Virginia regulators to vote on carbon-reduction plan

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. President Barack Obama presented his final plan for carbon dioxide reduction targets on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, which would reduce emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Regulators are set to vote on a plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in Virginia and allow for participation in a regional carbon-trading network.

The proposed regulation is up for a vote Thursday before the Air Pollution Control Board. It would cap emissions from most power plants starting in 2020 and then require a 30 percent reduction over a decade.

It could also open the door to Virginia joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among mostly northeastern states.

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

If the board approves the proposal, it’s subject to a public comment period and possible further changes.

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