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  10:18 am
Commenter: Kidest Gebre, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light (VAIPL)

Virginia Needs RGGI Fudning

Virginia Interfaith Power & Light (VAIPL) is an interfaith environmental justice organization working with over 200 faiths in the commonwealth. VAIPL supports Virginia's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). During the 2020 General Session, VAIPL was one of the leading organizations to help pass the legislation that allowed us to join RGGI. Kendyl Crawford worked tirelessly to help strike the right balance and tone for this significant step. We believe every state must do its part to fight temperature increases leading to more severe climate change impacts.

RGGI is the most rapid pathway for Virginia to reduce its carbon emissions from energy production over the next decade because it incentivizes polluters to find alternative sources for energy production. I hope you agree that we want to encourage transitioning to renewables, like wind, as quickly as possible. Without the reductions from RGGI, we cannot meet our overall goal of 100% renewable or net zero carbon emissions by 2045. The second reason we support RGGI is that the funds paid by the energy sector go to support two critical funds - flood preparedness funding for cities, towns, and counties and energy efficiency through home weatherization for low-wealth families. Both these programs help prepare Virginians to become sustainable as climate impacts increase globally. We have seen the results of devastating floods in Pound and Buchanan over the past four years.

Sea level rise will claim up to 30% of our coasts over the next few decades - there is no alternative funding source other than the funds from RGGI to help us prepare for such changes. Also, weatherization for old-stock homes will reduce energy use, conserving providers' output and lowering homeowners' utility bills. Our third reason is that it is the most meaningful way for Virginia to join the surrounding states to increase the reduction of carbon emissions from the energy sector. Finally, Virginia became a leader in the south on climate mitigation by joining RGGI. We set the tone for our neighboring southern states to unite with us to fight against climate change. 


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