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Virginia becomes the first state in the South to target 100% clean power

March 12, 2020 / David Roberts
SHARESHARESHARE

Over the last decade or so, Virginia has gradually transitioned from a purple to blue state. Now it will embark on another transition, from fossil fuels to clean, carbon-free electricity. After voting for Republican presidents going back to Richard Nixon in 1972, Virginians began consistently voting for Democrats for president in 2008. And they have a long tradition of Democratic governors, the latest being pediatric neurologist and Army veteran Ralph Northam, elected in 2017. In September of 2019, Northam tried to do what Democrats generally do when elected: support clean energy. He issued Executive Order 43, which laid out a plan for the state to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 (in keeping with the consensus goal of national Democrats) and to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, a nine-state carbon trading network).