Virginia regulators set to unveil new climate plan after Northam victory

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality next week will present a new climate plan for the state, aimed at reducing carbon emissions and placing it on a path to join a regional greenhouse gas trading initiative.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon cap-and-trade system used by nine Northeast states, has examined the DEQ's plan and issued a statement saying it "appears consistent with the RGGI program in a number of key ways."

The new climate plan is seen as a direct result of the election of Democrat Ralph Northam as governor on Tuesday of this week. Virginia has seen its carbon dioxide emissions rise about 7% since 2015, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, while most states have decreased emissions.