Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Air Pollution Control Board
Regulation for Emissions Trading [9 VAC 5 ‑ 140]
Action Repeal CO 2 Budget Trading Program as required by Executive Order 9 (Revision A22)
Comment Period Ended on 10/26/2022
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10/25/22  2:06 pm
Commenter: Molly Elizabeth Ornati

Begging You: Do Not Leave RGGI

I don't understand how people can look at the endless disasters, in the past few months in Pakistan and in Florida, and want to pull out of any initiative that is helping in trying to limit GHG emissions.  I am against the Governor's efforts to pull our state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI.)

Virginia has a law, adopted in 2020, that commits us to participate in RGGI.  How is it possible for our Governor to simply ignore this law.  In addition, the Governor has not proposed any alternate plan.  Thus, how can he decide to dispose of something that is working well without any legal barriers?

Since Virginia's commitment to RGGI, this eleven state alliance has seen documented reductions in emissions.  In RGGI’s first decade, emissions from power plants in the ten participating states dropped by 50% – twice as fast as in the rest of the country.  This initiative is providing millions of dollars to the Commonwealth, benefiting every citizen, but especially those with lesser means. HALF of RGGI funds are allocated to individuals to support home improvements that increase each home's efficiency, reducing emissions directly and reducing everyday expenses for those households.  In addition, 45% of the funds support flood preparedness. 

More specifically in my community of Alexandria, we have received $6 million from RGGI proceeds for flooding mitigation projects in neighborhoods, including Old Town and Arlandria.  Additionally, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing has received RGGI funding to renovate 163 affordable rental units in Arlington and to build 80 new affordable senior housing units in Fairfax that will be more energy efficient and reduce energy bills for residents. 

 Virginia needs to keep its commitment to RGGI in order to achieve carbon-free power by 2050 as established in the Virginia Clean Economy Act.

It just makes sense to continue on this ecologically sensible path of going forward that Virginia adopted several years ago.  Now is not a time to throw away our paddles as we are making such good progress going forward.

I urge and thank you for standing up and refusing to let our Governor lead us in such an unlawful and disastrous effort.


Molly Ornati

CommentID: 196629