Youngkin Pledges To Pull Virginia From Carbon Market By Executive Order

"Governor’s authority to withdraw from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative disputed"

"Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin is pledging to use executive action to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon market involving 10 other Mid-Atlantic and New England states.

“RGGI describes itself as a regional market for carbon, but it is really a carbon tax that is fully passed on to ratepayers. It’s a bad deal for Virginians. It’s a bad deal for Virginia businesses,” Youngkin told the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Wednesday. “I promised to lower the cost of living in Virginia and this is just the beginning.”

A transition aide for Youngkin said that because Virginia’s participation in RGGI is governed by a contract agreement signed by the Department of Environmental Quality, the governor can withdraw Virginia from that agreement by executive action.

However, Cale Jaffe, director of the University of Virginia School of Law’s Environmental Law and Community Engagement Clinic, said Youngkin can’t do that by executive order because of the way state laws authorizing participation are written."

Sarah Vogelsong reports for the Virginia Mercury December 8, 2021.

Source: Virginia Mercury, 12/09/2021