Virginia State Capitol.jpg by Jim Bowen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Virginia’s withdrawal from the Regional Green House Initiative (RGGI) marks a monumental victory for all Virginians.  

On Wednesday, the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board voted 4-3 to take Virginia out of RGGI, a multistate cap-and-trade agreement that claims to limit carbon dioxide emissions. This withdrawal was the result of Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order 9 which states, “by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor, I hereby issue this Executive Order to re-evaluate Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and immediately begin regulatory processes to end it.” 

 The reasons for the withdrawal were provided in the executive order: 

“Virginia’s participation in the RGGI risks contributing to the increased cost of electricity for our citizens. Virginia’s utilities have sold over $227 million in allowances in 2021 during the RGGI auctions, doubling the initial estimates. Those utilities are allowed to pass on the costs of purchasing allowances to their ratepayers. Under the initial bill “RGGI rider” created for Dominion Energy customers, typical residential customer bills increased by $2.39 a month and the typical industrial customer bill by was raised by an astounding $1,554 per month. In a filling before the State Corporation Commission, Dominion Energy stated that RGGI will cost ratepayers between $1 billion and $1.2 billion over the next four years.” 

The Governor praised the decision of the State Air Pollution Control Board when he said that this “commonsense decision by the Air Board to repeal RGGI protects Virginians from the failed program that is not only a regressive tax on families and businesses across the Commonwealth, but also does nothing to reduce pollution.” 

Additionally, he affirmed that, “While Virginians will see a lower energy bill in due time because we are withdrawing from RGGI and are one step closer with today’s vote, we need to ensure Virginia has a reliable, affordable, clean and growing supply of power by embracing an all-of-the-above energy plan that includes natural gas, nuclear, renewables and the exploration of emerging sources to satisfy the growing needs of Commonwealth residents and businesses. We’re working every day to reduce costs to hardworking Virginians–like the RGGI carbon tax–and make Virginia the best place to live, work and do business”. 

ATR commends Governor Youngkin’s efforts to leave a radical left-wing initiative which has burdened individuals and businesses alike. Moreover, ATR would like to congratulate the Governor on fulfilling his campaign promise to make sure Virginia is a state that allows families and businesses to thrive.