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Environmental groups sue to keep Virginia in Regional Greenhouse


A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit Monday in Virginia that challenges Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s move to pull the state out of a regional carbon cap-and-trade initiative.

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the long-promised lawsuit in Fairfax County Circuit Court to try to keep Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known as RGGI, which involves power plant emissions.

The lawsuit argues that Virginia’s State Air Pollution Control Board and the Department of Environmental Quality lacked the authority to leave the initiative, which has been lowering Virginia’s carbon footprint.

“Carbon dioxide emissions from Virginia power plants have declined by 16.8 percent in the first two years of participation,” the lawsuit stated.

Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board voted 4-3 in June to repeal Virginia’s participation in RGGI (pronounced “Reggie”).

Virginia’s Republican governor has made withdrawal from the compact a priority, citing its impact on the cost of electricity. The State Corporation Commission has estimated the typical monthly bill could increase by $2.00 to $2.50 for the years 2027 to 2030.

The environmental groups argue that the board lacked the authority to withdraw from the initiative because it was the General Assembly that voted in 2020 to join the compact.

Source : WTOP

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