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Northam vetoes bill opposing cap-and-trade

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks during a news conference in the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, Va. (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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