RTD- Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin said Wednesday that he will use executive power to withdraw Virginia from a program called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which he said is essentially a tax on electricity ratepayers and a bad deal for them and for business.
Youngkin’s comments came during a speech in Virginia Beach at the annual meeting of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.
The program, designed to reduce emissions from power plants, was approved by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly in 2020 and signed by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. In August, the Virginia State Corporation Commission first approved a request by Dominion Energy, the state’s largest electric utility, to recover costs from customers for RGGI, as it’s called.
“Just this week Dominion Energy announced that they will seek to double the carbon surcharge that is being applied to ratepayers under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” said Youngkin, the Republican who won the governor’s office last month and takes office Jan. 15.
“RGGI will cost ratepayers over the next four years an estimated $1 billion to $1.2 billion dollars. RGGI describes itself as a regional market for carbon, but it is really a carbon tax that is fully passed on to ratepayers. It’s a bad deal for Virginians. It’s a bad deal for Virginia businesses. And as governor I will withdraw us from RGGI by executive action.”