Governor Glenn Youngkin today issued the following statement on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative report, as outlined in the governor’s executive order 9.
“Costs are soaring for Virginia families and as governor, I pledged to address over taxation and Virginia’s high cost of living. That’s why I signed Executive Order 9 to direct DEQ to examine the impact of RGGI and start the process of ending Virginia’s participation. This report reveals that RGGI is in reality a carbon tax passed on to families, individuals and businesses throughout the Commonwealth–it’s a bad deal for Virginians,” said Governor Youngkin. “Hardworking Virginians are having to do more with less as inflation steals a historic amount from their paychecks and the failed Biden Administration energy policies are costing Virginians more at the pump and in their homes. We’re working every day to cut energy taxes and reduce costs–like the RGGI carbon tax–and make Virginia the best place to live, work and do business.”
During the review of the data, the report provides the following conclusions and findings regarding RGGI:
- Without and prior to RGGI, electricity generation has increased while CO2 per MWh has almost been cut in half in Virginia over the last ten years.
- Because of the captive nature of their ratepayers, the ability for power-generators to fully pass on costs to consumers, and the fact that the Code of Virginia dedicates RGGI proceeds to grants programs, participation in RGGI is in effect a direct carbon tax on all households and businesses;
- In addition, consumers are unable to avoid the pass through of these costs because they do not have the opportunity to switch electric providers – Dominion and other providers are monopolies in most regions of Virginia
- The imposition of the RGGI “carbon tax” fails to achieve its goal as a carbon “cap-and-trade” system because it lacks any incentive for power-generators to actually reduce emissions, due to the ability to pass through costs to consumers.
- The costs of compliance with the trading rule and participation in RGGI have materialized in higher electricity rates as identified in the filings before the State Corporation Commission by Dominion Energy.
- Emission allowance prices have increased over time and substantially in the last year, just last week setting a new record-breaking price, and are expected to continue increasing which will increase the tax on ratepayers.
The full report can be found here.