|Action||Repeal CO 2 Budget Trading Program as required by Executive Order 9 (Revision A22)|
|Comment Period||Ended on 3/31/2023|
In reviewing the statements here, it is clear that Virginians are participating wholeheartedly in the public comment process and are overwhelmingly in support of staying in RGGI. The data is irrefutable. ONE: Since joining RGGI in 2020, Virginia’s power plant emissions have dropped almost 17%, reducing GHGs including nitrogen emissions, one of the nutrients that fuels algal blooms and dead zones in our revered and threatened Chesapeake Bay; TWO: Virginia’s share of the RGGI auction proceeds has funded $524 million to reduce energy costs for lower income renters and to increase resiliency measures for communities where flooding is endemic; THREE: RGGI spending on energy-saving costs and flooding projects has not only produced new jobs, but also reduced health care costs associated with the impacts of air pollution (e.g., asthma attacks, premature births and missed days of school and work); FOUR: New energy efficiencies stimulate a growth in renewable electricity use, further decreasing reliance on coal generation and its dirty air pollution and ground contamination; FIVE: With no other funding available, RGGI provides monetary support for vulnerable low- and middle- income communities facing high utility costs, costs of pollution and/or flooding as part of their daily lives; SIX: Economically, RGGI has been a success in enticing to Virginia major companies committed to a just energy transition; including the new data center boom in Northern Virginia; and finally, SEVEN: Virginia’s RGGI participation is possible only because of legislative approval by the General Assembly, and thus, It would be illegal for the administration to arbitrarily remove Virginia from participation via a governor-appointed Air Pollution Control Board. Virginians have spoken, both here and in a public survey. Virginians want to preserve a program where state participation was established by its elected officials, that benefits Virginians today and that protects the future of Virginians tomorrow.