Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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9/16/22  9:32 pm
Commenter: Tracy Garland

RGGI provides cost-effective environmental, economic and social benefits

It is critical that we preserve Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to fund critical flood resilience and energy efficiency initiatives here in the Commonwealth. The program provides vital funding to protect communities from flooding, is helping Virginians save money in energy costs, will create jobs and help grow our economy, and enjoys broad support among voters. 

Currently, RGGI funds are being utilized to great effect by localities and planning commissions across the state - from Lenowisco to Northampton and Northern Virginia to Southside -  to plan and implement projects that will protect Virginians, our homes, businesses, natural resources, and our future. Without RGGI funds, localities and communities will be left with no readily available source of funding for investments in flood prevention measures. Unfortunately,  the under-resourced and underserved communities will be impacted first and worst, and it is our responsibility to invest in their preparedness and protection.

The stories of low income families who have been helped by the weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades facilitated by RGGI funds have been widely reported. These measures help save energy, money, and help families rise from poverty. 

Businesses with operations and employees in the Commonwealth including Microsoft, Mars, Nestle and Unilever, among others, have written letters of support for RGGI and urged leaders to follow through on the commitments made that will protect their operations and employees. Virginia is also poised to take advantage of the rapidly growing renewable energy manufacturing and service industries. 

A 2021 EDF Action poll found 77% of Virginia voters wanted the next governor to address the state’s flood risk and 61% of voters support getting to zero carbon emissions by 2050. RGGI is critical to achieving both of these bipartisan goals. I join them and encourage our leaders to stay in this beneficial program that provides financial, environmental and social benefits to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

CommentID: 128841