Chesapeake PSR

Supporting carbon reductions in Virginia

Climate Change and Energy, CoalLydia SullivanComment

Ninety-four Virginia health professionals and advocates signed a petition urging the state to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from coal-fired power plants. The petition, now closed, urged the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to formulate regulations to allow deep reductions in allowable carbon emissions from Virginia power plants, as well as rules to allow the state to enter into a multi-state carbon-trading program such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Under RGGI, Between 2009-2014, Maryland and eight other northeastern states received $1.79 billion from the quarterly auctions of pollution allowances and have invested $1.37 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy, which created 30,000 job-years and produced additional economic and health benefits. One study estimates that if Virginia joins RGGI, the state could bring in $2.8 billion in cumulative revenue by 2030.

In addition to slowing the rate of climate change, reducing electricity bills, and creating local jobs, carbon emissions reduction can reduce a significant and costly threat to human health from coal-fired power plant pollution. 

"A well-designed program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will allow Virginia to realize tremendous economic, environmental and public health benefits," read the petition.

Chesapeake PSR will continue to work toward strong energy efficiency programs, an increase in clean, renewable energy and better health outcomes for Virginia residents. Contact Chesapeake PSR Executive Director Tim Whitehouse at twhitehouse@psr.org to find out how you can become involved in our Virginia efforts. 

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