|Action||Repeal CO 2 Budget Trading Program as required by Executive Order 9 (Revision A22)|
|Comment Period||Ended on 3/31/2023|
Virginia should stay within the RGGI as it benefits itself (as a state and its people) and the east coast. Along with 10 other states, the main goal of the states within the RGGI is to create a healthier environment with better air and water quality, forests, and even healthy people.
Although Governor Youngkin states that it would save people from paying more, his statement “When a policy costs the public a significant amount of money for no tangible benefit, that policy should be examined carefully, and if practical, rolled back.” The benefits are that the environment, people, and animals within it are healthy. This is an external cost that can be hard to quantify but can be immediately recognized with, healthcare costs, costs of children being out of school (from being sick or in the hospital), coastal organisms and animals dying from ocean acidification, impacted waterways and cleanup costs, the list goes on. Youngkin only claims to support a monetary tangible benefit, which is not the reason RGGI exists.
If Youngkin were to pull out of the RGGI, there would be less funding and yield from the cap-and-trade system. This system is important as it puts forth money that benefits communities that are sea-level rise prone, hurricane and flooding prone, or those who are impacted by poor waterways. The money for impacts caused by the already happening climate change is a tangible benefit for Virginians. The money can also go to more energy-efficient technologies or infrastructure within Virginia (especially in low-income communities). Pulling out would mean more money from taxpayers to pay for these costs, compared to people's energy bills. Instead of the money being pulled from your energy bill, it would be placed somewhere else to make a difference in state infrastructure.
If Youngkin pulls out of the RGGI, it also sets a bad example and leads to other states in the RGGI. It sets the example that since Virginia is not benefiting, other states will not benefit either, therefore they should also pull out. It nullifies why the states came together in the first place, to reduce carbon emissions and use the cap-and-trade to benefit the individual states' environment and citizens. It shows that Governor Youngkin is really only thinking about businesses and paying more, it is understandable that it costs a lot, but it is so that the energy production companies can still make money. Although the money can be spent on making more efficient energy and having more to sell in the cap-and-trade system, which ultimately just comes back to the citizens in many ways.
Governor Youngkin do not pull out of the RGGI.