Keeping Virginia in the Climate Pact

Virginia’s new anti-environment governor has backed down from his first illegal threat to withdraw the state from a regional climate pact, and now proposes another scheme.

Under legal pressure, Gov. Glenn Youngkin recognized he couldn’t unilaterally withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by executive order. Unfortunately, he’s now pushing an illegal regulation through an executive board to achieve the same end. Opponents including Virginia’s outgoing Attorney General call Youngkin’s new scheme just as illegal, and doomed to fail.

Other Virginia advocates hope to persuade Youngkin to abandon his environmentally and economically disastrous plans to scuttle Virginia’s growing benefits from participation in RGGI.

“This strongly supported and successful program cannot be undone by a simple pen stroke,” said Nate Benforado, a senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “The General Assembly gets to decide the laws in Virginia, and the Executive Order — which asks state officials to develop an illegal repeal — is a dead end. But for a new Governor who has pledged to help Virginia communities struggling with climate change, this is a shocking and troubling first action out of step with what Virginia communities need.”

Here in North Carolina, we have the chance to move forward on meeting our climate goals by joining RGGI ourselves. Tell Gov. Cooper to push for it!

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