Virginia regulators approve carbon cap-and-trade plan

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia regulators have granted preliminary approval to a plan making Virginia the first Southern state with a carbon cap-and-trade program.

The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board voted unanimously Thursday to approve a proposal regulating carbon emissions from power plants. It would cap emissions from most plants starting in 2020 and then require a 30 percent reduction over a decade.

Under the proposal, Virginia would participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among mostly Northeastern states.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe directed his administration to develop the regulation earlier this year, saying Virginia can’t afford to sit by as President Donald Trump rolls back efforts to battle climate change.

The plan is now subject to public comment and possible changes. The board will have to approve a final version.

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