VIRGINIA BRIEFING

VIRGINIA BRIEFING

Friday, January 19, 2007

EPISCOPAL DIOCESE

Board Targets Properties Of Breakaway Congregations

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia moved yesterday toward seizing properties from 11 congregations that voted in recent weeks to leave the U.S. church.

Describing the breakaway congregations as "occupying" Episcopal property, the diocese's executive board unanimously voted to "authorize the Bishop to take such steps as may be necessary to recover or secure" the properties of the churches, which are mostly in Northern Virginia.

The vote formally declares the properties, which are now being controlled by congregations that have placed themselves under the authority of the Church of Nigeria, "abandoned." Although the board's vote is procedural, lawsuits "are a strong possibility," diocesan spokesman Patrick Getlein said.

Jim Pierobon, spokesman for the breakaway churches, said last night that they still want to negotiate fair prices for the properties.

-- Michelle Boorstein

ARLINGTON

Ferguson Shares County Goals At Senate Energy Discussion

On Capitol Hill yesterday, Arlington County Board Chairman Paul Ferguson detailed the county's planned steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, outlining his environmental initiative as part of a panel discussion on energy security hosted by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).

Ferguson (D) urged the lawmakers to consider tax credits for communities that set specific greenhouse gas reduction targets and for residents who do energy audits on their houses and use compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Arlington could spend up to $6 million in the coming years under the plan, which would buy more wind-generated electricity, give tax breaks for hybrid cars, require new public buildings to be green-certified and provide energy-efficient bulbs to residents.

Reid said Arlington's plan to reduce greenhouse gases 10 percent by 2012 is an example of a locality addressing global warming amid federal inaction.

-- Annie Gowen


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