|Action||Repeal CO 2 Budget Trading Program as required by Executive Order 9 (Revision A22)|
|Comment Period||Ended on 8/30/2023|
Thank you for accepting comments on this important issue. The work and decisions of the Air Board, the DEQ, other state boards and agencies and the Governor are essential in protecting the air, water and land of the Commonwealth and insuring the health, safety and quality of life for all Virginians - our children, our grand children - for generations.
I oppose the repeal and the actions of the Air Board to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and believe it should never have been introduced. I was present at the historic vote in the 2021 General assembly to join this important initiative and collaborate with other states to effectively reduce ozone-destroying greenhouse gasses, which would also bring significant funds into Virginia. I was proud to witness our elected officials make such a vital decision. Unlike the seeming trend in national politics, Virginia has a strong history and respect for the laws created by the lawmakers, and it is an erosion of the democratic heritage for the Governor to try to maneuver around them. By law, Virginia is mandated to participate in the RGGI by the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act. I don't like or support all laws either - let there be actions within the GA allowing constituents to indicate their positions to elected officials whether or not to withdraw.
This repeal should not be allowed on this basis alone, but there are other compelling reasons why we joined RGGI in 2021 and should not exit.
Greenhouse gas emissions - which are now a not-contested cause of climate destruction - have significantly reduced during the short time Virginia has participated. Energy companies and utility providers have already made adjustments to their current and future plans and output and the result has been an impressive reduction on emissions and the beginning of lower energy costs which have been passed on to consumers. This trajectory would continue and make real and significant benefits to all Virginians. This focus on a clean energy future has boosted investment and commitment to clean energy and renewable energy solutions, ones that we need to be transitioning to immediately. The Governor, Air Board and DEQ seek this repeal at the behest of the fossil fuel industry - the only ones who benefit from this repeal - but this is very very short term thinking. Fossil fuels do and are running out and will be difficult and costly to access, impossible to make a profit and dig Virginia and Virginia deeper into this can't-turn-back hole.
Shocking that the Administration totally dismisses the over 600 million dollars RGGI participation has already brought in and is projected to glean over 2 billion in 10 years. There is no good reason NOT to continue in RGG, except an agreement that the Administration made to an industry that refuses to accept the reality of a future without it.
Do not agree to withdraw from the RGGI.