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  12:00 pm
Commenter: Elizabeth Talbott

RGGI membership is a winner for VA

Gov. Youngkin seeks to withdraw VA from the RGGI agreement, a move that appears to be purely political, as the move does not serve the state or its taxpayers well. Here are the key benefits I can discern from VA's membership in the RGGI, and the rationale for our retaining membership.

  1. VA is a partner with states in the northeast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute directly to climate change (RGGI). The effects of climate change are pervasive, world-wide, and expensive, as U.S. state and federal governments routinely pick up the tab for recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, and devastating floods.
  2. VA is no stranger to "sunny day" or nuisance flooding, particularly in the eastern part of our state. VA's membership in the RGGI has resulted in $203 million for flood protection in the state, including those areas in mountainous southwest VA where residents often feel forgotten. Where will that funding come from if VA withdraws from the RGGI?
  3. VA has also invested revenue from RGGI in low income energy efficiency programs, directly benefiting those in our state who most need the help (and are often forgotten by politicians). Where will that funding come from if VA withdraws from the RGGI?
  4. Finally, and importantly, VA's membership in the RGGI was the result of state law passed by the VA general assembly in 2020. Thus our membership cannot and should not be withdrawn on the basis of executive order--it should be put to a vote by the full VA general assembly.
CommentID: 198620