State board adopts new CO2 emissions regulation

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A state board has adopted a regulation that will limit carbon pollution in Virginia.

The Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board approved a regulation that will reduce and cap carbon dioxide emissions from large fossil fuel-fired electric power generation facilities.

When implemented, this regulation will reduce CO2 emissions from such facilities by 30 percent by 2030. It also has an initial budget of 28 million tons of CO2.

According to a release, Virginia will become the 12th state in the United States and the first in the South to regulate carbon in this way.

“Reducing climate pollution and the impacts of climate change is critically important to protecting public health, safety and the economic well-being of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “Today's historic vote sets the Commonwealth on a path to slow global warming, and signals to clean energy businesses that Virginia is poised for a significant expansion of solar and wind power.”

The U.S. National Climate Assessment says, in the absence of significant global action to reduce carbon pollution, rising temperatures, sea level rise and more extreme weather events are expected to cause more disruptions and damage critical infrastructure and property.

A 2018 assessment found that rising temperatures are projected to reduce the efficiency of power generation will increase energy demands will result in higher electricity costs for residents and businesses.

The release says this regulation will ensure the Commonwealth is “trading-ready” to allow for the use of market-based mechanisms and the exchange of CO2 allowances through a multi-state carbon market.

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