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McAuliffe aims to regulate power plant emissions

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced plans Tuesday to regulate emissions from power plants, saying Virginia “cannot afford to sit idly by” as President Donald Trump rolls back his predecessor’s efforts to battle climate change.

The governor, a Democrat, ordered his administration to begin formulating regulations to “abate, control, or limit” carbon dioxide emissions from power plants fired by fossil fuels. The proposed regulations are due to be presented to the state Air Pollution Control Board by the end of the year.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued a legal opinion last week saying the board had the authority under current law to set a statewide emissions cap on new and existing power plants.

McAuliffe said at a news conference in Alexandria he would prefer a coordinated effort to limit carbon emissions like the Clean Power Plan, a centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s efforts to curb climate change. But Trump has said the regulations are too costly and vowed to scrap it.

“Unfortunately the news out of this White House is alarming,” McAuliffe said. “The citizens of our commonwealth want and expect us to confront this issue.”

McAuliffe directed that the proposed carbon emission limits are similar to what other states that limit carbon have done. Several states in the Northeast are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program that has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from electrical generation in the region by 40 percent from 2005 levels. And California has set a goal to have half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and a 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gases.

The governor, who has not been able to score major wins with the GOP-controlled General Assembly, has increasingly turned to executive action to further his policy goals.

Republicans panned McAuliffe’s announcement Tuesday as “Washington-esque in both its nature and scope.”

“The governor is attempting to implement a failed national policy in the Commonwealth that will further hamper economic growth,” House Speaker William J. Howell said.

But McAuliffe’s plans were hailed by environmentalists, who helped the governor get elected in 2013 but have been mixed on his record in office.

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, a major McAuliffe backer, praised the governor for “standing up” to Trump.

Dominion Energy, which owns the largest electric utility in the state, is committed to reducing carbon emissions and fully expects those emissions to be regulated, said spokesman David Botkins. Dominion was one of the few energy companies that voiced support for the Clean Power Plan.

McAuliffe has been flirting with a possible run for president in 2020 and made his announcement a few hours before he was set to give a speech at Washington conference featuring other potential Democratic presidential candidates.

Comments


Robert Q calls himself “one of the smart people” ...Robert, you are a Gruber, you know, the ones that were fooled by ObamaCare’s pitch that relied on the “stupidity of the American voter”....That would be you Robert.


This action doesn’t clean the air, because you aren’t impacting power plants in other states. This is why regulation begins at the Federal Level, not the State level.

We are downwind of more than half the country. The Governor is just going to end up causing electricity prices to increase. Remember that when it’s 99/degrees outside and you need to run the A/C 24/7 the entire summer.


Robert,

Of course everyone wants clean air.  But I wasn’t aware that VA had a problem with poor air quality.  If you do a quick google search on US cities with the worst air quality you’ll find that there are no VA cities on any of those lists (most are in CA or OH).  So what’s the ROI from going from clean air to super clean air, and is it worth the extra cost?  I doubt the governor cares about the answer to that question, after all this is nothing but virtue-signalling.


Who is regulating McAuliff’es emmissions?..this guy is for one bad policy after another that will hurt Loudoun families and businesses…


IF the cost of electricity increases to the consumer as a result of emissions reduction, then that really means, we-all-pay-for-cleaner-air. now tell me, why is that unfair or wrong? One must ask themselves, how important is clean(er) air? Is it really something that can have a $ value assigned to it? Given it’s a common commodity (far more so than potable water resources for comparison), the only fair and equitable way to work to lessen the pollution of our air supply is to spread it amongst everyone.  Air does not discriminate nor know the differences amongst us. And that is why, the fullest extent of our (USA) jurisdiction - the Federal govt. - should be the one regulating this common commodity. And because air is actually a global commodity, even more reason and rationale that all nations of the world should be on the same page about (reduction of) polluting this resource, since it affects us all in the macro. And that is why the Paris Agreement really came to be, because the smart people understand the big picture. The not so smart people are head down in the weeds, bartering and bickering about short-term gains, wins, losses, and gamesmanship, at the expense of the very thing that keeps us alive. Outstanding!


Translation: Dominion is about to spike their rates by order of the governor.

If all of the environmental types hadn’t demonized nuclear power back in the 80’s/90’s then we’d have a lot less fossil fuel plants today and less emissions. 

Renewable technologies are not ready for prime time and the efficacy of things like solar and wind here in VA are highly questionable in the first place.  So we’re stuck with fossil fuels for the time being.


When a power company switches from Coal to Natural Gas, they cut their pollution/CO2 emissions by 50%. This is already underway because NatGas is cheaper than Coal. If the Governor thinks he is putting the squeeze on companies to get rid of fossil fuels, he is sadly mistaken.


How about emissions caused by thousands of cars in bumper to bumper traffic as VDOT does not do its job maintaining and provisioning roads in northern Virginia? Does hot air count as emissions?
Bob O__ Esq.

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