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)
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 3/31/2023
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3/31/23  6:51 pm
Commenter: Mary Lou Burke

RGGI is Good for Virginians- Keep Us in RGGI

Dear Air Pollution Control Board,

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) benefits our health, helps our environment, builds local economies, and strengthens our communities. A recent letter from 61 legislators demonstrates that the Youngkin administration's plans to withdraw Virginia from RGGI are unlawful.

If the Youngkin administration truly prioritizes keeping customer costs low, it will support strong utility rate reforms rather than attempting to exit RGGI. Dominion's bills are high not because of RGGI, but because Dominion has influenced law in its favor and invested in risky projects, ultimately diffusing costs onto customers. We need to improve the utility code in VA.

RGGI saves Virginians money and improves economies. RGGI states have added billions in net economic value from participation in RGGI, all while reducing air pollution. Among the other economic benefits are growth in economic output, increased jobs, reinvestment of energy dollars in local and state economic activity, and long-run wholesale electricity cost reductions. RGGI has generated hundreds-of-millions in funds going towards lowering energy bills for low-income households while creating good, local jobs. RGGI also produces major savings on health costs associated with impacts of air pollution to include asthma attacks, premature births, and missed days of school/work.

After Virginia joined the program in 2020, more than a dozen companies, institutions, and trade associations with headquarters or significant operations in the Commonwealth wrote to express their support, including Mars, Nestlé, and IKEA. The DEQ previously had this letter on its website; it has since been removed.

Withdrawing Virginia from RGGI jeopardizes low- to moderate-income families by removing a vital and irreplaceable funding source that supports energy efficiency and health and safety upgrades to the most vulnerable segments of the population.

We request that the Air Pollution Control Board adhere to its charge and protect communities from air pollution by keeping Virginia in RGGI.

Thank you!

CommentID: 216385