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General Assembly passes bill committing Virginia to RGGI

virginia general assembly
Photo Credit: traveler1116/iStock Photo

The Virginia General Assembly has passed the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act.

Both chambers voted Wednesday to pass the legislation – HB 981 and SB 1027 – which commits Virginia to joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The chambers now need to approve final changes to the bill.

RGGI is a carbon-trading program, already in place in 10 states from Maine to Maryland, which reduces carbon emissions from dirty gas- and coal-fired power plants by putting a price on carbon. Joining RGGI will create nearly $1 billion in revenue for the state by the year 2030, proponents say.

The bill will invest that money in flood protection for vulnerable residents in Virginia, and energy efficiency gains for low-income residents.

“By passing this bill, we will make polluters pay for their climate damage,” said Harrison Wallace, Virginia director of the CCAN Action Fund. “We will then invest that money in home weatherization for low-income Virginians and sea level rise adaptation for vulnerable coastal residents. This is a win-win for protecting our common societal home.”

augusta free press
augusta free press