During his time in office, Governor Terry McAuliffe led action on climate change through a number of executive actions. These actions took steps to move Virginia forward and provide a road map for near-term to bring cleaner energy and economic growth to Virginia. Some of Governor McAuliffe’s actions are summarized below.
Executive Order 57
Governor McAuliffe issued Executive Order 57 (EO 57) on June 28, 2016. Under EO 57, Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources was directed to convene a work group to develop and recommend concrete steps to reduce carbon pollution from Virginia’s power plants.
Executive Order 57 Work Group Results
The EO 57 Work Group issued its final report on May 12, 2017. The report included five recommendations:
- Promulgate regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions
- Update state building codes to reflect current technology and standards
- Improve state and corporate access to clean energy resources
- Develop an energy efficiency accounting and registry tool
- Establish a statewide Environmental Justice Advisory Council
Executive Directive 11
Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Directive 11 on May 16, 2017. The directive instructed the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to begin establishing guidelines for regulating CO2 emissions.
See CO2 Budget Trading Program, below for the results of DEQ’s efforts.
U.S. Climate Alliance
On June 5, 2017, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia would join the U.S. Climate Alliance “to move forward on the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the federal government from the accord.” The United States Climate Alliance is a bi-partisan coalition of 14 states and one U.S. territory committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Executive Order 73
On October 31, 2017, Governor Terry McAuliffe “…announced the convening of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first Environmental Justice Advisory Council (EJAC). The EJAC, established by Executive Order 73, will provide advice and recommendations to the Executive Branch on ways in which environmental justice should be incorporated in decision-making. Environmental Justice is the principle that no community or individual should bear disproportionate impacts from pollution.”
The members of the council are listed here.