Stepping in where federal action has stalled, in May Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe directed the state Department of Environmental Quality to develop a market-based plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants. Under the new policy, the DEQ will cap emissions in a way that is compatible with existing multi-state cap-and-trade programs.
By putting a price on carbon emissions, this move creates financial incentives for the state’s electric utilities to shift toward low- and zero-carbon energy resources, while providing industries such as wind and solar a competitive advantage.
McAuliffe’s directive concludes a process begun in June 2016 when he signed his Executive Order 57, which established a work group to study the problem and seek input from stakeholders. Appalachian Voices was a stakeholder that provided input to the workgroup.
Republicans in the state legislature have spoken out against this action.
— Elizabeth E. Payne