Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order in June directing state officials to form a working group to recommend ways the commonwealth can reduce carbon pollution from the electric sector.
Coming five months after the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan, the move represents the latest in a back-and-forth battle between McAuliffe and the state General Assembly over how to respond to the federal carbon limits.
The order was widely seen as an attempt by the McAuliffe administration to circumvent the General Assembly. Republican lawmakers stripped the administration’s ability to craft a state compliance plan in the spring by inserting a line into the budget that prevents the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality from using any funds “to prepare or submit” a state plan.
The order calls on the Secretary of Natural Resources to provide a report on the department’s recommendations to the governor before June 2017.
— Brian Sewell