|Action||Repeal CO 2 Budget Trading Program as required by Executive Order 9 (Revision A22)|
|Comment Period||Ended on 8/30/2023|
Governor Youngkin wants to fiddle while the planet burns, literally, and floods too. In 2020, the Democratic legislature brought Virginia into RGGI under the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act, under which 50% of the money was to be spent on energy efficiency programs in low-income communities and another 45% had to help communities affected by sea-level rise and flooding. RGGI auctions have returned about $589 million to Virginia. Since Virginia adopted RGGI in 2020, the state’s power plant emissions have dropped by 16.8%, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, $295.6 million has gone to sea-level mitigation and flood protection programs, and $328.5 million to low-income energy efficiency projects. In the past 100 years, sea level has risen 18 inches in Norfolk, VA, according to NOAA. Greenhouse gases cause glaciers and ice sheets to melt and water to expand, leading to rising sea levels and the ensuing floods. But in 2023, Governor Youngkin wants to give tax cuts to wealthy Virginians and scrap funding for energy efficiency programs and flood mitigation for Virginians who need it most. This action only makes sense if you’ve fallen through the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where up is down. The Climate Crisis is here and now. We must do everything possible to cut emissions and mitigate the effects of floods and fires. Do NOT pull Virginia out of RGGI. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.