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  6:06 pm
Commenter: Ellen J Atkinson

VA participation in RGGI support

I am writing to oppose the governor's attempt to remove Virginia from RGGI.  I want Virginia to maintain its participation in this important climate program.

The governor’s intended action is unlawful. The 2020 law mandates that Virginia participate in RGGI. The administration can’t just ignore the laws it disagrees with.

RGGI works. The data are clear: RGGI reduces emissions. Even this administration admitted as much in a recent report, concluding that RGGI “has a long track record of emission reductions since the beginning of the program.

Virginia needs RGGI. Wthout it, Virginia’s emissions have not declined and Virginia will not be able to achieve carbon-free power by 2050 as set forth in the Virginia Clean Economy Act.

RGGI improves public health. Decreased air pollution means fewer asthma attacks, fewer premature births, and fewer missed days of school and work. Participating states have realized $5.7 billion in public health benefits thanks to RGGI.

RGGI generates funds that are:  lowering energy bills for low-income households while creating good, local jobs for roofers, electricians, and HVAC professionals; and providing dedicated funding to localities to plan for and prevent recurrent flooding.

There is a massive need for RGGI funding. Flooding damages, for example, will cost the state $79.1 billion if left unchecked.

Fix the utility code; don’t remove Virginia from RGGI. Focus on utility rate reform. Our electric bills are high because monopoly utilities like Dominion and Appalachian Power have been allowed to rewrite the utility code in their favor, while over-investing in risky fossil fuel power plants. If the administration really cares about customer costs, it will abandon this unlawful attempt and instead support monopoly utility rate reforms.

Thanks for your time and attention.

CommentID: 197044