In the South, coal reigns as king in West Virginia and Kentucky, and oil and gas fuel the Texas and Louisiana economies. But Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) wants the region to take a more active role in reducing greenhouse gas pollution blamed for global warming.
The country's other regions are trying to limit how much carbon dioxide and other pollutants to let in the atmosphere, but Southern governors largely have resisted the pollution caps and taxes promoted elsewhere.
On Monday (Aug. 8), Kaine will launch a year-long effort as head of the 16-state Southern Governors Association to prod his colleagues to weigh in on the national debate on global warming.
“Very likely we are going to end up with a national climate change initiative,” said Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner. Kaine views that likelihood “not as ‘The South is going to take a hit,' but as ‘Let's talk now about how the South adapts,'” she said.
There's a growing push among environmental groups, industry and political leaders to limit greenhouse gas emissions nationally. But as congressional efforts have faltered, states are establishing policies that could be models for a future federal law.
Already, 23 states have joined regional agreements to lower carbon dioxide pollution. Six states passed caps for carbon dioxide released within their own borders, and more could follow soon.
Read the full report States Curb Carbon As Blueprint for Feds on Stateline.org.