Virginia becomes member of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia has become the first southern state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
RGGI is a collaborative effort among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“This initiative provides a unique opportunity to meet the urgency of the environmental threats facing our planet, while positioning Virginia as a center of economic activity in the transition to renewable energy,” Northam said.
RGGI is designed to reduce climate pollution from fossil fuel power plants. States who are a part of the initiative agree to have a cap on their plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. Power generators in those states must also reduce pollution to meet the cap, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Legislation passed during the 2020 General Assembly session will permit Virginia to use proceeds from the initiative for community flood preparedness, coastal resilience and energy efficiency programs benefitting low-income Virginians.
According to the press release, the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy will administer approximately 45 percent of the proceeds to community flood prevention and coastal resilience programs, and three percent will be used by the Department of Environmental Quality to further climate planning efforts.
Other states that are part of the program include Delaware, Maryland, Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont.
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