RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WRIC) — Republican Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin is promising to use his executive powers to withdraw the commonwealth from a multistate carbon cap-and-trade program he says has overburdened ratepayers and businesses.
Youngkin said during a speech Wednesday that he would pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative through executive action.
The initiative is a program between 11 states designed to reduce carbon pollution from the power section. Virginia joined through legislation last year. Environmental attorneys and other advocates quickly shot back that Virginia’s participation could not be undone by the governor alone.
Congressman Donald McEachin (D-Va.) released a statement on Wednesday in regards to Youngkin’s promise. McEachin said it was a “poor and misguided choice.”
He said, “This decision will ultimately reduce revenue for the Commonwealth and slow our efforts to mitigate climate change while further disenfranchising historically underserved communities. Just last year, the Commonwealth received more than $227 million through the RGGI’s cap-and-trade investment program.”