Stay in RGGI - Two Issues (1) Adhere to Rule of Law (2) Market Based Pollution Avoidance
I write to urge the Board (and Governor) to stay in RGGI for two basic reasons:
The General Assembly voted to enter RGGI. If Virginia's voters want to exit RGGI, the proper way to do so is for the General Assembly to repeal all or part of the law that put us in RGGI. To do otherwise ignores the rule of law and principles of limited government.
RGGI represents a market-based approach to preventing air pollution and it is working, especially for Virginians. For centuries, people treated our air and water as free for anyone to use and even abuse. Pollution has a cost and reversing it has costs, too, which everyone must bear. As a market-based approach, Cap-and-trade spreads the costs and returns benefits throughout our population. Virginia, and especially Hampton Roads and Tidewater Virginia in particular faces two grave threats: (1) the sea is rising and (2) our land is sinking. Much of our tax base lies in land that is sinking. Building resilience is going to cost us, and we need to start building and paying for our grandchildren and their children. Our General Assembly recognized that the market responds more quickly than government can and it chose to adopt a market-based solution to respond to our needs for clean air and resilience. Let's stay with that sensible program.