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Northam vetoes bill opposing cap-and-trade

Ralph Northam is attempting to restart his role as governor through the "veto session" after an admission that he once wore blackface in the 1980s. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax will be back presiding over the Senate after he flatly denied two sexual assault accusations. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has vetoed legislation aimed at limiting his authority to institute a carbon cap-and-trade plan.

Northam, a Democrat, said Thursday he had killed a bill that requires legislative approval before Virginia can participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that mandates emission reductions in the power sector.

Northam has made implementing the plan a top priority, saying it’s needed to fight climate change. State regulators have said joining RGGI could add significant costs to electric bills.

The governor also vetoed a similar bill related to limiting carbon emissions from cars.

Both bills narrowly passed the GOP-led General Assembly. Republicans have virtually no chance of getting the needed two-thirds majority to override the veto.

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