Inside Appalachian Voices

Charting the Clean Power Plan in Virginia

Date: October 15, 2015

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In Virginia, a major goal of Appalachian Voices’ work in recent years has been getting our state on track toward a safe, reliable and affordable energy future, but Virginia has never had a binding state renewable energy standard. The new Clean Power Plan initiative to cut carbon from electricity generation represents the first requirement that impacts the carbon pollution from Virginia’s power plants.

The state Department of Environmental Quality has been holding listening sessions to hear from citizens to address precisely that, soliciting input on how Virginia should respond and plan for compliance. The plan could incentivize energy efficiency programs and drive growth in solar for a more secure grid and shrunken bills for electric customers.

A report by Public Citizen states that the Clean Power Plan will result in savings on residents’ electricity bills, cutting customer payments by 7.7% to at least 8.4% by 2030. But in Virginia the planning process has its possible pitfalls, too. The role of new natural gas plants is both relevant and uncertain, and the risk of allowing our state to become more reliant on fossil fuels in spite of this rule is now a central factor.

Appalachian Voices and our partners will remain engaged throughout the process to ensure that state action reduces pollution long-term and benefits everyday Virginians. For the latest updates and to take action, visit AppVoices.org/clean-power-plan.

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