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 Final
Comment Period Ended on 8/30/2023
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8/15/23  11:24 am
Commenter: Alison Rivard

Continue Virginia Participation in RGGI

In April 2020, the Virginia General Assembly adopted the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act, which provided for Virginia to join and implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  The law as implemented provides that 45% of all RGGI revenue derived from required quarterly auctions be directed to projects for flood preparedness, under the Community Flood Preparedness Fund, and that 50% of RGGI proceeds be directed to programs providing funds for low income energy efficiency upgrades to new and existing housing.

 All Virginia residents have a biding interest in the continuation of RGGI—revenue from RGGI has exceeded half a billion dollars, exceeding projections. With Executive Order 9 (2022), Governor Youngkin directed the state Air Pollution Control Board to withdraw from RGGI, purporting to unilaterally compel the state to end participation. 

Neither the Governor, nor a state board, has the power to repeal a law duly adopted by the General Assembly.  Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of Virginia provides: “The legislative, executive, and judicial departments shall be separate and distinct, so that none exercise the powers properly belonging to the others…”  Only new legislation passed by both chambers of the General Assembly, and signed by the Governor, can remove Virginia’s participation in RGGI.

The Governor’s Executive Order 9 should be withdrawn rather than continue the effort to circumvent the separation of powers embedded in our state Constitution and trigger expensive litigation.

CommentID: 218703