Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality is developing a rule that could significantly limit carbon emissions from power plants in the commonwealth. Developing a carbon trading program would be a sound option.
For Appalachian Voices and our partners, it was a mostly defensive game this year in the Virginia legislature as we fought a slew of bad bills by industry-backed and climate-denying politicians. We succeeded in squelching the worst of them, but a lot of policy that could have moved the commonwealth toward cleaner energy and a stronger economy fell by the wayside. There’s always next year….
Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe claims that “we need to build on the assets we have” by using carbon capture technology. But carbon pollution isn’t the only measure of coal’s impact on Virginia. Continuing to mine and burn coal will still cause serious problems: more destructive mountaintop removal, toxic mining waste, air and water pollution from power plants, all while southwestern Virginia continues to feel the worst effects of deferring a cleaner energy future.