Press Release

Advocates to rally in Richmond to stay in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Rally to precede Air Pollution Control Board meeting that may include RGGI regulatory action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2022

CONTACT
Jessica Sims, jessica@appvoices.org, 804-356-1228

Richmond, VA — On Wednesday, Dec. 7, advocates for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will gather in Henrico County to rally in support of the program. Virginia’s participation in the program has resulted in over $378 million of critical funding for communities and localities, and has supported low-income energy efficiency programs and flood resilience infrastructure.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has said he wants to remove Virginia from RGGI, and he may use the December 7 Air Pollution Control Board meeting to pressure citizen board members to vote to remove Virginia from the program via an emergency regulation. Secretary of Natural Resources Travis Voyles is scheduled to speak at the board meeting, likely to recommend Virginia’s removal from the program. Preceding the meeting, advocates will gather outside to share their support and hear from a series of speakers including Kidest Gebre, Organizing Coordinator & Communicating Our Power Fellow, of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light and Sarah Ahmed, Statewide Field Director of Virginia League of Conservation Voters. Rally attendees will visually demonstrate the importance of RGGI’s revenue to the future of Virginia via colorful props.

In spite of the administration’s opposition to the program, public support for RGGI continues to grow. The program, which requires companies to purchase allowances if producing carbon emissions, results in energy cost savings and pollution reduction, with RGGI states reducing emissions by 50% since 2008. As the General Assembly approved Virginia’s RGGI participation via law, advocates assert that legislation would ultimately be required to remove the commonwealth from the program rather than administrative action. The rally is part of ongoing Virginia-wide efforts to support the program.

WHO: RGGI advocates and local environmental leaders
WHAT: Outdoor rally with speeches, chants, colorful signage
WHERE: Outside of the Gallery, Workforce Development, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, 1651 E. Parham Rd, Richmond, VA 23228
WHEN: Wednesday, December 7, 9:30am – 10:15am

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Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.

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