Virginia Kills Its Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), So Should Maine

Virginia Governor Begins Withdrawing State From 10-State Cap-and-Trade Scheme

By Matthew Vadum
January 17, 2022 Updated: January 17, 2022
biggersmaller

Virginia’s new Republican governor is moving to withdraw his state from a regional carbon emissions-trading exchange to which 10 coastal and New England states currently belong, a move that promises to be a major setback for the left-wing environmentalist agenda.

On Jan. 15, the day he took office, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed Executive Order 9, which directs state officials “to re-evaluate Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and immediately begin regulatory processes to end it.”

Youngkin said last month he would take Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, as The Epoch Times previously reported.

The RGGI—some pronounce the acronym as “Reggie”—describes itself as “a cooperative, market-based effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector.”

Such systems aim to reduce the quantity of carbon dioxide, the gas expelled from our lungs when we exhale, that is released into the atmosphere, on the controversial theory that it contributes to global warming. The system imposes limits on how much CO2 is emitted by each state, and when industry actors exceed their limits, they can purchase the right to produce that excess gas for a fee. These emission coupons, or credits, have a value and can be traded, and the companies involved pass on the extra costs to their customers.

Virginia’s participation in RGGI “risks contributing to the increased cost of electricity for our citizens,” Youngkin’s order states. “Dominion Energy stated that RGGI will cost ratepayers between $1 billion and $1.2 billion over the next four years.”

The benefits promised by RGGI “have not materialized, while the costs have skyrocketed.”

RGGI is deeply flawed, experts say.

The Institute for Energy Research faulted RGGI in 2015, saying its “loopholes and structural problems conceal the true economic costs and circumvent actual emissions reductions.” In 2017, Vox reported that while RGGI “raises money to fund good programs,” the quantity of “carbon emissions covered by RGGI is relatively small.”

In 2018, the Cato Institute gave a thrashing to RGGI, the country’s first mandatory cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions. A Cato report found RGGI “shifted jobs to other states” and resulted in “no added emissions reductions or associated health benefits,” and that the revenue spent on “energy efficiency, wind, solar power, and low-income fuel assistance had minimal impact.”

“RGGI allowance costs added to already high regional electric bills” and led to “a 12 percent drop in goods production and a 34 percent drop in the production of energy-intensive goods.”

But left-wing activists claim RGGI a success and denounce Youngkin’s order.

Nate Benforado, senior attorney at the Charlottesville-based Southern Environmental Law Center said in a statement that the RGGI puts Virginia “on the frontlines of tackling climate change” and that Youngkin’s order “asks state officials to develop an illegal repeal.”

“This is a shocking and troubling first action out of step with what Virginia communities need.”

Benforado was echoing U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) who previously said a governor cannot pull the state out of RGGI without legislative approval.

Republican state lawmakers in Richmond, who wrested control of the House of Delegates from Democrats in the November 2020 elections, say they will undo costly environmental legislation passed by the Democrats.

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Comment by Willem Post on January 19, 2022 at 8:47am

Arthur,

This article will be reposted on other sites.

Leftist Dem/Progs are defending RGGI because it provides carrier jobs for Dem/Progs, who want to feel good about “doing something”, no matter how inefficient it is!

To them it is more important to HAVE the program, than devising better/less expensive ways to achieve more CO2 reductions.

Dem/Progs want to make it expensive to drive a car, want to move everyone into apartment buildings with bus stops nearby to ride electric buses at $1 million each, and to take children in electric buses at $350,000 each

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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