also helping mitigate climate change. Opponents of the bill argue that the timetable to switch from fossil fuels to renewables is unrealistic. The bill must now pass the full House of Delegates, where it faces an uphill battle.
Alligators freeze with noses above water in North Carolina swamp
American alligators at The Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. have turned themselves into ice statues to survive the cold weather. Eighteen alligators at the park have poked their noses through the ice and then frozen in place, entering a state of brumation, similar to hibernation. When in their frozen state, the alligators do not react when disturbed. A park employee says the animals seem to sense when a cold snap is coming and poke their noses above the water at just the right time. Last January, alligators at the same park made headlines when they froze with their noses above water for the first time. Those alligators thawed out a few days later with no observable impacts to their health. (More information on these clever gators to come to our website!)