Dear Editor, 

When Virginia’s legislature passed the Clean Economy Act in 2020, it signaled positive, forward momentum in reducing pollution from power plants and cleaning up our state’s air to create a healthier future for our children and grandchildren. It was - and is - a good thing for the Commonwealth.

An important piece of the VCEA is consensus that Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a program where those industries that are emitting harmful carbon into the state’s air pay a literal price for their pollution. This price on pollution establishes an incentive for them to find ways to generate electricity without generating pollution. But in the meantime, the money that polluters pay goes into a fund for projects to make homes in disadvantaged communities more energy efficient and strengthen flood resilience in areas that are prone to repeat, devastating flood events. These dollars are making a real difference in the lives of Virginians.

When Virginia passed the Clean Economy Act and joined RGGI, it conveyed a message that our state’s leaders care about protecting the people and places we call home here in Virginia. When Governor Younkin says he wants to repeal RGGI, it conveys a message that he doesn’t care - or perhaps that he cares more about the fate of polluters than the fate of the people he was elected to serve. Governor Youngkin: Care about people, not polluters. Keep Virginia in RGGI. 

Julie Bauer

Vienna

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