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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10/12/22  9:34 am
Commenter: Tina Strealy-Colom

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

I oppose the governor’s attempt to remove Virginia from RGGI.  I believe it’s every state representative’s responsibility to maintain Virginia’s participation in this important climate program. The governor’s intended action is unlawful!!  The 2020 law mandates that Virginia participate in RGGI, and the administration can’t just ignore the laws it disagrees with especially when it’s in the best interest of the state’s population. 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.” We as responsible citizens and stewards of our environment need RGGI and we will not be able to achieve carbon-free power by 2050 as set forth in the Virginia Clean Economy Act if we don’t take the necessary actions NOW. RGGI improves public health by decreasing air pollution which would also mean 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 is helping Virginians right now as it generates funds that are lowering energy bills for low-income households while creating good, local jobs for roofers, electricians, and HVAC professionals; and by providing dedicated funding to localities to plan for and prevent recurrent flooding especially in frequently impacted areas like Norfolk, and Alexandria. Flooding damages will cost the state $79.1 billion if left unchecked so Virginia needs RGGI NOW!! If the governor really wants to help all Virginians, then he should focus on fixing the utility code by reforming utility rates. 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 consideration.

CommentID: 189168