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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10/25/22  10:18 pm
Commenter: Christophe Le Menestrel

Virginia became a leader in clean energy economy and jobs thanks to the RGGI!

Virginia has become a leader in combating climate change thanks to the commonwealth’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

RGGI auctions provide vital funds for flood resiliency and low-income energy efficiency programs, improving the health and safety of residents across the state. 

Virginia’s first year in RGGI provided nearly $114 million in revenue for low-income energy efficiency programs. This unprecedented funding has allowed weatherization providers and affordable housing developers to provide safe, affordable and energy-efficient homes to low-income families like never before.

From major health and safety repairs on existing housing stock to the construction of affordable, energy-efficient homes, money from RGGI is being used in every region of Virginia — and is creating high-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.

This is where the newly established state Weatherization Deferral Repair (WDR) program comes in. This RGGI-funded program works in tandem with the federal weatherization program to provide funds specifically for health and safety repairs to help our most vulnerable citizens qualify for weatherization services.

On the Eastern Shore, Project: HOMES was able to make extensive health and safety repairs to 12 homes in dire need. The organization hired more than 30 local subcontractors to fix eight roofs, repair five heating and cooling systems and address major mold, electrical and plumbing problems.

There are stories like this across the commonwealth. In Southside Virginia, the Senior Deerfield Apartments in Crewe received $93,195 in repairs — including replacement roofs and new HVAC systems. In Shenandoah County, the funds helped improve 52 units of low-income housing and put 24 subcontractors to work in the process.

RGGI funding has become a game-changer for the most vulnerable in our communities, as well as the nonprofits that weatherize their homes. RGGI programs have allowed weatherization providers to hire in record numbers to help more people in need. And these are local jobs that cannot be outsourced.

While administration officials have suggested that other funding sources could be found to replace RGGI funds, that is a herculean task. In 2021, the RGGI auctions brought in tens of millions of dollars more than every other energy efficiency program in the state – combined.

Virginians can’t afford to have these programs disappear. Gov. Youngkin and members of the air board should embrace, not eliminate, the positive results from the commonwealth’s participation in RGGI.

CommentID: 197591