Energy Efficiency, Regulation - January 11, 2018
Virginia seeks to join RGGI
Virginia could be the first southern state to cap carbon emissions and join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a step announced as part of the joint legislative agenda proposed on Jan. 10 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Gov.-elect Ralph Northam.
According to a statement on this agenda, “[p]articipation in the broader RGGI market will allow Virginia to reduce costs and drive additional investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, while also decreasing carbon emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.”
Gov. McAuliffe previously signed a directive for the Department of Environmental Quality to draft regulations enabling Virginia to develop a carbon reduction program for power plants. This new legislation “would enable the Commonwealth to directly auction the allowances, and invest the revenues in programs that benefit the public.”
While Virginia needs approval from the General Assembly to formally join RGGI and spend revenues generated by these new regulations, the statement also noted that “Virginia will move ahead with a carbon reduction program linked to the broader RGGI market regardless of what occurs this session.”