Virginia Launches Plan to Join East Coast Carbon Market, Cut Emissions 30%

Inside Climate News: Virginia has taken a first step toward joining the East Coast's regional carbon-trading market, a move that would drive down the state's greenhouse gas emissions and help reshape the power sector in the traditional coal state.

Regulators on Thursday will seek approval of a draft proposed rule that would cap emissions from Virginia's electricity sector beginning in 2020 and reduce them by 30 percent over a decade. Under the proposal, Virginia would join nine other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's longest-running mandatory carbon market.

"It's a legitimate and meaningful reduction in carbon pollution," said Walton Shepherd, a staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and a member of an advisory group that helped shape the regulation.

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