Virginia Poised to Link with Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative


Mary-Stuart Torbeck,, 804.305.4355

Emily Pomilio,, 480.286.0401

RICHMOND, Virginia – Today, the State Air Pollution Control Board voted to approve a limit on carbon pollution from dirty power plants across Virginia which will take effect on January 1, 2020. The standard will cut carbon pollution in Virginia 30% by 2030, and allow the state to link with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This is the first state-level carbon pollution limit under the current federal administration. However, the rule doesn’t include biomass which can produce as much or more carbon dioxide as electricity generated by coal-fired power.

In response, Kate Addleson, Director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, released the following statement.

“Today, Virginians have reason to celebrate! The Air Board approval marks a turning point for the health of Virginians and the environment with the adoption of the state’s first climate protection program. Limiting greenhouse gas pollution from power plants will benefit the quality of life for all Virginians by reducing the threats of climate change and the harmful health effects of co-pollutants.

The majority of Virginia voters support transitioning to 100% clean energy, and are now looking to Governor Northam to put a stop to the obstructionist climate deniers who are putting politics over people in their attempt to stymie climate solutions. If the governor does not use his veto authority, climate action could be further delayed.

“Given the urgency of climate change and the lack of inaction we see at the federal level, it is also unfortunate to see biomass excluded from this standard.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit