On June 28, 2016, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an Executive Order 57, creating a work group to recommend actions available under existing state authority to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. The work group will be under Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, and the group is to provide recommendations by April 30, 2017. The work group’s first meeting was scheduled for August 31, 2016; more information on that meeting is available from the Virginia Commonwealth Calendar, online at https://commonwealthcalendar.virginia.gov/Event/Details/4400.
In 2015, the U.S. EPA released the Clean Power Plan regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants, but on February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed EPA implementation of the regulation, pending the outcome of litigation that had been filed by several states and other parties. The 2016 Virginia General Assembly passed language in the state budget forbidding the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality from spending money on implementation of the Clean Power Plan until that federal court stay is lifted.
The full text of Gov. McAuliffe’s order, Executive Order 57, is available in the following source: Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Virginia; Order creates workgroup to recommend executive actions to reduce carbon emissions from the electric sector, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 6/28/16.
Following are some news accounts on the executive order:
Virginia Gov. McAuliffe issues executive order to cut GHG emissions, UtilityDive, 6/30/16.
McAuliffe promises action on carbon, climate change, sets task force in motion, Daily Press, 6/28/16.
McAuliffe plans to sidestep legislature on climate change, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/28/16 [full text of executive order also available in this article].
McAuliffe pushes for action on decreasing carbon emissions, Virginian-Pilot, 6/28/16.