News | June 28, 2016

Virginia takes initiative to reduce carbon pollution

Rather than waiting on the sidelines following the Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has used his own authority to move forward with a plan to reduce carbon pollution and increase clean energy. Under the Executive Order issued today, the Department of Natural Resources is charged with developing proposals to cut carbon pollution that Governor McAuliffe can implement before he leaves office in early 2018.

“Governor McAuliffe is the only Governor in the Southeast showing leadership on the issue of climate change,” said SELC Attorney Will Cleveland. “This is a great opportunity for healthier Virginia communities and a stronger economy, but to be successful the state needs to look first to invest in energy efficiency and clean energy–labor-intensive resources that would truly diversify our energy portfolio–rather than relying on riskier, costlier, dirtier sources like natural gas and nuclear.”

In his remarks today, Governor McAuliffe emphasized the urgent need to address climate change as well as the economic opportunity clean energy presents.

“I believe that we can cut carbon while simultaneously making clean energy a pillar of our future economic growth and a meaningful part of our energy portfolio,” noted Governor McAuliffe in his remarks. “It is clear that if we are going to be a leader in the 21st century economy, we must be a leader in the energy sector.”

A Virginia specific-plan to cut carbon emissions could play a large role in SELC's long-standing efforts to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.