Governor McAuliffe orders carbon pollution reduction
The group will evaluate options under Virginia’s existing authority to address carbon pollution.
The Commonwealth’s electric sector has already made significant strides towards a reduced environmental impact; between 2005 and 2014, carbon emissions from Virginia’s electrical generators fell by 21%.
Currently the sector accounts for approximately 30% of the state’s overall carbon emission. The workgroup will focus on how to continue this trajectory in a way that makes clean energy a meaningful part of Virginia’s energy portfolio.
“Increasing Virginia’s emphasis on clean energy generation will help grow Virginia’s economy by reducing carbon emissions, ensuring our Commonwealth’s long-term energy security and creating the next generation of good jobs in this emerging sector,” said Governor McAuliffe.
The newly convened workgroup will receive input from a diverse range of perspectives including scientists, energy experts, business leaders, and environmental advocates.
The Secretary of Natural Resources will be charged with developing a regulatory strategy to reduce carbon pollution in Virginia’s energy sector while realizing opportunities to lead in the new clean energy economy.
“Global warming and sea level rise driven by carbon emissions pose a significant threat to Virginia’s environment, economy, and way of life,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. ■