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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10/26/22  2:09 pm
Commenter: Lilli Ross

Protect climate progress in Virginia!

I 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 harmful; the 2020 law mandates that Virginia participate in RGGI, and the administration can't just ignore the laws it disagrees with. 

RGGI works--the data are clear that RGGI reduces emissions, and 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--without it, emissions have not declined and VA will not be able to achieve carbon-free power by 2050 as set forth in the Virginia Clean Economy Act.

RGGI improves public health--less air pollution means fewer asthmas attacks, fewer premature births, and fewer missed days of school and work. Participating states have realized $5.7 billion (BILLION!) in public health benefits thanks to RGGI. This is a no-brainer.

Virginia's participation in 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. Flooding damages, by the way, would cost the state $79.1 billion if left unchecked.

I implore you to 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 cared about customer costs, it would abandon this unlawful attempt and instead support monopoly utility rate reforms.

CommentID: 199157