|Action||Repeal CO 2 Budget Trading Program as required by Executive Order 9 (Revision A22)|
|Comment Period||Ended on 8/30/2023|
Despite some people's opinion to the contrary, climate change is a very real threat to our environment now! All one needs to do is look at the unprecedented fires, floods, record warm temperatures of the ocean. The coastal communities here in Virginia are experiencing more flooding than ever. Some communities will be lost to the increasing ocean levels in the near future. It is short sighted and irresponsible to continue to ignore the existence of and the effects of climate change.
A carbon cap-and-trade program, like RGGI, is an effective state action to mitigate emissions. Most other actions to address the climate crisis require federal government intervention. This is the one strategy which is within Virginia’s power to act. The funds from the RGGI will help to mitigate this damage. Communities in Virginia have already received financial assistance through the Community Flood Preparedness Fund.
Actual revenues from RGGI have far outstripped state officials’ projections. Alternate funding sources that have been proposed are smaller, ignore low-income households, and are contingent on available funding. The current budget surplus is the result of pandemic recovery efforts and is not a permanent source of funds.There is no proposed sustainable funding source to replace the revenue from RGGI
Furthermore, Virginia's participation is now mandated by law, and only the General Assembly, and not the governor, has the right to remove Virginia from RGGI. This regional program uses cap-and-trade, a proven, market-based system that reduces emissions. It is an essential part of Virginia’s Clean energy future. It is imperative that Virginia remain part of the RGGI.