12/08/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/08/2021 17:26
"I urge Governor-elect Youngkin to reconsider this short-sighted decision."
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued the following statement after Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced during a Hampton Roads Chamber Event that he would remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI):
"The Governor-elect's announcement that he plans to withdraw Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a poor and misguided choice. 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 - half of which was dedicated to low-income energy efficiency programs to help the most vulnerable communities among us.
"The Governor-elect's decision will effectively halt that revenue stream. Virginia is in no position to pass on that revenue, and low-income residents will now be facing increased costs during an already uncertain time. The Governor-elect's claims that Virginians are bearing the financial burden of this program are ridiculous. The average Virginian saw a $2.39 increase in their monthly bill - an increase that helped their vulnerable neighbors and aided in our ongoing efforts to fight climate change.
"I urge Governor-elect Youngkin to reconsider this short-sighted decision. The Commonwealth is enjoying a substantial surplus thanks in part to federal Democrats' work on the American Rescue Plan - a legislative package opposed by every Virginian Republican, despite its direct benefits for the Commonwealth and its residents. We cannot begin taking fiscally irresponsible actions now. I oppose the Governor-elect's decision and will not stand idly by while he threatens the hard work of Virginia Democrats before even entering his office."
During his time in the Virginia State Senate, then-Senator McEachin (D-VA) led a bipartisan effort with Del. Ron Villanueva (R-VA) to have Virginia become the 10th state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.