Youngkin plans to withdraw Virginia from interstate climate pact

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Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin of Virginia has signaled his intention to pull the state out of a climate compact that many small businesses there are glad to see go.

Youngkin has made clear his intention to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The interstate compact places penalties on entities that exceed emission regulations set by an organization representing all member states.

“Virginia’s small businesses are managing several obstacles such as the labor shortage and supply chain disruptions. Small business owners need lawmakers to enact policies that promote job growth, not deter it, as they work on recovering their businesses to pre-crisis levels,” state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses Nicole Riley said in a statement.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin speaks during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.
(REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst)

The NFIB is one of the largest associations for small businesses in the United States.

She continued, “By removing Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin is sparing small business owners from an increased cost in their electric bills and other expenses they simply cannot afford right now.”

The RGGI currently boasts eleven member states in the initiative, all from the northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

The RGGI is currently being courted by Pennsylvania for membership. It boasts itself as the “first market-based, cap-and-invest regional initiative in the United States.”

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